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10 places to find temporary work

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These behind-the-scenes jobs are important to places like FedEx, UPS and the post office that experience heavy volume during the holidays.

Offices. Many full-time employees take vacations during the holidays, leaving employers scrambling to find temporary replacements. By registering with a temporary employment agency, you can get the first crack at these openings. Many agencies provide searchable databases of such positions.

Companies also may need temporary employees to help finish end-of-the year projects. People with computer skills may have a leg up on the competition, but plenty of work is available, from answering phones to filing.

Garden centers. This is the time of year to purchase Christmas trees, garlands and other items to decorate homes. Garden centers need workers to help their customers with everything from unpacking merchandise to securing trees on customers' cars.

Restaurants and caterers. With holiday parties and increased family in for the season, restaurants and caterers need extra people for serving and bartending to keep things running smoothly.

The IRS and state tax departments. Soon after people finish celebrating the new year, the IRS and state tax departments begin looking for temporary employees to help process tax returns. These jobs are perfect for people seeking short-term work for a few months each year.

Ski resorts. If you live in an area near ski resorts, many offer extra work throughout ski season. Positions include instructors and hotel and restaurant staff. As an added bonus, you'll get discounted lift tickets, meals and other perks.

Pet-sitting services. Pet owners who travel for the holidays don't always want to board their dogs or cats with vets, prefering instead to leave their animals at home. Look into working for a certified pet-sitting service, where you could be hired to stop in three times a day or actually live in an owner's home to take care of a beloved pet.

Concerts and sporting events. Special-events positions offer the opportunity to work at concerts and sporting events planned around the holidays or throughout they year. Jobs range from ushering to working at food counters. Some locations have private VIP suites where you may find work as a server.

Mystery-shopper services. Having to work in a crowded mall during the holidays can turn even the most cheerful soul into a Scrooge. But in retail, the customer always comes first. Stores hire mystery shoppers to pose as regular customers and report back about the service they receive.

Next: Job opportunities often pop up in unexpected places.
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