By Mary Ann Faremouth,
Aren’t we all always on some kind of “Treasure Hunt?” The Fifth Step of the Faremouth Method, “Be a Hunter,” was born out of the many requests I have received through the years to find “Hunter” type candidates as opposed to “Gatherers.” When I think about it, all of us are hunting at some point in our lives for our own personal treasures or something to give us “More.”
That “More” can change with our evolution as human beings and the significant life experiences we encounter. We might want more success, more friendships, more love, more free time, more serenity, more training on technology, more material gifts, etc.
The Trick or Treaters I had knocking on my door last night seemed to want “more” candy. When I dropped only one Snickers bar in their bag, they looked at me as if to say, “Is that all you are going to give me?” as I went to put another bar in their bag. Yesterday, I went on my own little “treasure hunt” to Round Top and decided to go on my own type of quest for small treasures with the beautiful cool weather and visit all the tents with various antiques and craft booths. I really felt the hunt to enjoy the lovely weather was my own type of a “More” experience that made me smile.
With Halloween behind us, we have “the most wonderful time of the year,” as Andy Williams sings in his famous Christmas song, staring us in the face. We can also consider this the most expensive time of the year as well. That may bring up some serious concerns if we have had a salary reduction, just lost our job or have been furloughed.
Like anything in life, we can look at these times in one of two ways, just like in the famous opening line that I love so much by Charles Dickens when he says:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…….it was the spring of hope…….”
What hope? Where is the hope in this situation? I want to believe there may be a financial and professional silver lining that you may have overlooked. With the holiday season brings a great big surge of seasonal job opportunities.
While we traditionally associate seasonal jobs with the retail industry, other high-demand industries involving e-commerce also increase hiring during this holiday season.
The “More” ingredient in this situation might offer you an opportunity to try out a new company or industry on a short-term basis while providing much needed collaboration with other individuals to alleviate some of the quarantine time aloneness and isolation. It might also serve one to feel MORE purposeful or useful. There might be “more” to be gained than just a paycheck. For example, you may possibly learn a tremendous amount through the seasonal job training and even in the relationship area which may be invaluable to you for years to come.
I remember when I first moved to Houston in the 1980’s,
I worked in a small personnel agency and there was a big market decline. Being on a commission-type compensation basis, my income was severely affected. During the holiday time, I took a position with a “high-end” retailer and the benefits from that experience were many. I remember in my training session I met a wonderful woman who became a very dear friend and even became a bridesmaid in my wedding. The other advantage was that I met several people in this seasonal job who later became my clients. One gentleman happened to be a Senior Executive of a manufacturing firm and hired over 20 people from me the following year. The customer service training I learned in my training session in this retail company allowed me to transfer those skills into my placement job and I soon became one of the firm’s top producers.
To decide whether or not a seasonal job might be right for you, let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of short-term or temporary employment during this holiday season.
1. Good Reasons to take a Seasonal Job
a. New Company Experiences – A seasonal job may give you insight into how a different company conducts business and may also introduce you to people that might be future clients or prospective job opportunity affiliates. It can enhance your skill set and give you additional references to use on your applications. You are also “test driving” a new job experience that might give you the advantage of face-to-face contacts as opposed to online submissions that might advance your permanent job search.
b. Personal and Professional Relationships – A part-time seasonal job might offer you an expanded relationship base that might prove to be fulfilling in both your personal and professional life. These contacts might also be very good networking affiliates that might know of other opportunities you would never have heard of with your own efforts. What is that old saying,“it’s not what you know, but who you know.” If someone you meet on your seasonal job has contacts that might be beneficial to you, it might move you up in the process during these days of online submissions to have more of the Human Element contacts.
c. Resume Expansion – A seasonal job allows you to expand your resume with an enhanced skill set that might make you more marketable and stand out among the competition. Showing you worked in another area besides your primary skill set demonstrates to a prospective employer that you may be flexible to take on additional duties and have more of a multi-dimensional skill set that would be more attractive to them in a tight market.
d. Expanded Opportunities for Possible Full-Time Employment. If you go into the seasonal job with a mindset of “I’m going to give this job 150%” and your Manager or Executive Director sees your positive attitude and determined work ethic, you may be considered for a full-time position when the holidays are over. I have had many of my clients through the years end up hiring my temporary employees because of their willing attitude and dedicated work ethic. Make sure you always arrive early, stay late if possible, don’t take the entire time for your lunch break and keep a positive attitude that is infectious. People like to be around positive people. Your supervisor could have a spouse that might need someone with your background and a personal referral of someone who has seen the work performance of an employee is always worth more than a letter of recommendation.
2. Concerns of why you might NOT take a Seasonal or Temporary job
a. Your Free Time Will Vanish – If you are using a seasonal job as an addition to the full-time job, you might have less free time with family and friends. If you are unemployed and still looking for permanent employment, consider how this part-time position will impact your full-time job hunt.
b. Training May Be Limited – Many times because of the short-term nature of seasonal jobs, employers often don’t invest in extensive training or development for their short-term employees. You might have to jump right in and adapt to perform right away in an area that may be very unfamiliar to you.
c. Compensation Restrictions with No Benefits – Seasonal jobs usually don’t yield high dollars with impressive perks. There usually is not any health insurance or retirement benefits included in the package. Company discounts, outings, etc., may not be part of the package and you should discuss before you sign any contracts or agree to appear on the job.
Investigate what you might be hunting for to give you MORE in your own personal and professional situation during this holiday season. A seasonal job might very well offer you more true gifts that might not necessarily come in the form of wrapped presents with lovely bows. The gifts might be more intangible relating to the contacts you make, the relationships you form, and an expanded skill set that will set you apart from the competition and give you an advantage in a very competitive job market.
When we have the opportunity to combine the duality of full-time work in the field of our heart’s desire and the seasonal job that offers an entirely different set of possibilities, it creates an alchemical wedding of spirit, of sorts. When we aren’t able to do exactly what we want, take advantage of another opportunity which might get us to our goal through a different avenue. Recognize that a different avenue may be disguised and not all that obvious to us until we are able to get to the other side and reflect back to find that treasure which might have been hidden from you initially. Decide to make this holiday season one of the “Best of Times,” not the “Worst of Times” during this “most wonderful time of the year” by doing MORE to make your life MERRY and BRIGHT in your own search for that special treasure!
Mary Ann Faremouth is the founder and CEO of Faremouth & Company and a highly regarded recruiter, career consultant, speaker and writer. She has been a placement specialist and a leader in the national recruiting community and has placed thousands of employees since 1982. She was the 2016 president of the Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group and is a board member of the NASPD (National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors) and Authors Marketing Guild. She specializes in recruitment of professional, clerical, and temporary placements, with a variety of industry specific positions in various fields. Her expertise is in matching quality applicants with the right job, serving companies ranging from thriving independents to global conglomerates, tailoring each engagement to the client’s needs.
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, DC, and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations in various other industries, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. She has a keen understanding of the marketplace and its specialized needs and requirements.
Mary Ann brings a wealth of expertise to clients looking for the right individual to maximize and empower their team. As a consultant she is available to assist both the applicant and the client to quickly adapt to the New Work World. She also offers virtual and in-person workshops to guide individuals through personalized self-discovery to find new career paths. She continues to build her affiliations with recognized leadership organizations to best serve her clients and applicants by creating a network of highly professional contacts throughout the world. She utilizes her platform as a writer and speaker through her articles and affiliations to reach those in need of help, offering hands-on guidance to navigate this uncharted territory. (More information on www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 of the Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction by Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books by Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019) by Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018) by Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, teaching them how to tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction as well as the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann also showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.