This article appears in November Family magazine.
Job seekers are in luck this holiday season. With a strong economy and low unemployment, holiday hiring is set to reach heights not seen since 2015.
More than 700,000 seasonal workers are expected to be hired by the nation’s retailers, according to a Challenger Gray Christmas analysis of federal jobs data.
If you’re looking for a seasonal job, here are some tips from Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs.
Q: What’s the most important thing for someone to know if they are thinking about a seasonal job during the holidays?
A: If you’re thinking of getting a seasonal job but aren’t sure how it would fit into your already busy life, it’s important to know that there are flexible seasonal jobs. Many — maybe most — seasonal jobs are part-time, but there are also those that offer flexibility like being able to work from home. Finding this type of online seasonal job may help you bring in extra income without the extra hassle of an additional commute or being away from home at night and on the weekends. Right now at FlexJobs, we see seasonal remote jobs like customer service representative, travel agent and copywriter.
Q: When’s the right time to apply?
A: The earlier you start looking, the better. Hiring for seasonal jobs begins happening when the holidays are still a couple months away. It will continue through November, but if you start early, you have a better chance of landing a seasonal job you’re really interested in.
Q: Retail comes to mind for seasonal work, but should people think more broadly? What other industries hire for the holidays?
A: Event planning and management, fund-raising, travel, customer service and sales fields all tend to hire for seasonal jobs.
Q: When it comes to seasonal work, what should people know about hours and availability?
A: Night and weekend hours are often a key requirement of seasonal jobs, whether you’re working onsite or from home. The ‘season’ for holiday-related jobs tends to run from October through at least early January, so you’ll need to be available during those months.
Q: What other opportunities are available?
A: There are also plenty of temporary flexible jobs that aren’t necessarily ‘seasonal’ but are available for short-term work, so people don’t have to limit themselves to only holiday-related jobs. Jobs like associate blogger, test center administrator, data entry assistant, human resources clerk and marketing assistant are hiring as part-time temporary jobs.
— Retail: Target announced it would bring on 120,000 seasonal employees, a 20 percent increase from 2017. Kohl’s is looking for 90,000 temporary employees while Macy’s is adding 80,000.
— Delivery: All those online purchases need to be shipped. FedEx is hiring 55,000 seasonal employees, while UPS is looking to hire 100,000 seasonal employees.
Seasonal positions, both full- and part-time, can lead to regular full-time employment. For example, the seasonal positions at UPS — primarily package handlers, drivers and driver helpers — have long been an entry point for permanent employment there. Many UPS executives, including CEO David Abney and other members of the company’s senior leadership team, started their UPS careers as part-time employees.