The Pros and Cons of Seasonal Work

Amber Shiflett |
additionalText.categories: Seasonal, Working

With the holidays right around the corner (we KNOW!), you’re probably seeing a lot of “Now Hiring!” signs popping up around town. Retailers like Target are hiring more temporary employees than ever this year. Last year, they brought on 120,000 seasonal workers; this year, they’ve added another 10,000. And it’s not just stores that are looking for extra help. Restaurants, the travel industry and online shopping companies have a need for extra workers, too.

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re looking for work, there’s a good chance you’ve got a lot of options. A seasonal job is a great way to try on a new company for size and learn some new skills. There are pros and cons to temporary employment, so to decide if it’s right for you, take a look at our list.

The pros of seasonal jobs

It’s a good resume builder

Adding a seasonal job to your resume is a great way to show job experience, especially if you’re fresh out of high school or had a long break in employment.

 Seasonal employment also gives you the opportunity to test drive a business without a long-term commitment. If you like it, cool! If not, you’re done when the rush is over.

 If you want to get on full-time, you should definitely study the company’s culture to see if it’s the right fit. Talk with a few of the full-time employees about their experience and how they feel about the company.  This can give you a good idea of what a job there would really be like.

On that note... 

It can lead to full-time employment

Employers are big fans of turning seasonal staff into full-time employees. Why? Because they get the opportunity to try you out just like you’re trying them out! They keep an eye on who’s doing the best work. So, if a full-time job is your goal, be sure you’re killing it every day. Get to work early, dress professionally, offer to help out before being asked and finish your work on time and correctly. But don’t expect your manager to be a mind reader. If you want to stick around as a permanent employee, tell them!


This one’s kind of a “duh!” but seasonal employment can get you some extra cash, which is often needed around the holidays.

The Bad

You probably won’t get a lot of training

Seasonal employees are temporary workers, so employers usually don’t want to invest in a lot of time and money for training. In fact, the training you get on day one could be it! Since there’s little training, tasks for seasonal gigs are generally basic and boring.

No guarantees

Seasonal jobs are short-term; they wrap up after the holiday season or rush time of year ends. So even if you’re the best temp they’ve got, there’s no promise you’ll get a permanent job once the rush is over.

Your free time is gone

If you’ve got a full-time job and you’re thinking of adding holiday jobs for extra cash, say bye-bye to your social life. If you’re currently unemployed or have another part-time job, be aware that your seasonal employer might require you to work full-time and even overtime. It’s highly likely that having a seasonal job will cause you to miss out on holiday events, so keep that in mind.

You’ll probably get paid minimum wage with no bennies

Seasonal jobs aren’t known for their fat paychecks and amazing perks. Unless you’re hired on full-time, you probably won’t get health insurance. Other perks like company discounts will probably be a no-go, too. If you need insurance, be sure to ask if it’s offered before you accept the job.

Getting a seasonal gig can be a great chance to build your resume and put some extra cash in your pocket. If you decide a seasonal job is right for you, check out our job board to find the perfect fit!