Why Take a Seasonal Job?
A Little Extra Cash
For many people, the holidays are a time to relax with family. The unfortunate reality is that they can also be expensive. Buying presents for your loved ones and cooking giant meals racks up a hefty credit card bill. This puts a damper on the festivities, especially if you work part-time jobs with slow periods or winter downtime.
Luckily, many businesses hire full-time or part-time employees for seasonal work. These jobs typically last a few weeks or months and are great for earning extra money. Some require you to work extended holiday hours over Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or New Year’s, but the pay will let you breathe easier when you finally get to relax.
Getting in on the Ground Floor
Seasonal jobs give employees a chance to work in a new or emerging field. For example, order fulfillment jobs are on the rise, with companies hiring all sorts of roles. Trying out new types of work could even lead you to a full-time, year-round career.
Finding Your New Passion
These jobs get your foot in the door for other openings. Doing well in a seasonal role could lead to a permanent position. You’ll get to meet a lot of new people and might even find a passion for something you didn’t know you had. While pay rates vary, high demand and competition urge employers to offer good wages.
Types of Seasonal Jobs
Most seasonal positions require no experience, but you’ll gain a ton of knowledge in the process. These jobs typically pay by the hour, and the needs of each employer dictate the scheduling options. With so much out there, you should be able to find something that works for you.
The specific kinds of work available depend on where you live, but entry-level seasonal jobs are common in the following areas.
To handle the flood of customers, big box stores hire sales associates, order fulfillment workers, and more. Target hires around 100,000 seasonal workers at an average pay rate of $11.00 an hour plus store discounts. Walmart will hire thousands for distribution centers, with a typical hourly wage of $13.00.
To burn off holiday calories with a more active job, you can look to delivery companies. Seasonal positions are more likely to become permanent careers. UPS will have around 100,000 openings, FedEx usually offers about half of that, and the United States Postal Service hires several thousand workers.
Hourly wages start between $10.00 and $12.00 for non-driving helpers, sorters, and handlers, but can increase to between $15.00 and $32.00 for drivers. Some UPS locations even offer weekly retention bonuses of $100 to $200.
When shoppers start hitting the malls, large department stores need extra holiday workers. JCPenney and Macy’s will hire about 40,000 and 80,000, respectively. Hourly wages for these jobs are $9.00 to $10.00 with the added benefit of store discounts.
Mall Specialty Stores
If there’s something in your local mall that suits your taste, a seasonal job at one of these smaller locations might be a good choice. For instance, Williams-Sonoma stores hire around 4,000 holiday workers at a pay rate of around $10.00 an hour.
Mom-and-pop stores or locally-owned companies may also offer seasonal work. There aren’t as many of these jobs, but they’re usually less stressful than the massive bustling retailers and still give your wallet that extra holiday cushion. Check for openings in-store and online.
Growing Options in E-Commerce
The explosion of e-commerce has opened up even more seasonal options. With a wide variety of positions, you just might find the right job. Most major retailers have an online presence in addition to brick-and-mortar stores. Web stores need employees to fill production, distribution, and marketing roles through the holidays.
Customer service work is important in e-commerce, requiring employees to respond to emails or calls. Similarly, social media assistants help with holiday marketing and customer relations via Twitter or Facebook. Many of these are work-from-home jobs, helpful for anyone who has a busy schedule or likes to work in pajamas.
Order fulfillment warehouse jobs are also essential, likely involving sorting and packing. For example, the company Radial handles e-commerce distribution for many popular brands. Radial employs nearly 30,000 seasonal workers at an average hourly wage of $16.00.
Online grocery shopping is an emerging market with many order fulfillment services popping up. Examples include:
- ClickList – This online grocery ordering system allows customers to pick up their orders or have them delivered from stores like Kroger. ClickList jobs need efficient workers to find, prepare, and deliver items. If you have strong attention to detail, this job might be for you.
- Amazon Pantry – Like ClickList, this e-commerce giant offers a grocery service that needs workers to sort packages, prepare orders, and deliver products. There are many seasonal jobs at warehouses throughout the country.
- Peapod – One of the first online grocery stores, Peapod has jobs in warehouse, transportation, and customer care. This Illinois company employs jobseekers in the Midwest and Northeast regions.
Applying for Seasonal Jobs
The hiring process is a little different for each seasonal position. Some require paper application forms, while others prefer you to apply online. Employers often like to hire fast and use the method that is quickest for them. Check each job’s specific requirements to find the perfect fit for you this holiday season.