Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Want Xmas Job? Go for It!

Q.I had to take a lower paying job after my layoff last year, but I'd like to keep the holiday happy for my family. I'm thinking about taking a part-time job in a retail store during that season. I'm getting nervous about the economy and competition for those jobs. Should I try anyway?

Ans. Never let any news reports about the economy, jobs, or anything else stop you. True there always are some dire predictions about holiday spending. But  "The squeaking wheel gets the grease." John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, reports it won't be easy to find a seasonal job because the competition is stiff with so many people out of work. But he feels it will be even more difficult for job seekers who apply online or blindly blanket retail outlets with applications. The way to get those coveted jobs, he says, is to be more aggressive. Visit stores during slower hours and initiate face-to-face interactions with store managers.

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