It's all about the Benjamins
November 20, 2006 1:32 PM   Subscribe

What can I do over winter break to make some extra money?

I will be graduating in May and have taken a job to work in tax for a Big Four firm. The job is in the Tri-State area: New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. This past summer was an excellent experience and I learned more than I could have imagined. More importantly, I made a sufficient amount of money to last me until I start working for them this coming summer. I still dropped hints at the end of my internship after I received my offer that I wanted to come back and work during my winter break. I received positive feedback. I emailed a few people recently, asking in a professional manner if they could use my help over my break. I have yet to receive a response and now I have to make a decision. The market for winter jobs will close quickly after Thanksgiving and I need to lock some sort of job up.

Being that I have an entire month, I want to work a job that will pay ideally between $300 - $900 a week. If they respond to me, great, I’m set. If they don’t, would it be wrong for me to work for another smaller accounting firm? Would it be wrong for me to work for a company with my future employer in the office? If you advise against these, then could the Mefis guide me to a job that would not be of conflict? The hours of the job don’t really matter. I feel that training for certain jobs would be an issue since it’s only for one month. I know catering is a possibility but I’m looking for other options. I am open to anything I could tell my family. (No stripping please)
posted by thetenthstory to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
First, you're probably aware that nearly every retail outlet in the country is hiring temporary employees for the holidays. Most places would be thrilled to get their hands on a skilled employee like you. You might even be able to make extra dollars by working overtime during the busy holidays.
On the other hand, if you don't want to do retail, I would advise a visit to a temporary employment agency, like Manpower. To see which agencies are available in your area, look in the phone book under "employment agencies." The advertisements should indicate whether the agency is seeking permanent or temporary employees.
Temp agencies don't just hire secretarial workers. There are many temp agencies that hire skilled professional employees, like accountants. I worked for a temporary agency many years ago during my college breaks and I enjoyed the opportunity to get a feel for the culture at a variety of different companies. And since you're a temp, if you're assigned to a company that you don't like, you're free to call your agency and say you don't want to go back there. They'll simply find you a new assignment.
Good luck!
posted by Abraxas5 at 1:47 PM on November 20, 2006


I know quite a few people that worked for UPS over the winter break. They need all the help they can get to get all those e-commerce orders out. The pay is better than retail and you get a free workout!
posted by advicepig at 1:54 PM on November 20, 2006


All of these suggestions are great, but I am concerned with the ethics of working for a different firm over break while committed to another firm after graduation. Would it be okay for me to do temp work like that?
posted by thetenthstory at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2006


When you say "a Big Four firm", I take it you mean accounting or consulting or stock market stuff? Are you thinking you're going to get a skilled accounting job for just a month, with a competing firm? The more skilled the job, the less likely it seems that you can get such a short-term gig (though I don't know the industry).

Unless the firm is a direct competitor (so you could be suspected of spying on their methods), I don't see why it would be unethical. Is there something more specific you're concerned about?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:26 PM on November 20, 2006


Plus, you'll give them your resume with the other firm listed on it. If they have qualms about hiring you, they just won't hire you.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:27 PM on November 20, 2006


I would not work for a major competing firm. I agree that would be seriously unethical. I’m really looking to learn as an intern. I don't know how I feel working in another company’s accounting department because its either my future employer's client or the client of a competitor. Should I even try to do accounting work?
posted by thetenthstory at 5:15 PM on November 20, 2006


Go for UPS or something similar. Work tons of hours. It's just a month, go for money. Any company worth its salt in giving your relevant experience won't have you being productive in that short a time, so unless you're less than truthful about how long you're going to be there when applying, I can't see many being interested in hiring you. (I'm not an accountant, though, I'm just going with my personal work experience here).

In fact, your Big Four hiring company has hired you straight out of school, they know you're green, and they're probably planning on indoctrinating you in their ways of doing things. In a month with someone else, you'll more likely to just pick up bad habits you'll have to forget one you start your "real" job.

Better yet - enjoy your month off. Goof off, enjoy life, have some fun. You'll be sucked into the corporate world soon enough. No need to hurry into that if you don't have to.
posted by cgg at 6:54 PM on November 20, 2006


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