The other day I went to the hardware store to buy a furnace filter. As I wandered around trying to find one, I noticed that the store already had holiday decorations and Christmas tree displays set up. While the absurdness of having Christmas trees set up next to a giant Frankenstein sank in, another thought passed through my mind. Over the past week, I’ve heard a lot of great economic forecasts for the coming holiday season and how it’s supposed to tick up again this year.
With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, many stores are already ramping up. Time.com notes that this holiday season may inject nearly $925 billion into the U.S. economy. This is a 5% increase over last year.
With more shoppers predicted at the stores, many plan to hire thousands of seasonal workers. Toys R Us plans to add 45,000 workers – 5,000 more workers than last year. Kohl’s anticipates hiring 50,000 extra people to staff stores during the shopping season, which is 10% more workers than last year. Not to be outdone, Macy’s tops the list and plans to hire nearly 80,000 temporary workers – up from 78,000 workers last year.
While taking a temporary seasonal position may seem like a step backwards in the employment world, taking this type of job can help you in many ways.
The first and most obvious benefit from a temporary job is a steady paycheck for a while. If you carefully budget, you can start a little nest egg to hold you over if you don’t immediately get a job after your term ends.
Update your skills
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, getting a seasonal job can update some rusty skills on your resume. Maybe you already have some experience in communicating to customers, but some company-based training gives you modernized tactics to understand customer needs.
Gain new skills
You might even pick up some skills during training or on the job that can translate to other positions. If you have experience handling cash at a retail shop, that might help you get a position at a bank. You never know what skills you could pick up at that may come in handy later.
Beef up your resume
Employers generally don’t like to see huge gaps in your resume. A seasonal position can help fill those and show potential employers that you are serious about looking for work and are always keeping an eye out
You never know who you might meet at a temporary job and what connections they might have. Making as many connections as you can during your temporary employment time may yield an interview in the future.
Learn more about the company
Sometimes a place looks amazing when you’re on the outside looking in, but once you start working there the story changes. A temporary employment position at a company you want to work for gives you insight on how the place functions, without the strings of a full-time position. If you find out that you don’t like working there, you can pack up and leave. Leaving a full-time job after 3 or 4 months looks bad to potential employers. However, if you were a temporary worker, it’s understood that your time there was intended to be limited.
Transition to a full-time position
If it turns out that you like your temporary position and the company you work for, you work hard, and show that you can contribute to the company, you might receive a full-time job offer. If they need to fill a position, why look outside the company when you can find someone from the inside who already knows company processes? Not having to train a completely new person saves time and money.
If you’re looking for employment, or maybe even a career change, a seasonal holiday position is a great option. From knocking the rust off skills to possibly receiving a full-time position, there are many great opportunities out there. Don’t snuff the idea of being one of Santa’s helpers this season; you never know where it might get you.