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    Posted December 1, 2013 by

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    The Avanti Group LLC Recruiting & Leadership: Holiday season offers different job opportunities

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you're looking for holiday work this year, think beyond retail.

    Mary Dickie is focused on the screen in front of her. “I’m looking very hard. I’m trying.” She is applying for work at Macy’s in the South Park Mall.

    There are questions about dealing with people, and what kind of work she likes. The single mother of three knows that right now is her best chance at finding work.

    “It would mean the world to me,” she sighs.

    She is not alone. The Charlotte Metro area has been mired in unemployment for several years. In Mecklenburg county, the unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

    Seasonal hiring may offer Mary, and many like her, the best chance at finding work in months.

    “Now is the time to get their name out there,” said Randell Darnell, director of Workforce Solutions at the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division. “A person needs to apply at several places and not put all her eggs in one basket."

    And the time to search is now, said Darnell.

    "Because employers are being picky, I would advise a person to not get discouraged and continue to look," he said. "If they wait until Thanksgiving, they’ve waited too long.”

    Black Friday has traditionally been the start to the holiday shopping season. In fact, the name “Black Friday” refers to the idea that a business will go from “in the red” to “in the black” after Thanksgiving, marking the first time a store turns a profit for the year.

    Several retailers in Charlotte have decided to not wait until Black Friday, and will open their doors on Thanksgiving night.

    CNBC is reporting that Target will hire 70,000 seasonal workers. Kohl’s will hire 53,000, Walmart will hire 55,000, and Toys 'R Us will hire 45,000. Numbers for North and South Carolina were unavailable.

    Retail is a great option for seasonal work, said Darnell, but he believes it’s important to think outside the box -- or about it, literally.

    For example, UPS, FedEx, Samaritan’s Purse, and just about anyone who delivers a good or service during the holidays will bring on extra people. Even hotels and restaurants are worth looking at.

    The bottom line, according to Workforce Solutions, is that there are no short cuts. Finding work takes diligence and a willingness to not give up.

    Then seasonal work may just be what folks looking for work have been waiting for.

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