The holiday season is often the busiest time for many businesses, which means they’ll need some extra help in the form of seasonal workers.
Aerotek recruiters Shaun Chase and Mandie Millard give the scoop on what seasonal opportunities are out there and how to make the most of a short-term opportunity. A holiday job could be the temporary fit you need to earn some extra cash or even try something new. And you may be surprised by where else it could take you.
The bulk of seasonal contract jobs fall into two categories: warehouse jobs and customer service jobs.
“All warehouses need extra support for sorting and packing to ensure they get through the holidays without a hitch. Prior warehouse experience isn’t always a requirement,” says Shaun.
Customer service jobs:
Large online retailers and logistics companies have customer service needs. Customers want updates on orders, need help returning something or resolving other issues with their orders. It's the bustling time for live phone support, which means longer hours into late evening or on weekends. No call center background required, but customer service experience is preferred.
Companies across the U.S. also hire a mass of more experienced customer service representatives to carry them through the open enrollment season, where there’s an influx of calls from members who need help signing up for their benefits.
To be successful in a seasonal contract job, stay flexible and motivated. As simple as it sounds, just showing up on time, working hard and having a positive attitude can set you apart from other seasonal workers.
Call centers, in particular, are looking for people who can roll with the punches.
Take it from Mandie: “Since shifts can be based on call volume, candidates need to be as flexible as they can while giving 110 percent. Take it seriously, but don’t spread yourself too thin. See the contract through because you never know where a seasonal job could take you.”
Warehouse work requires the willingness and drive to show up and get the job done. According to Shaun, there is also one physically demanding requirement. “We ask during our screening process: ‘Do you want to walk around on your feet 12 hours a day?’ You have to be willing and capable to do it for a role like this.”
Some 12-hour warehouse shifts rotate, so you could work three days one week with four days off, and then your schedule might flip the following week. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for hours around a second job.
Seasonal work is a great way to get your foot in the door at a company or new industry. With a seasonal contract, you can try a position for four to five months to see how you like it, and once the contract is over, you have the freedom to decide what’s next.
If extra income is what’s driving your seasonal work search, many positions offer opportunities for overtime when there is extra work to complete. Plus, it’s a big deal for hiring managers to see seasonal contractors willing to go the extra mile.
“If you’re an absolute rockstar who goes above and beyond, you could potentially solidify a permanent job for yourself. I’ve seen some candidates turn seasonal temporary jobs into managing positions down the road,” says Mandie.
Though the holidays fall at the end of the year, now is the time to apply. Hiring picks up in early fall and actually declines in November and December. It can take about a week to get hired, onboarded and trained for a super busy time of year. Check out Aerotek’s job board, and keep your eye out for the term “seasonal” when searching for jobs in your area.
Seasonal jobs may be short, but if your track record is good, you can look forward to seasonal work year after year.
“Many people love this type of work, so when the busy season is upon us, Aerotek gets a lot of calls from previous contractors ready to come back. They just get excited about the work,” says Shaun.
And maybe you will, too.