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Tis the Season: Seasonal Work During the Holidays

seasonal work during the holidays

Tis the Season: Seasonal Work During the Holidays

If you’re a student who wants to make cash over the holiday break, or between jobs and looking for a short-term opportunity, you might want to consider seasonal work during the holidays as an option.

Essentially, seasonal work during the holidays is the same as any temporary job, but usually addresses special needs of the Christmas shopping season. Specifics vary but generally it’s to deal with the period that starts with “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving) and ends early to mid January.

Some of the additional job opportunities are obvious.  For example, delivery services need extra help with the surge of shipments, retailers need extra staff to restock shelves or check out customers. But the number of seasonal jobs – predicted to be over 700,000 this year may surprise you.

seasonal work during the holidays

Things to know about seasonal work during the holidays:

It’s already time to start applying. Some companies began hiring as early as August, but by late October there will be plenty of opportunities. Target already has an application site up for their seasonal positions. UPS lists over 5000 job openings on their site, if you simply do a search for “seasonal”.

The biggest opportunities are in delivery and warehousing. As the number of online shoppers continues to rise, it’s no surprise that delivery services like UPS and FedEx tend to lead the list of holiday employers. In addition, companies like Amazon that have large warehouse facilities also need extra hands.

You can walk to work . . . or not at all. And delivery doesn’t even mean you have to be able to drive – UPS hires “seasonal walkers”, who simply walk the packages to the doors in their local area. And Amazon has positions that require no walking at all – you can work from home as a customer service representative.

However, retail is alive and well. Even though there is a lot of online shopping, that doesn’t mean traditional brick-and-mortar stores don’t offer a lot of seasonal positions. JCPenny is expected to add 40,000 workers, Walmart around 60,000, and Kohl’s 69,000. That said, Amazon hired 100,000 seasonal workers during the holidays. Yes, really.

It’s an employee market. Unemployment is down, which means companies are having a harder time filling seasonal spots – great news if you’re looking for an opportunity. Plus, minimum wage has gone up in some states, making these jobs more lucrative than ever.

These positions also usually qualify for overtime. In fact, some list overtime availability as a requirement. Finally, the majority of these positions need only a high school diploma, and little to no work experience.

A short-term relationship could turn permanent. UPS, who plans to hire 95,000 employees for a November to January period, announced that last year 37% of seasonal workers became permanent employees. And the experience at many of these places translates well. So even if UPS doesn’t offer you a job, you’ve got all the skills to work for FedEx, or the Postal Service.

Think outside the (Christmas) box. Besides the more obvious positions like department stores, big box retail, warehousing, and delivery, there are other needs that spike. For example, Party City adds 35,000 workers for all those running in and buying Christmas-themed cocktail napkins or extra wrapping paper.

And many companies up their social media content during the holidays, and need extra help to manage it. And, for a meta view, don’t forget some companies need to hire hiring professionals to hire the extra hires.

Seasonal work during the holidays can be an interesting short term opportunity.

Even if you don’t want to spend your career in a shopping mall, or driving a truck, seasonal work during the holidays can be a great way to earn money, gain experience, and see the other side of businesses you know well as a customer. If you are interested, it might help you land a job there or at similar employer. In any event, it can help allay some of your own holiday spending, and that’s the best gift of all.