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Phoenix Forward

How to help make a seasonal job permanent

Seasonal jobs

If you’ve nabbed a seasonal job, you might be wondering how you can turn your temporary stint into a full-time position.

Research suggests there are opportunities to achieve that goal, according to Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, vice president and managing director of Apollo Research Institute, which studies workforce trends. In a report last month by TLNT human resource blog, 28 percent of employers said they plan to transition half or more of their seasonal employees into permanent workers.

Here’s how you can increase your odds of being asked to stay on after the holiday lights are turned off:


Look beyond retail.

Although consumers associate holidays with shopping, not all seasonal jobs are in retail. Qualified applicants can find many openings in fields like health care (such as on-call nurses for events) and accounting (such as auditors to close company books at year’s end).

Choosing a seasonal job that aligns well with your long-term goals can make it a more beneficial experience if you’re able to stay on permanently.


Be up front about your goal.

It’s important to be honest about your work intentions. “Start off by telling your manager that you are interested in a permanent job, so that they take you seriously,” Wilen-Daugenti says.


Research the company culture.

Before your first day, make sure you’ve checked out the company website and read up on what it’s like to work there so you’ll know how to fit in, Wilen-Daugenti recommends.

“For example, a store like Nordstrom’s culture is that the customer is always right,’’ she says. “You want to make sure you know those details in advance, so you can adopt a suitable attitude.”


Treat it like a permanent job.

Just because you’re temporary, don’t treat your job that way. Dress appropriately, be conscientious about showing up on time and limiting breaks, and engage with your co-workers and managers as if you were part of the permanent team, Wilen-Daugenti encourages.

“Get to know the people you are working with, and don’t put walls up just because you think you’re only going to be there for a couple months,” she stresses.


Volunteer for everything.

Give people the message that they can count on you by volunteering to work extra hours or filling in for others. “Be available to work on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or by offering to take double shifts,” Wilen-Daugenti advises. “This will send a message to your manager about being dependable.”


Learn how you’re evaluated.

“It’s key to find out what criteria your manager is assessing you on,” Wilen-Daugenti says. Many companies have a formula for choosing which employees to hire, so ask.

For some businesses, the decision might be based on commission sales. For others, it might be about how customers rate your service. “Don’t be shy,” she says. “Find out about this measurement, so you can focus your efforts on making the grade where it counts.”


Stay in touch.

If the job ends and, despite your best efforts, there’s no opportunity to become permanent, stay in touch with your manager by sending a card and following up every couple of months to express your ongoing interest.

“In the end, businesses are all about connections with people,” Wilen-Daugenti says, “and if a manager is familiar with the high quality of a person’s work, they’d rather hire someone they know than take their chances on someone brand new. So it pays to follow up.”

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