Inside the Bay Area job market

Tips on what to consider and look for in part-time jobs

1. If you're a stay-at-home mom trying to take on a few hours of work, take into consideration the hours you're available to work. Don't go after jobs that would suit an inflexible schedule.

2. Consider the skills you already have and the work you currently do. Think about how you can use those skills to create some extra work. For example, if you are an accountant working for a firm, you can try doing some light accounting work for local businesses and neighbors on weekends. If you have IT skills, you can do some extra work for friends and neighbors.

3. Know what you want - Determine what hourly rate is acceptable to you, what hours and days you're available, if you've got the wherewithal for a particular position (some may involve lifting heavy boxes or standing for the greater part of your shift), and if the location is viable in terms of fuel costs and transportation options (Will you always have access to a reliable car or a convenient subway or bus line?). You don't want to make a commitment only to leave an employer in the lurch during the hectic holidays.

Unexpected ways to land a part-time job

1. Networking within your own social events. Around the holidays you'll be attending parities and meeting new people, use this as a time to network for potential new jobs. This is a great way to make new inroads to take on some extra hours of your current work (as mentioned earlier)

2. If you have an interest in, or expertise working in a particular industry, the Internet can help you target jobs in that industry. Using search keywords on Internet job boards like HotJobs, one can narrow a search for job listings by the industry.

3. Check out employment boards at local universities as businesses often target students for part-time work.

4. Don't wait! People make job hunting a New Years resolution and will start looking for work early January. Get ahead of that competition by starting now. 2009 will be more difficult than ever to find a new job.

About Tom Musbach:
Tom Musbach is a career expert and managing editor for Yahoo! HotJobs, where he directs the creation and production of editorial content focused on a wide range of employment topics, from resume and interview tips to salary negotiation and management issues. He earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and a BA in English from Yale University.

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