The holiday season offers opportunities for workers, even those who already have a job. Companies are hiring seasonal workers, and many will struggle to find enough people to fill open positions.
That puts the ball squarely in the hands of those considering taking a seasonal position. If you're out of work, whether to take a job with an expiration date depends upon your personal situation. For those who have a job, however, a seasonal job can make sense as a way to bank some cash. But that's not the only reason to consider taking a second job for a few months.
Even if you're gainfully employed, there are a number of reasons a seasonal side job can be a great idea. Consider all of these reasons -- and think about the impact taking a job will have on the rest of your life -- before deciding whether a second gig during the holiday season is right for you.
1. You need the money
Because companies are competing for workers in a very strong job market, wages have risen. The numbers are actually quite startling, with hourly wages jumping from $11.70 in 2017 to $15.40 this year, according to data from Snag.
In addition, some companies are paying hiring and other bonuses to people willing to sign on. That extra cash can be used to pay off bills, fund your holiday expenditures, or build an emergency fund. Even if you don't need the cash, the higher wages might make it worth your while even if you're just interested in adding to savings (which is never a bad idea).
2. You want to try something new
Seasonal work lets you try a new field. Maybe you work a desk job and have always wondered if you would like retail. This is your chance to give it a try.
Companies in a number of fields won't be able to fill every open position. That gives workers leverage they generally don't have, and it could let you land a position in a field in which you otherwise might not have been able to get hired. Use that advantage to gain new experiences, whether it's just for fun or as a way to try out a potential new career.
3. You're looking to move on
Seasonal jobs can become permanent jobs. If you're looking to leave your current employer in favor of another one, taking a seasonal position can allow you to make the move more easily.
If you're hoping your seasonal job can become your regular gig, make that clear when you take the position. Ask your potential employer if they offer a path from seasonal to permanent work (most do). If it does, use your seasonal employment to audition for a full-time role, and make sure you put your best foot forward.
Having a second job comes with stresses along with the extra cash. Working nights or weekends leaves less time for family, friends, and everything else.
Still, remember that it's only for a few months. If you take a seasonal job, do so for a reason, and make sure that you don't waste the opportunity -- whether that's a chance to save some money or to advance or change your career.