A seasonal job isn’t a new type of work for many people, especially those who live in vacation towns where seasonality is a part of the town or city’s culture. It’s an essential part of the economy to sustain high activity levels in our country’s regions. While permanent work may be on most people’s agenda, the experiences during seasonal work can last a lot longer than the season itself.
Seasonal jobs, although short, can offer big rewards in the experience provided, the money to be made, an opportunity to see multiple parts of the U.S. in their primes. While rewarding, finding the right seasonal job isn’t always easy, and there are many things to consider before you take the leap. I’m diving into some of the basics here so you can make an informed decision and learn about the fantastic opportunities that await you.
What is a seasonal job?
Seasonal jobs come in different types, can be found in various locations, and vary in length. The main thing to know about a seasonal job is that it’s temporary and frequently pays a higher rate than your typical year-round 9-5 job, although this varies significantly from place to place.
Seasonal jobs are usually easier to jump into as they don’t require intensive training as a full-time position does. Your employer, of course, wants you to be successful, but much of your training will likely be completed by simply diving right in.
Seasonal jobs are tied to places that need extra support during busy times, so when you’re working in a town for only three months, you’ve got to be ready to learn quickly. This work could be at a restaurant, a resort, or a retail store. They extend beyond cashiers and food service positions because other areas of a business like transportation and inventory will see a boost too. It really depends on the town, its attractions, and the seasons in which they thrive. Coming in with an open mind and flexible, can-do attitude will be a strong recipe for success.
Where are seasonal jobs typical?
In seasonal towns, they experience an influx of visitors based on their “prime” visiting months, and as such, they need workers to support the tourism. These towns can’t sustain the jobs throughout the year, so seasonal employment is the solution to allow for the rush in local businesses and attractions.
With high tourism rates come higher paying salaries, too, offering you the chance to boost your savings quickly. Although not every job will be tied directly to tourism. Some are specific to contract work or other temporary needs that arise in an area. Check out these stats on where seasonal jobs are most likely to be found and in what fields.
Seasonal jobs don’t always last for a true season; they can be as temporary as working for the Christmas & New Years’ holiday “season”. You’ll find seasonal jobs like this to be common at major retailers such as Kohl’s, Amazon, UPS, Target, and more and in many parts of the country.
Winter & Summer Are Prime Time
The most common seasons are winter and summer, but this varies with the region. For example, a seasonal job in Cape Cod would run through the short-lived season of June through late August. Come winter, and you can head over to Aspen and find a new gig, thus giving you a solid year of experience and plentiful income – AdventureEXP can help secure that for you too. There are jobs to be found between these two seasons, though; it just depends on where you’re looking.
Summer brings many states into pleasant weather for enjoying lakes and other water features, not just the oceans in coastal towns. Northern Ohio, for example, sees a massive influx of anglers, boaters, and party people on Lake Erie’s islands – most notably Put-In-Bay. Vermont and New Hampshire pull in thousands of skiers and snowboarders for the winter months and need seasonal workers’ support because of their limited population sizes.
Event-based seasonal jobs are easy to come by as well – think concerts, local trade shows, and more. These jobs often require little training and might be more accessible than a longer job in a new city. It’s also an excellent way to dip your toes in the water and see if you’re interested in the fast-paced, short-term kind of work that comes with seasonal and temporary work.
How do you find a seasonal job?
The most straightforward place to start searching for a seasonal job is by checking online job boards, resort websites, and other sources on the internet. This approach will give you an idea of the availability, any prerequisites, and how pay compares in different locations.
As you expand your search, though, it becomes more challenging to plan transportation, arrange accommodations, and understand the local nuances of working in a different place than home. While job boards give you descriptions and contact information, there is no support guarantee as you take the seasonal-job leap.
When you’re searching for work with giant resorts or corporations that host tons of jobs, direct support is hard to come by. While they might have experience offering seasonal work, they may not support you as heavily during the process or care about the quality of your experience; you’re often just a person filling an opening.
How will you be supported during your experience?
Facebook groups and other online platforms can be sources for answers to the many questions you might have, but there is nothing like having a dedicated team on your side. Housing is sometimes provided with location-dependent seasonal jobs, along with insurance and unique perks (like an entry pass into the resort where you work). In some cases, you’ll have to figure these details out on your own, but having support along the way can ease the struggle.
AdventureEXP ensures its participants have a successful experience abroad by providing support from the beginning until the end. Not only do they have close relationships with their employers, but they also make sure to be your advocate in any problematic situations that you come across. It’s not always easy jumping across the country and trying to work with a brand new team – AdventureEXP gets that.
Benefits of a Seasonal Position
A seasonal job isn’t for everyone, but those excited by a challenge and a new experience will reap this type of work’s rewards. There is much more flexibility and learning that goes with seasonal work than your typical full-time position.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Flexibility – work in multiple places throughout the year
- Gaps – Have time off in between seasons for other work or studies
- Good Pay – The intensity of the seasonal rush means more money in your pocket
- Good Experience – Get hands-on experience faster in a seasonal position vs. a year-round, 9-5 style position
- Travel – Experience new destinations that might be unobtainable without a seasonal position
- Career Exploration – Take time to focus on something other than college and higher education to shape your future career plans
Should you put a seasonal job on your resume?
It’s something I’ve debated in the past with my resume as I wondered what someone would think of the seasonal work I did in Ohio. While it might seem like a short stint in a resort doesn’t deserve recognition on your resume, it brings more rewards than you might think.
There are a few things to highlight with a seasonal job, the most notable being that you can handle the rigor of the seasonal rush in tourism. This is no small feat and shows employers that you can manage any “busy season” at your typical 9-5 job. You can walk away with more experience than a slowed-down, full-time position that goes through months of training before putting you in the ringer.
Another point of recognition is that you can bring a broader perspective to your next position, mainly if you’ve worked multiple seasonal jobs. Your experience may have been shorter than a long-term job, but you were exposed to many environments and teams, making your adaptability an asset for a company. Don’t be shy to highlight this.
A seasonal job offers many benefits, from an opportunity to reexamine your career goals to quick income that bolsters your savings. Having the support to take on this type of work is crucial to the success of your experience. Make sure to do your research, thinking about where you want to work and what kind of work interests you. Then you can work with a provider to take the leap and experience something new!