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Q. Iíve been out of work for months. Iíd be happy to take seasonal work. Can I find those positions online? óMurray in Miami, listening on WIOD 610 AM
A. Youíre not alone. The unemployment rate has reached double digits. That means a lot of competition for jobs. Everyone has to be creative. That includes looking for different kinds of jobs.
Seasonal employment is something many people overlook. There are many industries where one part of the year is extremely busy. Companies hire temporary workers for those times. These are generally full-time positions. But they only last a few weeks or months.
These opportunities could be invaluable for job hunters. They could help bridge the gap between more permanent positions. They could serve as a foot in the door, similar to an internship. Or, they could offer extra cash for the holidays.
Seasonal jobs are big right now, because of the holidays. Snagajob is a good place to look online. It focuses on hourly employment. And it has a seasonal job section. Youíll find posts in a number of industries. These include retail, hospitality and customer service.
The big sites, like Monster and CareerBuilder, also have seasonal listings. Put ďseasonal jobsĒ in Keywords, and your ZIP code in Location. Youíll get lots of listings. Some jobs are specialized; others require little or no experience.
The holidays are an especially frantic time for shippers. Companies like UPS and FedEx hire lots of holiday help. These are both in-store and delivery jobs. Hiring will depend on where you live. And they only last through the short holiday season.
Stores do a lot of holiday hiring, of course. Many advertise on job sites. But you can find opportunities on their Web sites, too. With a quick check, I turned up seasonal job pages at JCPenney and Macyís.
The holidays arenít the only times for seasonal jobs. Vacation spots have them. Convention areas offer them. Football bowl sites need extra help. Use your imagination.
Think about other trends. Itís sad, but firms that work on foreclosures are swamped. They may need more help. Many banks are up to their ears in bad loans and empty houses. You may have a skill they need temporarily.
Check these companiesí sites. If you donít know a Web address, thatís not a problem. Search by the companyís name in Google. Youíll find its site.
Do you like the outdoors? There are many jobs available. Some are probably in your area.
For example, the National Park Service hires around 10,000 seasonal employees yearly. By their very nature, national parks have intense peak seasons. The National Park Service hires greeters, guides, park rangers and maintenance staff. Itís a great opportunity if you love the outdoors.
Many adventurous jobs are seasonal. Summer camps and ranches hire. There are tour guide positions. There are even jobs in environmental stewardship. All of these would have you on your feet, meeting interesting people.
Backdoorjobs features some of these hard to find opportunities. Ever wanted to guide river-rafting tours? How about working with a regional wilderness conservation project? With some language skills, you could even lead international expeditions.
Also, donít forget the Census. This is not exactly seasonal; itís more temporary. But thousands of people will be hired to collect data. A short-term stint with Uncle Sam sounds pretty good. Thereís information on the Census Bureau site.
Finally, let me give you some advice as an employer. When you land something, approach it with a positive attitude. Do a good job. Come to work 15 minutes early every day. Good employees are really hard to find. You might just get a full-time offer.
Need more ideas? I can help: ē Legitimate ways to make money from home ē If youíre crafty, sell your work online ē Your online reputation can hurt your job search
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