Mary Ann Faremouth

By Mary Ann Faremouth

The Hunt for Hidden Treasure

The Hunt for Hidden Treasure 150 150 Mary Ann Faremouth

Aren’t we all always on some kind of “Treasure Hunt?”  The Fifth Step of the Faremouth Method, “Be a Hunter,” was born out of the many requests I have received through the years to find “Hunter” type candidates as opposed to “Gatherers.”  When I think about it, all of us are hunting at some point in our lives for our own personal treasures or something to give us “More.”


That “More” can change with our evolution as human beings and the significant life experiences we encounter.  We might want more success, more friendships, more love, more free time, more serenity, more training on technology, more material gifts, etc.


The Trick or Treaters I had knocking on my door last night seemed to want “more” candy.  When I dropped only one Snickers bar in their bag, they looked at me as if to say, “Is that all you are going to give me?” as I went to put another bar in their bag.  Yesterday, I went on my own little “treasure hunt” to Round Top and decided to go on my own type of quest for small treasures with the beautiful cool weather and visit all the tents with various antiques and craft booths.  I really felt the hunt to enjoy the lovely weather was my own type of a “More” experience that made me smile.


With Halloween behind us, we have “the most wonderful time of the year,” as Andy Williams sings in his famous Christmas song, staring us in the face.  We can also consider this the most expensive time of the year as well.  That may bring up some serious concerns if we have had a salary reduction, just lost our job, or have been furloughed.


Like anything in life, we can look at these times in one of two ways, just like in the famous opening line that I love so much by Charles Dickens when he says:


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…….it was the spring of hope…….”


What hope?  Where is the hope in this situation? I want to believe there may be a financial and professional silver lining that you may have overlooked.  The holiday season brings a great big surge of seasonal job opportunities.


While we traditionally associate seasonal jobs with the retail industry, other high-demand industries involving e-commerce also increase hiring during this holiday season.


The “More” ingredient in this situation might offer you an opportunity to try out a new company or industry on a short-term basis while providing much-needed collaboration with other individuals to alleviate some of the quarantine time aloneness and isolation.  It might also serve one to feel MORE purposeful or useful.  There might be “more” to be gained than just a paycheck.  For example, you may possibly learn a tremendous amount through seasonal job training and even in the relationship area, which may be invaluable to you for years to come.


I remember when I first moved to Houston in the 1980s,

I worked in a small personnel agency, and there was a big market decline.  Being on a commission-type compensation basis, my income was severely affected. During the holiday time, I took a position with a “high-end” retailer, and the benefits from that experience were many. I remember in my training session, and I met a wonderful woman who became a very dear friend and even became a bridesmaid at my wedding.  The other advantage was that I met several people in this seasonal job who later became my clients.  One gentleman happened to be a Senior Executive of a manufacturing firm and hired over 20 people from me the following year.  The customer service training I learned in my training session in this retail company allowed me to transfer those skills into my placement job, and I soon became one of the firm’s top producers.


To decide whether or not a seasonal job might be right for you, let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of short-term or temporary employment during this holiday season.


Good Reasons to take a Seasonal Job


a. New Company Experiences – A seasonal job may give you insight into how a different company conducts business and may also introduce you to people that might be future clients or prospective job opportunity affiliates. It can enhance your skillset and give you additional references to use on your applications.  You are also “test-driving” a new job experience that might give you the advantage of face-to-face contacts as opposed to online submissions that might advance your permanent job search.


b. Personal and Professional Relationships – A part-time seasonal job might offer you an expanded relationship base that might prove to be fulfilling in both your personal and professional life. These contacts might also be very good networking affiliates that might know of other opportunities you would never have heard of with your own efforts. What is that old saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  If someone you meet on your seasonal job has contacts that might be beneficial to you, it might move you up in the process during these days of online submissions to have more of the Human Element contacts.


c. Resume Expansion – A seasonal job allows you to expand your resume with an enhanced skill set that might make you more marketable and stand out among the competition.  Showing you worked in another area besides your primary skillset demonstrates to a prospective employer that you may be flexible to take on additional duties and have more of a multi-dimensional skill set that would be more attractive to them in a tight market.


d. Expanded Opportunities for Possible Full-Time Employment. If you go into the seasonal job with a mindset of “I’m going to give this job 150%,” and your Manager or Executive Director sees your positive attitude and determined work ethic, you may be considered for a full-time position when the holidays are over.  Through the years, I have had many of my clients hire my temporary employees because of their willing attitude and dedicated work ethic. Make sure you always arrive early, stay late if possible, don’t take the entire time for your lunch break, and keep a positive attitude that is infectious.  People like to be around positive people.  Your supervisor could have a spouse that might need someone with your background, and a personal referral of someone who has seen the work performance of an employee is always worth more than a letter of recommendation.


Concerns of why you might NOT take a Seasonal or Temporary job


a. Your Free Time Will Vanish – If you are using a seasonal job as an addition to a full-time job, you might have less free time with family and friends.  If you are unemployed and still looking for permanent employment, consider how this part-time position will impact your full-time job hunt.


b. Training May Be Limited – Many times, employers often don’t invest in extensive training or development for their short-term employees because of the short-term nature of seasonal jobs. You might have to jump right in and adapt to perform right away in an area that may be very unfamiliar to you.


c. Compensation Restrictions with No Benefits – Seasonal jobs usually don’t yield high dollars with impressive perks.  There usually is not any health insurance or retirement benefits included in the package. Company discounts, outings, etc., may not be part of the package, and you should discuss before you sign any contracts or agree to appear on the job.


Investigate what you might be hunting for to give you MORE in your own personal and professional situation during this holiday season.  A seasonal job might very well offer you more true gifts that might not necessarily come in the form of wrapped presents with lovely bows. The gifts might be more intangible relating to the contacts you make, the relationships you form, and an expanded skill set that will set you apart from the competition and give you an advantage in a very competitive job market.


When we have the opportunity to combine the duality of full-time work in the field of our heart’s desire and the seasonal job that offers an entirely different set of possibilities, it creates an alchemical wedding of spirit, of sorts.  When we can’t do exactly what we want, take advantage of another opportunity, which might get us to our goal through a different avenue. Recognize that a different avenue may be disguised and not all that obvious to us until we are able to get to the other side and reflect back to find that treasure that might have been hidden from you initially.  Decide to make this holiday season one of the “Best of Times,” not the “Worst of Times” during this “most wonderful time of the year” by doing MORE to make your life MERRY and BRIGHT in your own search for that special treasure!