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What is a Seasonal Job: The Ultimate Job Guide

Exited waitress working with cash desk in cozy cafeteria
Written by Amanda Nunez

If you’re looking for a job this holiday or summer, a seasonal job may be a great option for you. Seasonal jobs are available in a variety of industries, and they often offer flexible hours and fun opportunities. While some job searchers shy away from a seasonal position, many seasonal workers have enjoyed seasonal employment and gathered valuable experience that helped them land a permanent job. 

Seasonal jobs can be a great way to make some extra money, gain work experience, or just keep busy during the holidays. But what is a seasonal job? And most importantly, how can you go about getting one? Here’s everything you need to know about seasonal jobs.

What is a Seasonal Job?

If you’re job searching, you may have come across the term “seasonal job.” You may have seen the phrase plastered on store windows during the holiday season, but what is seasonal employment? As a functional role, what does seasonal job mean?

Seasonal jobs are positions that only open during certain times of the year. Many businesses hire seasonal workers to help them with increased demand during holiday seasons or other busy periods. They may be tied directly to seasons, like ski or snowboard instructors who work during the winter. 

A seasonal job’s availability may also have nothing to do with the four seasons, and instead be connected to a profession’s busy season. For example, working for an accountant during tax season or a retail store hiring during the holidays shopping season.

Seasonal positions offer their own sets of benefits and opportunities, and understanding them is key to any employment decision.

How Long is a Seasonal Job?

One of the bestest draws of a seasonal job is its length. Unlike a year round full-time or part-time jobs, seasonal work means you can get extra income without a long-term obligation. 

The length of a seasonal position varies based on the job. For holiday retail positions, seasonal employees should expect to work 2-to-4 months. However, for positions at a ski lodge, workers could be in demand for almost 6 months at a time. 

If the length of your chosen seasonal position isn’t part of the job listing, make it part of your job research—research what is generally expected for the position and ask about it during your interview.

3 Types of Seasonal Jobs

Retail Jobs

Many retail stores, such as department stores and grocery stores, hire seasonal workers to help with the increased demand during this time of year. Pay for retail seasonal jobs can vary depending on the employer, but most offer competitive hourly wages on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Package Delivery

Around the holidays, the volume of packages traveling along shipping networks gets notoriously huge. That increase in shipments requires an increase in workers to ensure service isn’t interrupted. Additionally, the holidays also lead to an increase in the aforementioned retail positions.


There are many different types of seasonal jobs available in the hospitality industry, from working as a server or bartender to working in a hotel or resort. Whether you want to be a ski instructor in the Rockies or sail the ocean as a cruise worker, there is likely a seasonal job that is a perfect fit for you.

Benefits of A Seasonal Job 

Get Your Foot in the Door

Seasonal positions are a great way for potential long-term employers to learn about you and your work ethic. They’re also a great way for you to try out a job and see if the company or role is right for you. Often, these temporary employment arrangements can turn into part-time or full-time positions at an organization. 

At places that open and close seasonally, you may be asked to return—you may even be asked to take on a leadership role during the next open period. At places that are open year-round, you may be asked to fill an open position or become part of a growing staff.

Gain Valuable Experience

Learning is a huge aspect of seasonal positions. Employees are learning about new hires and about what they should expect from workers in the position. Employees are learning about their new companies and test driving what could become a permanent role. Through all this, it shouldn’t be lost on the seasonal employee that they’re also able to absorb new skills and obtain valuable experience that could help land a steady position.

Additionally, these new skills enhance a resume and the positions worked help fill gaps in employment.

Allow for Flexibility

People already working jobs can pick up shifts at seasonal establishments to supplement their income. People working one seasonal job can add others to make up for the traditionally lower wages made at seasonal jobs. The flexibility offered by seasonal positions allows those with openings to fit these seasonal jobs into their lives.

How to Land a Seasonal Job

If you’re looking for a seasonal job, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of landing one. First, start your search early and be flexible with your availability. Many employers begin hiring for seasonal positions several weeks or even months in advance. In addition to applying on job sites, reach out to your network of friends, family members, and business contacts by letting them know you’re looking for seasonal work.

Secondly, be prepared to sell yourself in your interview – let the employer know why you would be the perfect candidate for the job.You should have your resume prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that arrive, and you should apply early to any desired position. You should prepare for your interview with mock questions and research an employer before any interviews.

If you’re having trouble finding interviews—or if you’d like a good look at a wide variety of seasonal opportunities—add TheJobNetwork’s seasonal job board as a reliable part of your job finding network. Use TheJobNetwork’s resources to explore the requirements and benefits of different seasonal positions and find a fit that’s right for you!

About the author

Amanda Nunez