Earn extra cash over winter break

As the winter holidays roll around, those brightly colored advertisements become more and more frequent, reminding you of the gifts your loved ones desire. You, of course, would love nothing more than to buy them these things. The only problem: money.

Winter break is an opportune time to roll up your sleeves and earn some extra cash. Plenty of companies want to hire temporary employees for the busy holiday season. However, many students do not know the best way to go about obtaining one of these jobs.

Career Center director Dee Thompson’s advice is to “call and ask.” Find out how to get the job you want.

Thompson added many of the typical holiday retail jobs will have been filled by this time, but it never hurts to inquire.

Jackie Harris, marketing director at Pioneer Place Shopping Center, said most of the stores at Pioneer Place start their seasonal hiring in October. Harris urges “the earlier the better.” She said the Pioneer Place Web site, www.pioneerplace.com, is a great place to start looking for job opportunities.

Thompson said at this time of year postal services, such as United Parcel Service (UPS), are always seeking extra help delivering people’s packages.

If a student does not necessarily need the extra income but wants to help out in some way during the holiday season, Thompson recommends volunteering.

What is the best place to find out about volunteer opportunities?

“The newspaper is full of different organizations trying to get in the spirit of the season,” Thompson said.

Thompson added the Career Center’s online database, www.career.pdx.edu, has many volunteer listings. Also, she suggested that if students have a particular organization they wish to work with, they should contact that group.

There all sorts of ways for students to volunteer at this time of year. Some ideas include working at a homeless shelter; visiting senior centers; donating gifts, old clothing or toys; and becoming involved in food drives, such as the Oregon Food Bank. Students can also contact particular organizations in person, like the Salvation Army.

Thompson urges students to take advantage of the Career Center resources.

“They don’t have to figure this out on their own,” she said.

The Career Center is located in Room 402 of the University Services Building. Students can call them at 503-725-4613 or drop by between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.