There are few constants in life, but one you can always count on is the fact that companies need to hire for the holidays, and in particular the fall and winter ones.
While such jobs have been historically marketed to parents who want to pad their pockets for gift-giving, to college students who are back on breaks and to others with limited availability, seasonal and holiday jobs can be leveraged as an integral part of your ongoing career search, no matter who you are.
Here are some practical ways to make seasonal and holiday jobs work for you.
Get your foot in the door
If you choose your holiday job strategically, it can be the beginning of a career at an ideal company. Companies that aren't hiring full-time often ramp up seasonally and that could be your opportunity.
Take time to make a list of your favorite companies that align with your career goals and monitor them closely in October and November. Some may post seasonal or holiday roles as early as September. This will position you well to be one of the first people to apply and hopefully, be hired.
Signal your intentions
Sometimes you just need to let an employer know that you are interested in more, so if that's your goal, show and tell them! How?
Take the role seriously – Actor Konstantin Stanislavski once said, "There are no small roles, only small actors." The same is true of jobs. Job mastery is never a mistake and it can lead to a top career if you approach it with care.
Take on extra tasks – Stepping up for additional work can prove that you're a team player and can give you an opportunity to learn valuable skills that could in turn make you valuable enough to hire long-term!
Help others – If you see another seasonal teammate struggling, pitch in and help out. In addition to making their day, it will show your temporary employer that you have leadership potential.
"Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge." — Simon Sinek
Learn something new
There's nothing like adding a new skill to your collection!
To do that, consider choosing a seasonal or holiday job that can help you earn a few fresh ones to put on your resume. To make this an effective strategy, you will need to seek out roles that include skills that can translate to your ideal future position.
For instance, if you want to work in the field of search engine optimization (SEO), here are some skills you might try to find a matching job for: search engine marketing (SEM), keyword research, specific SEO tool proficiency, social media abilities and content strategy.
Plenty of companies love having help with social media and content during the holidays ... jump in and learn!
Pro-tip! Look at seasonal or holiday job descriptions and find ones that require skills that will help you make a case for your future swap.
Pivot after learning
If you want to make a career pivot into a new industry, the skills you learn during a holiday job can be your proof to a more aligned employer after the season is over.
After your job ends, inventory what you learned and start marketing yourself. There are plenty of soft skills and hard skills you can promote on your resume and LinkedIn to make a successful switch.
Know the target
If you aren't sure where to search for a role, there are two smart tracks you can take.
Traditional – If you're open to traditional seasonal and holiday jobs, major retailers like Macy's, Bath and Body Works, Costco, Target, FedEx, UPS, Amazon and even the US Postal Service hire seasonal staff, yearly.
Assisted – A staffing firm can help connect you with high-rated employers who are looking to find talent to fill seasonal or temporary holiday jobs. They have the relationships and will be happy to use them to find you the right fit.
Consider remote holiday jobs
If you're looking for a customer service role, there are plenty of call center jobs open around the winter holidays. These sorts of positions can get you administrative experience, which is highly valuable.
Also, successful completion of a remote role will let other future employers know that they can trust you to get work done with minimal supervision.
Extend your runway
Not all jobs need to go on your resume! In a practical sense, even if your seasonal or holiday job isn't directly aligned with your goals, it can extend your ability to keep looking by providing much-needed funds.
Don't quit your job search early just because you have to pay the bills. Be flexible and pay them creatively!
If you're looking for a holiday job or a seasonal position, Beacon Hill has a whole list for you to review (and you can even sign up for job alerts)!