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Finding holiday employment

Published December 12. 2009 09:00AM

Most people are happy to make some extra money around the holidays, even with seasonal or temporary employment in short supply at many businesses this year. But if you're creative enough, persistent enough, and keep your options open, it's not impossible to land something for a few weeks to get you through the rest of the year.

When folks think "holiday job", most would probably immediately think "retail" or "mall Santa". While there probably won't be a shortage of either type of job anytime soon, below is a list of other places that often hire additional help over the holidays. The list may surprise you:

Food service. Sure, companies may be scaling back their holiday parties, but plenty of restaurants and caterers will be booked solid with corporate and private gatherings and might need some extra manpower to get through the holiday season. Besides wait staff and servers, there could also be a need for extra kitchen staff or bartenders.

Delivery. Flowers, food, packages from long-lost relatives. All of these items need to get to their recipients, and they all need to get there before Christmas. Florists see extra business as people send holiday arrangements to out-of-state friends or relatives, business acquaintances, or elderly neighbors who may not get much company. Restaurants and caterers may need drivers for catered holiday get-togethers. And UPS has the added responsibility of delivering Christmas packages in addition to their regular runs. If you like driving, any one of these could be your perfect temporary job.

Distribution center. Someone has to fill the shelves of your favorite stores, and order fillers at the company's main distribution center are in charge of doing just that. Since the holiday season is usually the busiest time of year for retailers, they need to keep the new merchandise coming in. Distribution centers often hire extra order fillers to keep the supply equal with the demands of their stores. Order filling can be physically demanding, so if you have back problems or difficulty lifting, this may not be the best job for you.

Post office. Just like the delivery guys, the post office gets extra busy around the holidays due to everyone's Christmas cards and gifts. Someone needs to be sorting through all of those envelopes in the back room, or filling up those mailboxes on a daily route. Why not you?

If none of the above appeals to you, why not be creative and start your own holiday business? Advertise yourself as a personal shopper and battle the mall crowds for bargains, gifts for that impossible-to-please relative, and parking spaces. Or advertise your brand-new gift wrapping business. This will save your customers the headaches of trying to figure out how to best wrap a golf umbrella (of course, that's now your headache).

Happy Holiday Job Hunting!

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