So, you’re finally ready to take on that holiday job this year.
Maybe you have a better grip on your college course load.
Maybe you’ve recently retired and don’t want to go quietly into the night.
Maybe your 3-year-old daughter is finally in preschool and you’re looking to stay busy.
Whatever the reason may be, one thing is key – you want to find a job that is the right fit for you. Companies spend a lot of time, money and creativity defining their workplace culture (check out the three-part series we did last week). Even though you may only be at a seasonal job for about 4 months, you still want to be happy during that time, especially since you’ll be dealing with plenty of frazzled holiday shoppers. So, how do you figure out what type of seasonal job is best for you? Here’s some tips.
Do Some Research
An organization’s website is a great place to start to learn about their culture. This article highlights five corporate organizations who do ‘culture’ really well. Seasonal employment, however, is usually about retail and customer service positions. So what should you look for on a company’s website to make sure the retail outfit to which you’re considering is the right one for you? Let’s use Timberland as an example.
Before you even begin to read their job openings, you see this content describing their core values: people, value, purpose, passion. Then they outwardly share their expectations: what you can expect from them and what they will expect of you. Their culture runs true from corporate to retail and they are very clear about that. Oh, and notice the images. Not one of them is of an employee working the store floor or manufacturing an item. They’re all community relations shots. If your personal and professional values don’t align with theirs, don’t expect a happy relationship. But if you’re interested in community service, diversity in action and a robust commitment to innovation then maybe Timberland is the right fit. A simple web search and some light reading will save you a ton of time narrowing down your list of potential places of seasonal employment.
Know Your Schedule
Beyond the illegal, morally reprehensible and just plain distasteful, nothing will ruin your job prospects faster than not knowing:
- When you can start
- What is your availability
Managers and HR people (or whoever is responsible for seasonal hiring) will find this utterly annoying after having devoted who-know-how-many-hours into your application review, interview and reference checks. Worse yet, because you’re ill-equipped to answer these questions you might be given the least-desirable schedule available.
The smart move here is to examine two things:
1. When are you available to work
2. When do you do your best work
Sometimes these things will coincide, like if you’re able to go gangbusters after your morning coffee then perhaps a mid-morning to early-pm schedule would work. This is a great option for parents whose children are in school. Sometimes your availability will challenge your optimal production time. In that case, you might need to make a decision. Can you adjust your availability by moving around other things in your life? Or can you find the motivation to be productive at other times?
Once you have the information figured out, it’s best to walk into your interview for an hourly position with your availability printed out in hand. That way the person responsible for hiring knows you’re serious and has something concrete to remember you by.
Play to Your Strengths
Do your friends come to you to brighten their day? If so, maybe a position as a store ambassador (greeter) suits you.
Do you have a talent for stealthy sleuthing? If so, consider a loss prevention gig.
Do you posses a knack for public speaking? If so, check out jobs for in-store demonstrators.
These ideas all come courtesy of this Monster.com article.
We love the diversity of seasonal jobs. Aside from retail, there are thousands of positions already starting to open up in a variety of industries:
- Shipping and receiving entities
- Ski and winter vacation resorts
With so many to choose from, you don’t have settle for something that bores the pants off you.
Have any other tips for us? We’d love to hear from you! Send us your story below.