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Work in the Winter: Seasonal Employment Opportunities

Winter is traditionally a slow season for seasonal work, with farm and construction jobs among those seeing cyclical downturns. That doesn't mean there's nothing out there: other types of work pick up in the cold months. Here are some avenues for work opportunities that you can find in the winter.

Retail
Most retail stores count on holiday shoppers to help them get into the black. With all that extra traffic, they frequently seek out seasonal employees. Retail jobs usually offer low hourly wages, but they often come with a handy employee discount that may help you to complete your holiday shopping. Check around your local mall or department stores to see if they are hiring, or check store websites for employment info. Malls often have a bulletin full of the seasonal jobs offered by various stores or by the mall itself.

Holiday Work
The beginning of winter marks the beginning of the holiday season. Several religions celebrate special holidays through the winter, and with these holidays come seasonal jobs. You've probably seen sitcoms where someone has to take a seasonal job as a department store elf to make ends meet for one reason or another. Those aren't just a joke: those jobs do exist!

Warehousing
Shipping and freight organizations are busy during the holiday season, and they often need workers in warehouses. Warehouses for big stores like Target and Kohl's and see if they're looking for help. You can also follow local staffing agencies on social media. They are often charged with filling these seasonal positions.

Package Delivery
Many parcel services also hire temporary help to deal with the higher than normal volume of packages to be shipped. You may be able to find a position in a sorting facility or as a driver's helper. If you have experience driving a commercial vehicle and the licensing to do so, driving a delivery truck may also be an option for you. Check your local UPS, FedEx, or USPS offices for potential openings.

Outdoor Seasonal Jobs
While a lot of outdoor work stops in winter, some outdoor jobs are just ramping up. When ice storms hit, many people find themselves in need of tree removal services. Snow means businesses need their parking lots cleared and people need their driveways cleared. Watch your local papers for these types of companies looking for help. If you're feeling entrepreneurial and have some basic equipment like a snow shovel or chainsaw, you might even be able to pick up this type of work on your own.

Winter is also a time when people are looking for firewood. If you have access to timber that needs to be felled and removed, selling firewood can be very lucrative. Offer delivery, if possible, to take advantage of the full potential market.

If you have a 4x4 vehicle and you know how to use it, nasty weather can mean big bucks. Many people drive around and pull stranded vehicles out of ditches for a much smaller fee than tow companies, or sometimes even just for a free will donation. Being rescued in a snowstorm can make people feel quite generous!

Housecleaning and Other Errands
Many people look for extra help around the house during the winter. Sign up on a site like Care or ThumbTack to get your name out there. Watch local swap sites for folks looking for a housekeeper, as well. The best part about this type of job is you can usually work around your current schedule.

You might also consider offering pet sitting, house sitting, or dog walking services through the holidays. Many people travel over the winter and need someone to keep an eye on their pets or home. You can find this type of work on www.care.com, as well, and word of mouth is a great way to get this type of gig. Put out the word to your family and friends. They may know someone who could use these services.

Location Independent Opportunities
If you're in need of a job you can do from home during the winter, there are plenty of opportunities. Check for work-from-home customer service jobs with large retailers like Amazon or with floral companies like 1-800-Flowers. You'll likely need a high-speed internet connection, a home computer, and a dedicated land line phone, but that's balanced out by a very short commute and the ability to stay out of the cold!

Tax Prep
After the first of the year, many people begin thinking about filing their income taxes. Tax services like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt often hire seasonal tax preparers after the first of the year to help cover the post-New Year's rush. Many of these companies offer courses so that you can learn how to prepare tax returns like the pros, and some, notably H&R Block, often hire graduates of their classes. On top of picking up a job from mid-winter through spring, there's also the potential to learn a valuable new skill.

Food/Drink
Restaurants and liquor stores often need extra help through the holidays. See if your local bars, eateries, or liquor stores are looking for extra sales associates, servers, or food preparation help. These types of positions are in very high demand around the New Year.

Use Your Creative Thinking
What skills do you have? Are you an incredible baker or a fantastic knitter or crocheter? Think of the types of goods people are looking for over the winter, like wooly, unique hats or delicious Valentine's Day treats. Come up with some unique offerings and sell them online at sites like Etsy or Ebay, or through social media platforms like the Facebook marketplace.

Winter Opportunities
The best way to find awesome winter seasonal job opportunities is to keep your ear to the ground. Watch for postings at the businesses that you utilize and in the local newspapers. Put your name and resume in with a recruiting service and indicate that you'd be happy to consider a seasonal opportunity. Sometimes, seasonal jobs make a great way to earn money in between jobs, and you can combine these opportunities to make up a significant income.