Written by Phil Cerroni
Whether you're unemployed and seeking a full-time job or just looking to earn some extra spending money over the holidays, the seasonal employment picture is bright, according to a new report from CareerCast.com. While some seasonal jobs can certainly make this time of year merrier, other jobs are the labor force equivalent of a lump of coal in your stocking.
"The best seasonal jobs offer good paychecks, while others provide work well after all the decorative lights have come down," said Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.com. "But distinguishing the desirable from the disastrous requires a list not unlike Santa Claus's rundown of the naughty and nice."
Using criteria from their Jobs Rated reports, CareerCast.com offers this holiday season's best and worst jobs:
Best Seasonal Jobs
Santa Claus: The star of the season is in high demand. Becoming a Santa Claus can pay handsomely.
Retail Salesperson: The National Retail Foundation estimates that retail outlets will add about 600,000 new jobs this holiday season.
Volunteer: You may not make extra spending money working in a food bank or ringing the donation bell outside a supermarket, but you'll make some lives brighter.
Parcel Deliverer: Not all gifts arrive via reindeer-driven sleigh.
Food Server: Restaurants welcome an influx of guests during the holidays, which is why more than 45% of the part-time positions this season are in food service.
Candy Maker: Over 1.7 billion candy canes are produced annually and consumed almost exclusively during the holiday season.
Worst Seasonal Jobs
Santa's Elf: Elves typically earn minimum wage, and competition for the jobs is fierce, especially among high-school students trying to earn money for gifts.
Christmas Tree Lot Attendant: Attendants are exposed to the elements and the pay typically is low.
Snow Remover: Full-time jobs in this field are few.
Airport Help: A stressful work environment; minimum wage pay; long hours; and the likelihood of turning the job into full-time employment is very slim.
Taxi Driver: This job ranks as one of the nation's most stressful year round, and the likelihood of being robbed is higher than in any other position.