Holiday jobs easier to come by this year

DOWNEY - Preparation for the holidays is already underway at Stonewood Center and several other local shopping centers, where employers have been actively accepting applications for seasonal workers, especially students.While it was difficult in the past to obtain a job due to the economic downturn, many students have been able to obtain seasonal work and parlay a successful retail season into a permanent part-time job. The search for a seasonal job though, which may seem easier than finding one during the off season, doesn't come without its share of struggles. "Finding a job was a near impossible task up until a couple of weeks ago. It consisted of countless hours of filling out applications that I would never see a response to and a few trips to open interviews that would at times give me high hopes just for them to never call me again," said Cory Ramirez, who managed to get hired at the Lakewood Center Gap and also the AMC Theater at Downtown Disney within a week. Although landing not one but two jobs like Ramirez seems ideal to the standard work-seeking student, it doesn't come as easy as it appears. Constant communication with your desired workplace, professional attitude and attire, and a courtesy smile go a very long way in obtaining a competitive seasonal job. Most employers warn applicants that the job is strictly seasonal, where many will be let go after the holidays and some may have the potential to remain a part-time employee. While students may think they have to work extra hard to keep their position after the holidays, doing as you are told, without being told, can get you there too. "I always keep my department well maintained [at JCPenney] and always, always put the customer first and helping them with whatever they ask," said student Kimberly Chagolla. "During the holiday season, it is the best time to get hired because a lot of places will take students for help and if you work hard, they may keep you permanently." For many high school students of age to work this holiday season, discouragement easily comes from the idea that employers don't want to hire someone who is in school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For those skeptics, fear no more. Many employers, such as the stores at Stonewood, are more than willing to work with your schedule and will give hours that fit to your needs. "They work perfectly around my school schedule and the managers are always there to help me if I can not work on a certain day," said Chagolla. Seasonal jobs are out there, but clicking "send" on an online application and never following up is not going to ensure that you are hired. As tedious as it may be, picking up the phone and contacting a manager is a simple yet effective tool to get you working this holiday. "Just stick with it and keep calling everywhere you apply, no matter how frustrating it may be with the lack of responses and the countless dead ends," said Ramirez. "You just have to keep trying until it happens."

********** Published: November 4, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 29