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Discount Diva: Hate your job? Now is a great time to quit.

I am so excited to be the one to tell you this: If you hate your job, now is a great time to quit.

After you get another one, of course. But that probably won’t be too difficult.

Jobs in Buffalo Niagara are easier to get than they’ve been in nearly two decades, and employers across every industry are desperate for workers. They’re scrambling and will snap you up in an instant.

If you’re overworked and underpaid, it’s a good time to negotiate for more money or more vacation, too. Employers ought to know it’s easier (and less expensive) to sweeten the pot and keep a good employee than to try to find a new one in this market.

I’ve never been more encouraged than I was while researching a story about the low unemployment rate, which ran in The News on Labor Day. Writing about tough job markets is depressing. Writing about tough labor markets is exhilarating. I talked to lots of the aforementioned scrambling employers, and to Maggie Shea, a partner at employment agency StaffBuffalo.

Every single thing I heard was great news for workers.

Companies are paying more, offering better schedules, and even ditching drug tests for desk jockeys. They’re courting retirees and looking to nontraditional populations, such as people with prison records.

One company pays each employee an extra $100 per month just for showing up every day on time. That’s an extra $1,200 a year! It’s the best way the company has found to grow and retain its customer service team.

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Schools used to require their substitute teachers to have a master's degree. Now, some will take a high school diploma plus life experience.

And drivers? Name your price!

Here are a few ways to get in:

• Shea’s favorite job posting website is Indeed.com. You can set up an email alert for certain keywords and locations associated with the job you want, and postings will be sent to your inbox daily or weekly. You don’t have to upload your resume but, if you do, employers can use it to contact you. You can also go directly to the website of the organization you want to work for or one of the many online job boards.

• Seasonal work. Retailers are hiring now for the holiday rush. If you want a part-time job, they’re looking for warm bodies on every shift to clean, stock, cash and drive. Just know that you’ll be expected to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve; maybe even Christmas.

• Temp agencies. At the very least, working a temp job will spare you having to tell a potential new boss that you’re unemployed, which can make you look lazy and unstable. If you don’t have a job right now or you’re trying to get into the workforce or a new field, temporary assignments can open a lot of doors.

Even in the current market, moving into a new field without experience is a tough sell. Temp work will make it easier for an employer to take a chance on you. Still, if you can swing an unpaid internship, you might have better luck with that in higher-skilled fields.

Don’t be scared. The job search can be intimidating and it’s natural to doubt yourself sometimes. Know that you have the upper hand here and use that to fuel a quiet confidence inside yourself. Go get 'em, tiger.

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