Looking for a job this holiday season? If so, the outlook should be rosy.
In its annual holiday hiring forecast, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicts a substantial bump in seasonal employment over last year.
Chief Executive Officer John A. Challenger says this year's retail holiday hiring could exceed 800,000 for the first time in 15 years, up from 786,200 in 2013 and more than double the number of jobs added in 2008.
"Holiday spending will undoubtedly benefit from the fact that payrolls are increasing by an average of 215,000 new workers per month, so far this year," according to Challenger. "That translates into more people with jobs, which means more holiday spending money."
Not surprisingly, Challenger anticipates numerous seasonal job openings at restaurants, caterers, movie theaters, and other entertainment and leisure businesses.
For many retirees and 50-plus workers looking for a short-term gig, the holiday season is a great time to pull in some extra dough. And you have what employers are looking for: They're keen on hiring people who are responsible and reliable.
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Plus, you never know. Your temporary gig can lead to future employment after the holiday rush fades, particularly if the economy continues to be robust. You've got a foot in the door, and hopefully you've demonstrated your competence and built a relationship.
If you're interested in looking for a holiday job, here's how to get started.
1. Cast a wide net
At retailers, there's a seasonal demand not only for sales clerks, but also for customer service helpers, cashiers, stockroom workers and security guards. There are openings for stockroom personnel handling incoming and outgoing cargo, and at warehouses and shipping facilities. Other posts in demand are package wrappers, product demonstrators, online and call service representatives, distribution center associates and, of course, Santas and elves.
Retailers aren't the only ones looking for workers. You may also find openings at restaurants as greeters, wait staff, bartenders and baristas. Package delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx are inundated with a surge in demand and hire accordingly. Small boutiques, mall kiosks, catering companies and florists add staff at this time of year. You might even pick up work as a holiday decorator, party planner, babysitter or pet-sitter for those taking holiday vacations.
2. Tap your network
Ask friends and family members who work at companies that add seasonal workers for a heads-up if they know of positions that are unfilled or opening up.
Next page: Make it personal and be flexible. »