Times are tough for a lot of people. A seasonal job can be the perfect option for anyone who wants a few paycheques to hold them over until they find the perfect job, or for those who’d like to supplement their income with some work on the side ahead of the holidays.
“If past years are any indication, we expect that number to increase in the coming weeks,” said Sheryl Boswell of Monster Canada.
Even though the site doesn’t usually see a spike in job searches during the latter part of the year, Boswell thinks that could translate to “less competition for seasonal jobs and therefore increased potential” to land one of them.
The peak times for job seekers on Monster.ca are typically January, March and September.
You could also be in luck if you’d like a more permanent placement, according to a survey this fall by staffing firm OfficeTeam.
It found one in five HR (human resource) leaders plans to hire in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a great time to look for a new opportunity,” said Lara Dodo, regional vice-president at staffing agency Robert Half.
Dodo thinks as the new year approaches, people start to reflect on their careers and hand in resignations.
Those positions will need to be filled.
For roles like receptionists and executive assistants, holiday back-fill may be needed as staff book final vacation days of the year (especially at companies that have “use it or lose it” policies).
“You never know who’s hiring…and where that temporary opportunity may lead you.”
7 best industries to target for a seasonal job
“The best way to get extra cash — retail,” said Darryl Moore, vice-president of the Executrade recruiting agency which has offices in B.C. and Alberta.
As stores gear up for the holiday shopping season, getting a job as a cashier or salesperson at a store is one of the easiest options.
It’s also one of the five industries with the most jobs posted on Monster.ca. The other four that do the most hiring are engineering, accounting, finance and manufacturing.
Unlike those, Moore points out retail doesn’t require much training.
“And no hard feelings leaving if it’s not for you.”
- Shipping and packaging
Amazon.ca is hiring more than 2,000 seasonal employees in B.C. and the Greater Toronto Area (specficially Brampton, Milton, Mississauga, New Westminster, and Delta).
The new hires will work at “fulfillment centres, where customers’ orders are filled and shipped out for delivery.”
UPS plans to bring on roughly 900 workers across Canada to meet the spike in demand leading up to the holidays.
- Hospitality industry
December is the busiest month for servers and bartenders thanks to endless Christmas parties.
Customers tend to be especially generous this time of year, which makes this a particularly profitable opportunity.
Even if you’re not able to land a job at a restaurant or bar (those might be a little more selective), you could try a banquet hall or an event staffing agency.
- Event management
Some holiday parties many need more support staff than others.
“This can range from caterers and party planners to A/V technicians and security,” said Boswell.
- Outdoor recreation
Ski hills and skating rinks need staffing too. One big job perk is that they often come with a view.
You don’t need to be an instructor or chair lift operator to land one of these gigs.
There are plenty of spots to fill in rentals, food service, ticketing and customer service.
For those who want to combine their love of the outdoors with a workout, there’s also snow shovelling for hire.
- Customer service
Any company that sells a holiday product likely needs extra customer service support during the winter season.
Credit card call centres need all hands on deck as well.
To support the influx of people who fly to see family and friends at Christmas, airports ramp up recruitment.
“Airlines may hire additional staff who are proficient in languages to assist in reservations or airline issues or disputes,” said Boswell.
How to turn a temporary job into a permanent one
If you’ve been hired as a seasonal employee but would like to stay on past the holidays, the best thing you can do is prove your worth.
“Showcase what you bring to the company and your new ideas that can help the business. Make yourself indispensable,” said Boswell of Monster Canada.
“The more the employer sees your value, the more likely they will be to find a way to keep you on after the seasonal rush has passed.”
Of course telling the manager you’d like to remain with the company helps too.
Job search tips
First, though, you have to get hired.
Aside from keeping an eye out for postings online, put out the word to your personal network that you’re looking.
Don’t be afraid to email a company to ask if they’re hiring — or to pick up the phone.
“For those who are brave and bold, absolutely make a call,” Dodo urged.
Just don’t dilly-dally too long.
And remember: you need to make yourself fully available throughout the entire season. Flexibility is key, Boswell stressed.
“Reliability is one of the biggest things an employer will look for in a seasonal worker.”