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The Best Seasonal Jobs of 2013, and How They Can Help Your Career

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woman excited with present

Job searchers, freelancers, the underemployed, the gainfully employed — sometimes it seems like everyone could use extra cash during the holiday season.

The team at CareerCast, a leading career resource and job database, has issued its annual Best Seasonal Jobs report, highlighting the top temporary positions available this time of year.

The 2013 list includes:

  1. Santa Claus
  2. Retail Salesperson
  3. Material Recording Clerk
  4. Parcel Delivery
  5. Personal Shopper
  6. Photographer
  7. Chef
  8. Volunteer

(Click here to Tweet this list.)

It’s no surprise the Santa gig makes an appearance on the list, but we are a little surprised that Saint Nick is tops. Is it the hours (presumably great), the pay (presumably not great) or something else? Spreading Christmas cheer? Working with kids? It can’t be the parents…

Not all seasonal jobs are created equal. Some may be better for your long-term prospects. Other seasonal posts may be desperate enough for employees that they could be more likely to hire quickly, saving you some of your valuable time.

How do you choose?

“The real question is: Why are you looking for a seasonal job?” asks Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. According to Lee, anyone who’s mainly looking for extra income can choose freely, but if you have hopes of turning the temporary gig into a full-time position, your options are limited. Many jobs on the list “tend to be holiday-only,” Lee says.

Still, there are exceptions. UPS, for example, considers holiday help for long-term employment, presumably evaluating workers’ performance during the busy season. “Almost like an internship,” Lee says.

Other benefits of seasonal employment

Beyond permanent positions and extra paychecks, there are other ways to maximize a seasonal job opportunity.

“The key here is to look at transferable skills,” Lee says.

One example: A marketing professional looking to advance her career may take on a retail position, then volunteer her skills for marketing initiatives within the store, effectively “filling in [her] resume, staying active [in the industry].”

A culinary student could log professional hours during the holiday season, which might fall during her school break. That means real-life experience that doesn’t conflict with a study schedule.

See the full report here. As a bonus, each job listed includes available positions.

So, who’s ready to play Santa this year?

Cassie Nolan is the blogger behind Alternative Badassery, “A creative guide to being good at life,” where she covers career, writing and health topics. She also regularly disseminates awesome on Facebook and Twitter.

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