How to Transform a Seasonal Job to a Permanent Position
As the weather changes, so do many of the seasonal work opportunities available to job seekers. And while some applicants move from seasonal job to seasonal job (for example: ski bums in the winter, lifeguards in the summer), others look at seasonal work as a way to show their professionalism and work ethic to potential employers so that they may parlay the temporary position into more permanent work.
But, you cannot turn a temporary seasonal job into a more permanent one unless you are able to first find the job. So, start looking early. The best time to look for a position is up to three months prior to the busy season. This means that job seekers should begin looking for summer jobs in April; autumn jobs in July; winter jobs in October; and spring jobs in January.
- Popular summer jobs include a lifeguard, camp counselor, ice cream vendor and river rafting guide.
- Jobs associated with the autumn season include an apple orchard attendant or hayride operator.
- Holiday jobs are typically associated with the winter; examples include gift wrapper, retail and truck or deliver drivers.
- Spring jobs include a landscaper or tax preparer.
Once you have secured the perfect seasonal position for you, take steps to show your employers that you are dependable and hardworking. The key to making sure that your seasonal job has staying power is to show up on time, to be professional and to be pro-active on a day-to-day basis. Your efforts will help you to remain in good standing with your seasonal employer – and push your resume to the top of the pile when/if you decide to re-apply next year.
Here are some additional tips to help you to make a name for yourself at your seasonal job:
Be positive and upbeat. Treat your seasonal job with as much professionalism as you would a permanent position. Seasonal jobs can be intense because they require organizations to onboard employees during very busy times to meet high demand. You must show your managers that you are enthusiastic and ready to catch whatever tasks they throw at you.
Be flexible. Managers of seasonal employees expect a certain amount of turnover and schedule conflicts among employees; and, this can create a lot of stress for them. Differentiate yourself by being flexible about your available hours, and by volunteering to take on shifts for colleagues who cannot be present when scheduled. This will show your manager that you are dependable, professional and hardworking – and they will be more apt to hire you on for a permanent position, or hire you next season.
Be strategic. Make sure your seasonal job fits in with your long-term career goals by teaching you a particular skill. Make it a priority to learn as much as you can about your areas of interest with your seasonal employer because your knowledge will make you a hot commodity in the long run. A great example of this is a lifeguard who takes on extra CPR certification and safety courses to help with an intended medical degree. Of course, as you grow professionally in your career (or your schooling), you can work with your employer to change your role at the organization for a more permanent position.
Above all else, seasonal work is a great opportunity for job seekers to get connected to professional allies. Whether it be a past manager at your winter retail job or the pool director at your summer camp counselor gig, co-workers and managers at seasonal jobs tend to know others in their industry and may be worth maintaining relationships with – especially when you are looking for a reference, a connection to a common colleague or a job down the line.
So what are you waiting for? It’s already July, which means that it is time to start looking for an autumnal job opportunity before the position is filled by someone who is positive, flexible and strategic!
Start now to ensure that person is you.