5 Ways a Seasonal Job Can Boost Your Career

5 Ways a Seasonal Job Can Boost Your Career

It’s that time of year when nearly every retailer is looking for seasonal help – and while you may be on a search for something more permanent, it’s important to be open to other opportunities!

It has definitely been an interesting year for job seekers and while you continue to look at job listings on Style Nine to Five and beyond and navigate your next steps, a seasonal job may be just the thing you need. A seasonal job may even be the next step in getting your dream job!

Below are 5 reasons to consider taking on a seasonal role, and how it could be beneficial overall in your career journey. 

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1. It Can Take the Pressure Off

This can definitely be a stressful time of the year – whether we’re in a pandemic or not, and looking for a permanent full-time position in your field adds another layer of stress. While you continue your job-hunting journey, picking up a seasonal job can alleviate some of that stress. By picking up a seasonal job, you can continue your search for your dream job, while still being able to take of yourself financially. It can also take-off of the pressure of feeling like you’re not doing enough or that feeling that you’re not working towards anything. 

Real-Life Example:

I graduated in April, and while looking for work, I’ve had days where I’ve felt like a failure (which I know isn’t true!), but getting a seasonal job for the holidays at Indigo has taken off the pressure I have on myself and the pressure I feel from those closest to me. The stress I feel about getting a job, to support myself and start my career is largely self-inflicted, and I’m often hard on myself. However, the relief that this job has given me is rewarding! It’s also given me a sense of purpose where these last few months have lacked that. I love getting to help customers and add a little bit of joy to their day.

2. It Gives You More Time for Your Job Search, Projects, Side Hustles, and Self-Care

Typically, seasonal retail work isn’t full-time, so depending on your other commitments, you’ll likely have time that you can use to focus on your job search, side hustles, or other projects you’ve been meaning to work on. Sometimes when you’re in a full-time role, it’s hard to then take the time to search for that dream job you want. This is a great time to set time aside on your off days and really nail down your career goals. It would also be a great chance to work on your cover letter and resume with Christie Lohr, the Founder of Style Nine to Five, to get you where you want to be.

Real-Life Example:

When I’m not working at Indigo, I take time to look at any new job listings and work on freelancing gigs. I’ve also used some of my downtime to read through the pile of books I have, which is the self-care I didn’t realize I needed!

3. It Provides the Opportunity to Gain Experience and Learn New Things

The more experience you have in life, the better, and the more opportunities that you take to learn new things, the better. You may say to yourself, “I already worked retail a few years ago,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something new to learn and new things to experience. The world of retail is ever-changing – and there are so many different roles within the retail sector that you can explore. For example, if you want to learn more about the world of fashion, finding seasonal jobs at fashion-forward companies can be a great fit! Being a lifelong learner is important – and all learning counts, even if it isn’t directly related to your specific career goals.

Real Life Example:

I worked in retail both in high school and the year after, at two different retailers, but I am learning so many new things at Indigo. At the other retailers I worked for, I never got the opportunity to work on cash, but that is something I’m learning now. It’s refreshing to learn new skills and to continue learning, even if it’s a skill I might not carry forward to my next job. 

 4. It Shows That You’re Willing to Continue to Work Towards Your Goals

It’s easy to feel discouraged in a time of job searching (and especially in 2020.) However, by taking on a seasonal role, it shows other employers that you apply to that you are willing to continue working towards the goals you have (both personally and professionally) even through difficult times. If you can land seasonal roles that are relevant to the industry you want to get into, it can also show that you are creative in how you work towards those goals. You’ll be able to showcase how that role fits into the career you are trying to build, by tying in elements of the seasonal job with your dream job on your resume. For example, if you found a seasonal job at clothing company, and your dream job is to become a stylist, you can highlight how you worked on those skills when you’re creating your resume. Maybe you helped customers pick out outfits, gave recommendations on what looks good together, or showed them how to wear the latest trends. The skills you developed and worked on are great to add to your resume when you’re looking for your next job.

Real Life Example:

I strategically applied and accepted the seasonal role at Indigo for this very reason. It is a dream company of mine, and I had applied to a corporate position a few months ago, but unfortunately did not get that role. However, I chose not to be discouraged by that and thought of other ways that could help me get there! One of those ways being to work in their retail store.

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5. It Provides New References and Can Fill in Employment Gaps 

Depending on the stage you are at in life, you may have some gaps in your employment history, and you may not have an extensive list of references (or have current ones.) Picking up a seasonal role will aid in filling up that gap, and signal to employers that you are back in the workforce and are willing to get back out there. These jobs will also help in providing current references when needed – which is especially important if you do have gaps in your work history. In a year like 2020, while some hiring managers will be understanding, it certainly will benefit you to fill in any gaps the best way you can.

Real Life Example:

After graduating in April, my contract for my job in marketing was over, and I was really worried about being unemployed for the foreseeable future. I was worried because I didn’t want to be several months into the pandemic having worked on nothing professionally, and having to present myself that way to employers. It was important to me that I start to work on something which is first why I started freelancing as well as applying to Indigo for a seasonal role. I feel more confident about my current resume and presenting myself to potential employers. I also feel more confident about the interviews I’ll have in the future because I’ll have a great answer when asked what I’ve done with my time.

Bonus Tip: It Lets you Establish Yourself with a Company you Love

 Many retailers are hiring for seasonal roles, and while you could just apply to any of them, you could focus on the companies you want a future with. Are there any companies that you’ve thought about working for in their corporate office or at least companies you are most connected with? By looking for roles at companies you love or want to pursue a career with, you’ll have a deeper sense of purpose and be motivated by that goal during your day-to-day. As a bonus, you’ll be able to give extra enthusiasm in your cover letter and in your interview. Being passionate about the company will also make the job more enjoyable. Take time to think about the companies you love, and that you strive to work for someday in a full-time capacity, then explore online to see if they’re hiring seasonal workers.

Real-Life Example:

I decided to focus on applying for a seasonal role at Indigo since it’s one of my dream companies to work for. I would love to work Indigo in their corporate office someday – and I hope this is the start. I hope to continue with a job on the retail level after my contract is over – but either way, I believe that even having it on my employment history will help me stand out for those corporate jobs. I also have loved Indigo for years and was able to portray a lot of that joy during my application process, and it paid off!

When thought out carefully, a seasonal job can absolutely help you achieve your career goals and be a beneficial step to getting there.

Have more questions about how a seasonal job could benefit your overall career journey? Book a virtual career meeting with Christie. These meetings will help you gain clarity on your next steps, and how your cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile can work together to achieve your career goals. 

By Jenna Yeomans – Jenna is a marketing grad based in Hamilton, ON with a passion for storytelling, creativity and supporting small businesses.