5 Sidelines You Should and Shouldn't Take For the Holiday Season

As the festive season approaches, people are rushing to stores to buy gifts and food for their intimate family dinners and holiday parties. But as fun and festive as these months are, it can also burn a huge hole through your pocket. The season of giving can put a big strain on your finances as well as stress, especially for middle class families who don't necessarily have a holiday budget. Fortunately, the holiday season also tends to be one of the busiest months of the year.

As consumer demand for products and services increase, retail companies and small businesses need more people to pick up the increased workload. Ultimately, this creates a lot of opportunity for people to make some extra money with a seasonal sideline. Keep in mind, however, that not all jobs created by the holiday season pay good money or even offer comfortable conditions for its employees. To help you avoid the utterly loathsome ones, here's a list of sidelines that you should pursue and some that you should avoid at all costs.

Delivery Driver

Paying as much as $140 per day or a whopping $800 a week, driving delivery trucks is a job that just keeps on giving. Since people are sending all sorts of gifts to their loved ones, it makes sense that delivery driver positions are more abundant during the holidays. Top carriers like USPS hire a lot of seasonal workers to meet this increased demand. Of course, this job is attached with some stringent requirements including a long and clean driving history.

Sales Associate

Another common job market that surges every holiday season is retail. According to a report by the National Retail Federation, the country's retail companies create close to 700,000 seasonal positions. These include store managers to mind the stores when full-time employees are out on vacations, employees to stock and keep up with inventory, etc. There's also people who work as clerks and distribution supervisors. Regardless, these retail positions have the opportunity to transition to a permanent position once the holiday demand dials back down. The pay rate for retail employees, specifically sales associates, range from $9 to 10 an hour.

Product Demonstrator

If you're extroverted and like to entertain people by handing out freebies, working as a product demonstrator can be your calling, at least until the holidays are over. Product demonstrators can earn anywhere between $9 to $21 per hour. All you have to do is demonstrate a product that the business sells and hand out samples to customers. Big retail chains, like Costco, are usually the largest employers of seasonal product demonstrators. Most products you'll offer to customers are simple and straightforward, like eggnog or cider, but sometimes you'll find yourself also selling something very technical or complex, such as a vacuum cleaner.

Worst Sidelines For the Holiday

Santa's Little Helper

Mall Santa is a symbolic part of the whole shopping mall experience, especially for children, and so store owners and managers are happy to pay the jolly gift-giving fellow from the North Pole. But it's not always the case for his little elves. In fact, in most cases, people working as one of Santa's little helpers get paid minimum wage. And in exchange for that few measly dollars per hour, helpers usually bear the brunt of failed photo shoots, demanding parents, and impatient children.

Airport Attendant

Holidays are the time when people are flying in and out of the city or country to visit family members and friends. While it's a pleasant time for these vacationers, the surge of passengers creates overcrowded and chaotic airports. Long check-in lines, the noise of crying and impatient children ringing across the airport, and people running around looking for misplaced luggage are what greets airport attendants. And for an average hourly rate of $11.50, this sideline quickly becomes a nightmare for those naive enough to apply for them in the first place.

Final Thoughts

There's a lot of opportunities to line your pockets with extra cash this holiday season. But before you jump into any job offers, make sure you know what you're getting into. Find a job that's easy, pays good money, and, most importantly, one that you enjoy doing.

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