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The Burrow – Make Ends Meet While Looking For A Job

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on May 24, 2011 in Career Path

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NestingMost animals instinctively know to keep their homes stocked with food for a rainy day or unusually cold winter. While looking for a job, it can be hard to find alternative ways to make money. Your nest may be left empty because you can’t find a way to keep it warm and full of the nutrients you need. However, while you are looking for full-time employment, there is a way to work from the convenience of your own home, on your own time. Drum roll please, here comes a solution. Start freelancing for some extra cash! There are plenty of journals, newspapers, and blogs hiring freelancers on a regular basis. Here are three steps to help you find a writing position that is right for you.

Area of Interests or Expertise

If there are many freelance opportunities available, try to narrow down your interests. What subjects would you be interested in writing about? Do you have educational qualifications or experience to write about it those topics? In the age of Google search, you can probably write about any topic. However, it is important to be able to sell your resume and experience to a journal editor. Why would you be able to write about a particular subject?

Sometimes it’s best to take what you get. Even if you only find a blog, completely unrelated to your interests, offer to write for it. Some money is better than nothing, right? Plus, once you get your foot in the freelance writing door, it will be easy to find other writing opportunities in the future.

Find relevant writing samples

Once you decide who/what you would like to write for, you need to find relevant writing samples. Perhaps you already have relevant material to send. If you are starting fresh, make sure to look over articles or pieces in the publication. Pay attention to tone, style, opinion, and subject area. Try to make your samples fit the same framework.

Email HR Representative or Editor of Publication

You can usually find the contact information of a journal editor or blog webmaster on the company website. Send the relevant person an email. It is a good idea to include a cover letter, resume, and writing sample in your first email. Tell them: (1) how you found out about their publication, (2) characteristics making you a good freelancer, and (3) let them know your sample is attached. Try to keep the email as short and sweet as possible. You want to sell yourself as a writer, but ultimately, brevity and precision are essential to good writing!

Good luck, start stocking your burrow!

This guest post was written by Mariana Ashley. She is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Seasons – Winter Holiday Jobs

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 9, 2010 in Career Path

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The seasons bring a lot of change to the jungle. The heat of summer gives way to the crisp coolness of fall and then to the whirlwind holidays of winter. Holiday hiring is starting in high gear this year so whether you’re looking for some extra cash to put in the bank or to fund your seasonal shopping, here’s some job search tips on who’s hiring. According to a new projection from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, retailers will hire between 500,000 and 600,000 workers for the holidays, compared to 2009, when only 501,400 were hired.

Finding a job is all about timing and where you look. For part time holiday jobs, there are thousands of seasonal openings at a wide variety of businesses:

Retail Outlets – Whether you love Target, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Toys-r-Us, or Yankee Candle, lots of department stores and retail outlets look for seasonal help. In 2009 Indeed.com boasted a list of more than 23,000 holiday job openings. Refine your search to listings in your area and you’ll be able to locate lots of great seasonal positions close to your home. They are looking for extra cashiers, stock clerks, customer service and other related seasonal helpers to assist with higher than normal sales and shipping volume. Some of these companies also offer an employee discount making the commitment to the work even more financially rewarding if you shop there.

UPS and FedEx – Delivery companies are looking for seasonal help because the work load increases significantly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. UPS adds additional package handlers at their drop off locations as well as Seasonal Driver Helpers. These people work variable hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas Monday to Friday since UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturday or Sunday. You don’t need a driver’s license because the driver will pick you up near your home. There are often a variety of shifts available including daytime, twilight, night and sunrise work hours. FedEx also has similar seasonal jobs available. Do your research online or call their toll free numbers for more information.

Caterers/Party Venues – As the holiday party season kicks off many of these companies are looking for extra chefs, cooks, wait staff and bar help.

Landscapers – If you like working outside, you can assist customers at a local nursery or holiday decorating company. Check your local listings for companies seeking assistant decorators for commercial or residential installations. Snow removal was a great source of income last winter in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast corridor. Many private neighborhoods contract with local landscaping companies who are looking to offset winter slowdowns by adding other services to their menus. Offering to shovel for a set of neighbors is a great way to ensure you’ll be busy and have income if you can’t make it into work and earn your regular paycheck.

Seasonal Attractions – Just like theme parks need extra help over the summer, places like ski resorts, skating rinks and other seasonal attractions need extra help right now. Think about the places people flock to in your area during the winter months and find out if they’re looking for seasonal workers.

Personal Assistance- If you’re a little more entrepreneurial, you can offer your assistance for an hourly rate to busy executives to run errands, wrap gifts, address and mail holiday cards, even dog walkers see a surge and need extra help with vacation coverage this time of year.

Share your holiday job success in the comments!

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