Stores everywhere are gearing up for the holidays, and I’m already seeing different Thanksgiving and Christmas displays at my area Kohl’s, Home Depot and Menards. What typically coincides with the oncoming holiday season is the spending of money on outings, gifts and parties.

However, what if you don’t have extra money to spend on this year’s festivities?

Don’t fret just yet; plenty of retailers are about to hire seasonal workers to help with customer service, packaging, clerical, decorating and other work. Some of these jobs pay fairly well, while others are stressful and not worth your time.

Some of these jobs pay fairly well, while others are stressful and not worth your time. How do you find those jobs that pay the best and don’t make you a frazzled mess by the end of your shift?

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Start your job search now

You are most likely to snag the best work if you start your job search now, before most retailers have even started posting seasonal jobs. How can you find these unadvertised jobs?

Look through last year’s online job postings.

Peruse sites like Monster, FlexJobs, Indeed, Snagajob and Jobtomic for seasonal work by inputting the search terms “2015 seasonal” and “2015 remote.” Once you pull up a list of last year’s jobs, call or write those companies you like the best and find out if they’re hiring for this year’s season. It’s very likely that they soon will be. Some example companies include the following:

Duluth Trading Company– Duluth hires seasonal accounting clerk, pickers/packers, material handlers and customer service reps each year. Starting pay is $12/hour.

Amazon– This online retailer faithfully hires remote workers each year to fulfill orders from its distribution centers. The pay is up to $12.75/hour.

Kirkland’s– This store hires seasonal workers for at least three months, and sometimes even longer.

Kohl’s– Each year, Kohl’s stores around the country post notices and even radio ads about their seasonal work needs.

Land’s End– This company hires associates every year to take customer calls and help troubleshoot through issues. The pay is $12.65/hour.

Old Navy– Similar to Kohl’s, Old Navy posts opening for store associates and customer service reps.

Mattel– This toy manufacturer is looking for seasonal fulfillment processors to help out with gift wrapping, ear piercing, packing, truck unloading, etc. The starting pay is $11.00/hour.

Because you are hitting the virtual pavement long before anyone else, you’ll be more likely to secure lucrative posts that don’t exhaust your good cheer.

Even if a store is not advertising a need for seasonal help, it never hurts to inquire directly. In some cases, the shop owner has simply not had the time to go online and create a help wanted ad…but the need is probably there. By inquiring directly with business owners, you’ll snag positions without having to fight with 10 other applicants.

Check out positions beyond sales.

You don’t have to resign yourself to working in retail stores as a sales associate. Companies that focus on decorating homes, businesses, hotels, hospitals, shopping centers and festivals are also about to hire seasonal workers.

One example includes AmericanXmas, a business that hires seasonal visual merchandisers and decorators to help put up decorations. Around the holidays, seasonal workers outnumber regular employees by 3:1. Other decorating and festivity companies include Decorating Elves,

Another decorating and festivity company is Decorating Elves, which pays students and other decorating enthusiasts $12.50/hour to generate some amazing light displays.

Search for even better-paying positions.

Companies ramp up their marketing and social media efforts around the holidays, which means an increased need for skilled labor in those departments too.

If you have experience with marketing, such as affiliate marketing, that gives you an entry point for becoming a marketing coordinator with a retailer. These positions, at least according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pay around $52/hour. Even better, the work can be performed remotely.

Increased consumer traffic means more opportunity and a greater need for marketing analysis. As such, many businesses hire out temporary marketing research surveyors who can crunch AdWords numbers and come up with meaningful demographics and other data. Such work averages $17/hour.

Another position to look out for is that of a social media assistant. This position averages $17/hour and can be performed from home.

If your skills lie elsewhere, you could search for the following jobs using keywords like ‘seasonal,’ ‘temporary’ and ‘holiday:’

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Seasonal recruiter– Mostly an HR-based position, seasonal recruiter activities include interviewing applicants by phone and filling out their applications. This position nets $25/hour.

Photographer– Whether placed in front of a mall Santa or a store’s many displays, the photographer works to create festive images that can be placed into holiday cards, newspaper ads and flyers. While the initial work must be performed on-site, post-shoot editing can be completed at home.

Consider your ‘temporary job’ to be permanent.

Unless you are strictly looking for extra money for the holidays, you should always consider that your ‘temporary’ job might become a permanent fixture if you display the right attitude and aptitude. As such, treat your seasonal work seriously and do your best to maintain punctuality, an upbeat attitude, etc. Many employers use seasonal and temporary jobs as a testing ground for hiring much needed permanent and full-time employees for the entire year.

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