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All I Want for Christmas is a Job

All I Want for Christmas is a Job

Many of us are still coming down from our Halloween sugar buzz, but it’s time to start thinking about the next holiday season.  And for many, that means the opportunity to get one’s foot into the job market.  Analysts are still mixed on what the hiring outlook for the holiday’s will look like (when aren’t they mixed?), but all are in agreement that there will be at least SOME hiring, and the Pierce County Library wants to make sure its patrons are well prepared.  So, we have scheduled a series of workshops around the county dealing with how best to find and get these seasonal positions.  The workshops are taught by Susanne Boone, who has an extensive experience in helping people find work, and presented them last year to great success.  Here is a list of the branches and dates the workshops are being presented, and registration is required, so click here to go to the Library’s calendar and register.

If you can’t make one of the workshops, here are some tips from Investopedia:

Do What You Know
Do you like clothes? Apply at clothing retailers. Do you like sports? Make one of your first prospects a sporting goods store. Along with wanting to spend the holiday season working in an industry where you have interest, you’re more likely to make a positive, and enthusiastic, impression in an interview if you’re talking about something you enjoy and know well.

More Than Retail
UPS says that they will hire up to 50,000 workers this holiday season, and they’re not alone. As merchandise is purchased, the infrastructure needed to get the goods to the customer, or recipient, of the gift sees a substantial increase in volume. If you enjoy warehouse-style work, these jobs often pay better than retail positions. (For a more investment-related article on the retail sector, check out Analyzing Retail Stocks.)

Get creative with your job hunting prospects. Nearly every business has some exposure to the increase in holiday retail traffic. People travel more to spend time with family, they give and receive more money as well as make end of year financial transactions, and they eat out more for holiday parties. Retail stores might have the hiring signs in the window, but businesses all over your community need help.

Don’t Wait
Apply right now. Hiring managers want their workers trained and experienced for the holiday rush, which seems to start earlier every year. If you haven’t started your search, now is the time.

Be Flexible
One survey found that those who were hiring seasonal employees saw scheduling flexibility as one of their top three criteria. If you have scheduling demands, they would rather hire somebody else in the resume stack. Holiday traffic tends to be unpredictable, especially in the early part of December. Employers want somebody they can call at the last minute, or send home if business is slow. If your schedule doesn’t allow for that flexibility, a holiday job may not be a good fit for you.

Make an impression
Once you get the job, make an extraordinary impression if you would like to stay on as a permanent employee. Of businesses, that were surveyed, 40% reported that they would most likely convert a portion of their seasonal employees into ongoing positions, up from 2009′s 31%.

The Bottom Line
Many people use seasonal positions to not only make extra money, but receive employee discounts on merchandise they would normally give as gifts. There is sure to be heavy competition for the available positions, but if you’re enthusiastic, flexible and knowledgeable, there’s probably a job waiting for you.

If you have any questions, please call your local Pierce County Library branch.

- Adam Jackman, Librarian, Gig Harbor Library

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