Fresh off the hottest sales of the season and with shopping in full swing for the holidays, it’s nearly impossible to enter a store without seeing a Salvation Army volunteer ringing that familiar bell asking for a donation. If you’re on the job market, this year might be tough to donate extra dollars however, you may have time to volunteer and it can pay off in many ways.

1st Way: Volunteer

Seek out local community organizations that need interim volunteers to get through the holiday season. Giving back to your community during this season supports those in need and your job search. A recent survey conducted by United Healthcare and Volunteer Match reported that 73% of volunteers reported lower stress levels and 68% of those who volunteered  in the past year felt physically better.

Feeling good and lowering your stress impacts your job search directly. When you feel good, you’re more likely to network and interview more confidently.

2nd Way: Scoop up savings and a seasonal job

This season retailers, banks and consumer-focused businesses are hiring faster than I can finish this blog post. With personal spending up 2.6% from just one year ago, according to the Commerce Department, companies are staffing up and you can grab a seasonal job that has benefits both short and long-term.

Wells Fargo plans to hire 5,000 consumer loan and administration-focused professionals in the next 45+ days. If you’re a marketing professional, visit MarketStar or RedVentures which, combined, are adding 1,300+ marketing, product and sales professional positions some of which pay upwards of $100K.

As the aunt of four young, toy-loving nephews, I wish I had a few extra hours in my day. This season, smart job seeking parents can keep their skills fresh and wallets happier as one of the 45,000 people Toys ‘R’ Us is hiring for the holiday season.  Tech junkies, Best Buy has you covered with 29,000 openings this season. There are 150,000 retail-related season openings. Now that’s a way to make money, gain savings, and keep your full-time job search healthy.

3rd Way: Get involved in your community

An ongoing job search can become frustrating after months, for anyone. Given that it takes an average of 211 days to land a job in today’s market (CNN), everyone needs a way to keep their skills fresh. Staying engaged in your community is good for you and your job search.

One of my clients is an IT executive looking to transition to a new role. As we discussed his community involvement it was impressive to see that he’s the IT Strategist for the 20th largest church in America.

Community involvement can be related to your favorite organization (e.g. ASPCA) or hobby yet it can also be supporting an organization utilizing the wealth of knowledge, education and experience you have gained over the years.

During this holiday season keep your mind, body, and job search healthy using these three ways and stay in touch with the personal branding blog. We’ll be here everyday to keep you focused through this fun time of the year.