By Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Monster Contributing Writer
Working in retail does not necessarily mean that every day is the same. If you're looking to add some excitement to your retail career or earn some extra cash with an out-of-the-ordinary job, there are plenty of seasonal opportunities that go beyond ringing cash registers and stocking shelves. While all positions are not the same, consider one of the following cool temporary jobs. You may even decide to make seasonal work your career.
Characters and Entertainers
For years, people have told you that something about you seems familiar. Perhaps it's a twinkle in your eye or a laugh that reminds them of something from their childhood. Maybe it's time to put that special something to use.
Many retail organizations hire seasonal characters to help bolster holiday sales. A good Santa or Easter Bunny can have a significant effect on store sales.
To successfully play a character, you need to love children, have a good sense of humor, be flexible and have a strong back. Only dependable candidates need apply. Retailers don't want to have to tell little Joey that Santa is off tending to a sick Rudolph.
Picture yourself incognito, skulking through the aisles of electronics as shoppers scurry through the store. Suddenly, you spot a shoplifter and radio for backup. Sound intriguing? Undercover security or loss prevention might be the ticket you need to exit your 9-to-5 job.
Stores increase security personnel during peak buying times. Candidates with police backgrounds or security experience are encouraged to apply. Before you fill out your application, be sure your background is pristine. Security personnel usually undergo extensive background checks prior to being handed the keys to the store.
This job is not for the faint-of-heart. You also will need to be agile, because you may have to chase down shoppers who haven't paid for their merchandise.
Have you ever walked out of a store because you couldn't find a sales associate? If so, you're not alone. Large retailers and specialty retailers are recognizing the importance of greeting customers at the point of entry, particularly during peak shopping times. Store ambassadors are strategically placed at the front of the store to welcome and direct customers to the appropriate department or salesperson.
If you enjoy putting together the pieces of a puzzle, this might be the job for you. Ambassadors need to assess quickly who can best service each customer's needs. Individuals with strong problem-solving skills and friendly, outgoing personalities are prime candidates for these types of jobs.
Wanted: Someone who can make angry shoppers happy while they wait in long lines the day after Christmas.
Joyful holiday shoppers often return to the store as tired, worn-out customers. They have bags of items to exchange or return, and the last thing they want to hear is a company policy read to them. A calm personality and the ability to multitask will make you a shoe-in for this type of customer service representative.
In-Store Demonstration Personnel
Are you glued to the TV when "Emeril Live" is on? Do you know how to perfectly fold an omelet? You may be ready to take your show on the road. All great chefs have to start somewhere. Why not as an in-store demonstrator?
Such people are in high demand throughout the year, particularly during peak buying times. They do more than just prepare and hand out free samples. They engage customers and create interest in the products they represent. They are in the business of sales.
Don't worry if you can't boil an egg. Stores need people to demonstrate technical products, such as computer printers and sewing machines, too.
This is a great way to get some hands-on sales experience. Candidates with an outgoing personality are encouraged to apply.
The list of cool seasonal jobs goes on and on. Professional seasonal workers know this is a great way to try out new things, make some extra cash and have time off to pursue other interests.