I had the privilege of joining a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committee as a volunteer this past year and helping this organization raise money for scholarships. In the process, I worked closely with the concession staff where I learned how a part-time, temporary position, can become a full-time career.
On the first night of my rodeo shift, the committee captain told me, “You will be working with Mark tonight.” Mark was the bartender busily setting up for the evening. After the introductions, we waited for customers to arrive. I inquired about the rodeo and his position. Mark told me that he had been working for the rodeo for 13 years, looked forward to each year and was making great money. In between rodeo, and throughout the year, he works various sports games, events, and conferences for different stadiums and centers in the Houston area. Mark loved that he worked in various fun, temporary jobs. He could count on money to pay the bills, yet have flexibility to work other jobs. There was potential for ample tips, and provision for great networking opportunities. (Oh, and did I mention he did this full-time?)
I always have my ear to the ground, listening for great job opportunities in today’s market, so when I learned there were great options to find employment through temping, I took notes. Here’s what I found out: most of these employees work part-time for the month of March and are employed through staffing agencies for the rodeo. These staffing agencies will employ the same workers throughout the year in various concession jobs so workers schedules stay full.
What Mark told me next really opened my eyes! Rodeo and some concession bartenders make anywhere from $7-10 per hour with shifts lasting anywhere from 5-7 hours. The average bartender serves anywhere from 75-200 customers and collects tips each time. So, if you do the math, this temporary position could earn an average of $150 per shift. Imagine working 4 or 5 shifts and earning over $750.00! One of Mark’s most loyal customers is a CEO who returns each year to order drinks from him. Because of Mark’s excellent customer service, this loyal customer hired Mark at his firm last year and considers him an exceptional employee!
Now I am thinking, if I am among the many laid-off workers and I’ve been struggling to find a permanent position, temping full-time until I find my new career path may be an option for me. CNN reported that bartending schools and classes have doubled over the past six months and, “there are bartenders that make upward of $500 a shift.” Not a bad wage for anyone in a recession.
“Temping” is a great way to stay employed with one employer instead of jumping around from job to job while job searching,. Connecting with staffing agencies such as Aramark Regional Staffing or Command Center Staffing, can lead to positions in all types of industries. (For more positions, visit www.workintexas.com). Even if the rodeo is not really your thing, there are other service related jobs that offer excellent earning potential including local hotels and restaurants. Who knows, your best customer may become your future employer.
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Aleesa Janssen is the Hospitality Staffing Specialist for Workforce Solutions in the Houston/Galveston region. She is a trained chef and has over eleven years of experience in the hospitality industry.