A seasonal job can be a good career strategy

For the person who is just starting their career or is in the middle of a job search, gifts can often show support and add an extra dose of encouragement when it’s needed the most.

Seasonal job opportunities are in full swing as employers gear up for the holiday season that’s just right around the corner. While some find job searching during the holidays stressful, this could be a great opportunity to stay busy, earn additional income and keep active in the marketplace.

Don’t make the mistake of discounting the networking perks a seasonal job offers, for example one person described their part-time job as a “lifesaver” because it gave her a reason to get up and out of the house. The exposure to being around people and having a routine gave her an unexpected boost to her spirit.

Another advantage a seasonal job offers is working with an employer who has the capability to hire you full-time. In the past, temp jobs were often viewed as means to make ends meet financially until a full-time position was found. Now, a seasonal job might be the strategy needed to open doors to a future career. It’s far easier to land a job with an employer once you are already there working.

Here’s how to make the most of a seasonal job:
Treat a seasonal job as if you were going after a full-time opportunity. While there might not be promises of a full-time offer, you can do your best to make a lasting impression with those in charge of hiring.
Managers tend to be more interested in hiring people they know, with a demonstrated willingness to work rather than bringing in an unknown candidate without a proven track record. A manager once commented that he “looked forward to seasonal positions because it helped him evaluate employees before he committed to bringing them on full-time.”
A seasonal job gives you insider information on how the company is managed, the culture and a personal view of how you would be treated if you joined them full-time. It’s a win-win relationship for both the employer and you in helping decide if your skills and interests match the company.
Use the opportunity to network with people, building rapport with other team members and managers who could serve as a reference for you. Build your knowledge of the types of skills needed to be successful and what the employer looks for in candidates.

The positive benefits can outweigh the downside of working seasonal jobs, but there are some things to consider – seasonal jobs come with an understanding that you’ll most likely be working at a time when celebrations and family gatherings are taking place. Be mindful that during the holidays the employer is leaning on your commitment to work as needed through the weekends or longer hours.

It’s human nature for managers to keep mental notes of those who give outstanding customer service as well as working with a team during a hectic holiday schedule while keeping a positive attitude. When the timing is right for hiring full-time, your efforts will not be forgotten.

From a career standpoint, working a seasonal job gives you some surprising benefits, it lifts your mood during a time when job searching can be lonely and keeps you current in the marketplace. You can also add the position to your resume, especially if it’s a well-known employer in your field of interest.

What did you learn from a seasonal job that helped move your career forward? What were some of the unexpected benefits you received?

Kim Thompson