Seasonal Work: Benefits, Types and Steps for Getting a Job
Updated July 22, 2023
While companies tend to hire full- and part-time employees, they may hire additional help during busy periods. Seasonal work is common among teenagers, college students and anyone who wants to pursue temporary employment opportunities. Getting a seasonal job offers benefits like extra income, work experience and the opportunity to explore interests in different fields.
In this article, we explain what seasonal work is, discuss the benefits of this type of temporary employment and share the different types and steps for obtaining a job.
What is seasonal work?
Seasonal work is temporary employment that recurs around the same time every year and can range in duration from a few weeks to a few months. Businesses that primarily have more customers during specific periods hire seasonal employees for extra help during their busiest times. While seasonal work often stems from shopping trends within an industry, it might also be available due to weather conditions. For example, snowplow companies hire drivers during winter when snow is present while centers with pools only require lifeguards during summer.
Though anyone can work seasonally, it's a common option among people who want to supplement their income. For example, an individual with a part-time job may choose a seasonal position to earn additional wages. Some high school or college students also opt for seasonal work during the holidays. Seasonal employment allows them to not only earn extra money but also gain experience with the flexibility to work in various fields.
Benefits of seasonal work
Here are some benefits of seasonal work:
Improves your resume: Seasonal employment allows you to learn new skills and work in industries in which you previously may not have worked. Adding this experience to your resume can differentiate you from other candidates by demonstrating your work ethic and diverse abilities.
Reduces gaps in your employment history: Seasonal positions can help you demonstrate continuous employment, which may help hiring managers view you as a more attractive candidate.
Supplements income: Individuals who work seasonal jobs can earn extra income. This money allows them to support themselves as they complete school or search for a full-time position.
Offers diverse schedules: If you prefer to work outside of normal business hours, seasonal work may be a good opportunity for you. Some positions schedule employees nights or weekends, allowing them to enjoy their time off during the week.
Offers full-time opportunities: While seasonal positions usually have a specified end date, some employers might be willing to extend your employment. You can improve your chances of obtaining a full-time opportunity by demonstrating your work ethic and clearly stating your intentions to work with the company full-time.
Types of seasonal work
Various industries require temporary employees during busy seasons. Here are some common types of seasonal work which might be relevant to your unique skills and interests:
Tourist destinations have various resorts, hotels and restaurants that cater to visitors. These establishments tend to hire seasonal employees during busy periods to ensure they can accommodate their guests. For example, hotels and restaurants in tropical areas often hire seasonal servers, hosts and chefs during the summer. You can also teach seasonal sports like surfing or ice skating in popular areas depending on the season. For example, some locations have more guests in winter due to skiing and winter scenery opportunities.
Temporary agencies partner with businesses to help them find qualified employees for seasonal work. Working with an agency may help you streamline your job search by connecting you with relevant opportunities. For instance, an accountant might partner with a temporary agency to find work during the busy tax season.
Retail stores usually hire seasonal sales associates in fall and winter because of increased shopping. For example, customers who want to decorate their homes for Halloween and buy costumes and candy for kids may visit a Halloween-related store in fall. Another example is Black Friday, which is one of the busiest shopping holidays in the year.
Examples of positions you may apply for include store manager, cashier, shelf stocker or gift wrapper. You could also work as a character in a haunted house or as a helped during other holidays. If you prefer working during the summer months, consider searching for jobs near attractions like amusement parks or stores that specialize in summer equipment or merchandise.
Some businesses require more help with delivery services during the holiday season. People often place orders online rather than shop in person because of the crowds or to enjoy time with their families. Individuals may also choose to do their holiday shopping online, which can increase a company's need for delivery employees during the holiday season.
Construction is another industry that often relies on temporary or seasonal employees. Some of the busiest times for construction companies are during the spring and fall seasons, especially if they work in areas with extremely hot or wet summers. Colder locations often require more heating contractors, so the demand for these employees may also increase during the winter months.
Related: 15 High-Paying Seasonal Jobs
Farms tend to be busier during certain times of the year, making the agriculture industry popular among those searching for seasonal work. Job opportunities may align with tasks like the planting or harvesting of specific crops. If a farm raises livestock, it might encounter increased demand among customers during holidays. Consider applying to positions such as farmer, landscape laborer or grain elevator operator.
How to find a seasonal job
Here are four simple steps that can help you find a seasonal job:
Consider alerting your business contacts, friends, family members and colleagues that you're searching for a seasonal job. You can inform them of when you want to start, how long you want to work and what type of position you'd like to pursue. Someone you know may have a suggestion as to companies seeking seasonal help and may even serve as a recommendation. Other networking strategies include joining professional organizations, attending job fairs and connecting with people on job search sites.
2. Apply early
Many employers list seasonal jobs ahead of time to prepare for their busiest seasons. You may improve your chances of obtaining one of these positions by applying early. For example, if you want to find work for the holiday season, you can look for and apply for positions during the fall. Though it's ideal to apply early, you may find opportunities by applying at the beginning of or even during the season. This approach allows you to fill a position a company hasn't filled yet or replace an employee who quits in the middle of the season.
3. Consider different options or past employers
Applying for various positions can increase your chances of getting seasonal work. You may also consider working at a place that has previously employed you on a seasonal basis. If your employer is familiar with your work, they may give you more responsibility or better pay.
4. Prepare for interviews
Preparing ahead of time for job interviews is a great way to ensure you're ready should you hear back regarding a seasonal position. You can begin preparing by researching the companies you've applied with and by practicing answering common interview questions. Another way to prepare is to have a mock interview with a friend or family member and ask for feedback on your performance. Try to appeal to companies seeking seasonal employees by emphasizing your adaptability and eagerness to learn.
Tips for success at your seasonal job
Once you obtain a seasonal job, consider implementing these tips to improve your chances of having a good experience:
Treat your job as a permanent position
While a seasonal job is temporary, consider treating it as a permanent position. This mindset allows you to adequately perform your duties and create a good impression among supervisors and colleagues. Maintaining a good work ethic can help you receive recommendations for your employer or even receive an offer to be a full-time employee.
Keep your schedule flexible
Consider structuring a flexible schedule so that you can work when your temporary employer requires additional help. If you have another employer, you can inform both employers of the schedules you have for each job. If you're working a seasonal job alongside a permanent position, you may want to prioritize your full-time work to maintain stability.
If you want to learn new skills while you work at a seasonal job, consider asking as many questions as you can. Many supervisors and colleagues are willing to help seasonal employees with their tasks and provide additional training. By learning more about the job and industry, you can improve your resume and prepare for future full-time positions.
Explore more articles
- Can You Get a Pharmacy Tech Job Without Being Certified?
- 15 Alternative Dental Hygienist Career Opportunities
- How To Become an International Real Estate Agent in 6 Steps
- 11 Jobs You Can Get With a Culinary Degree (Plus Salaries)
- 12 Pros and Cons of Being a Tanker Truck Driver
- How To Start a Career in IT in 9 Steps (Plus Career Paths)
- 15 Jobs You Can Get With a General Studies Degree
- How To Become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist (With Job Details)
- FAQ: What's a PCA and Where Do They Work?
- How To Become a Marine Electrician
- How To Become a Plus-Size Model in 3 Steps
- What Does a Partnership Manager Do? (Plus Skills and Traits)