I worked a part-time job doing seasonal holiday help at a major department store once. Actually, I should say I did it four times – as in I lasted four days on the job.
Yeah, working my fingers raw peeling thousands of tiny price stickers off tags and crouching on my knees sorting stacks of clothing was bad enough. But it was the frazzled, yelling managers and brutally rude customers that finally did me in.
If you’re tough enough to work retail for the holidays, I bow before your greatness.
But if you’re looking for a gig outside the sales floor, Forbes magazine has compiled the best-paying ones. The salaries given are national estimates, so you can expect them to be a little lower in the Buffalo Niagara market, but it’s still a good indication of where you can expect to find the bigger bucks.
• Marketing coordinator, $52 per hour. Advertisers go into overdrive this time of year.
Holiday ad campaigns are starting earlier than ever (Kmart aired its first holiday commercial in September), so if you’re looking in this field, you’d better get cracking. As a coordinator, you’d help on seasonal campaigns and help organize branding events.
• Seasonal recruiter, $25 per hour. Who do you think is filling all those seasonal jobs? These folks help recruit, vet and hire workers.
• Production designer, $21 per hour. Someone’s got to design all those holiday cards and party invitations.
• Social media assistant, $17 per hour. You spend all your time on Twitter and Facebook anyway, why not get paid for it?
In this position, you’ll engage customers on a company’s Twitter feed or Facebook page. You might field questions, thank customers for positive mentions or apologize for (and help address) negative feedback. You’ll also use each medium to advertise the company’s products and services and build its brand.
• Marketing research surveyor, $17 per hour. These are the people who collect and evaluate information about consumers to help companies understand consumer trends. They’re the ones trying to figure out “What’s your household income, how do you spend it, and how can my company or client get a piece of it?”
• Seasonal operations professional, $17 per hour. This person is at the heart of “back-of-the-house” operations, supporting a company’s employees, customers and vendors.
• Customer service reps, $15 per hour. Assist customers with questions and complaints over the phone, via email and social media, or during live online chats.
• Photographers, $14 per hour. Whether you’re taking photos at holiday parties, taking family portraits for holiday cards or shooting commercially for holiday catalogs or campaigns, your skills will be in higher demand.
• Decorator, $14 per hour. Stores need help with window displays, restaurants need to be transformed into magical holiday destinations, and companies need people decking their halls (and lobbies).
There are even regular people (seriously, this is true) who hire interior decorators to put up their Christmas trees, decorate their homes and string lights on their trees outside. You’ll be needed to take it all down again when the season’s over, too.