How To Find Seasonal Jobs and Part-Time Work

How To Find Seasonal Jobs and Part-Time Work

Seasonal jobs are a great source of temporary income and a way to build new professional skills. Whether you’re a full-time worker looking for additional income, a stay-at-home mom, a teacher on summer break, a student, or a retiree, you can find just the right seasonal job for your needs and interests.

In this guide, we’ll cover what a seasonal job is, how to find employment as a seasonal or holiday worker, and what to consider when getting your first seasonal job.

Table of contents:

What is a seasonal job?

A seasonal job is temporary and of a finite duration. These jobs are often available during specific (and recurring) times of the year, such as during the December holidays and over the summer when many workers take vacations.

There are also some companies that almost exclusively hire seasonal workers. This is typically the case for businesses that can’t operate year-round, like a ski resort or an outdoor swimming pool.

Holiday work doesn’t have to be in-person, either. Many companies are now hiring remote seasonal and holiday workers to help them with computer-based tasks throughout the year.

The benefits of seasonal jobs

Depending on your circumstances and needs, seasonal work offers great benefits while requiring only a short-term commitment.

Gain new work experience

Seasonal employment is a great way for students and job-changers to gain new work experience in their field of study or interest.

This type of job can also help with the development of soft skills like time management, following instructions, and providing good customer service. Skills like these tend to translate well to all industries, and can help you nab your dream full-time position down the line.

Experienced professionals can also gain new professional skills from seasonal work.

  • A nurse may decide to begin working as a traveling healthcare professional and gain experience working with different types of patients
  • A graphic designer focused on print work could take on holiday work as a side job and explore web design
  • A teacher interested in supporting other educators may spend the summer holidays working for an education nonprofit

Earn extra income

Even if you have another source of income—such as a steady stream of freelance work, a regular full- or part-time job, or vested retirement income—seasonal jobs can help you build a financial cushion.

Many holiday workers engage in moonlighting, where they take on additional evening or weekend work while maintaining their day job. Others choose to use their vacation time at one job to work a seasonal side hustle in another field.

Support a nomadic lifestyle

There is a growing community of workers who eschew the tether of one job or one place. Instead, these modern nomads sometimes follow seasonal work opportunities.

Some workers live in their recreational vehicles full time, and many regularly seek work when on the road. These seasonal workers can be essential to business owners who operate in remote locations—like small seaside towns and mountain ski resorts—where finding locals to staff temporary positions during the busy season may be difficult.

Many nomadic seasonal and holiday workers also do remote jobs. They provide as-needed support to businesses throughout the year, working from wherever they are.

Meet new people

Working temporary jobs on a seasonal basis is a great way to meet people. Not only can it be easy to make new friends—after all, many others may be holiday workers who, like you, may not know anyone—but you can find networking opportunities for future jobs.

This is true for remote work, too, not just in-person seasonal jobs! Look for groups like those in the Upwork Community to meet like minded remote freelance and seasonal workers.

Drawbacks to seasonal jobs

When you’re a holiday worker at an in-person job, you may not have a flexible schedule. The jobs also typically have limited advancement opportunities, since you won’t be there very long.

However, if you opt to do seasonal work as a freelancer, you typically get to set your own hours or specify your availability. And, by adding your seasonal jobs to your resume and portfolio, you can turn one remote seasonal position into a thriving freelance career.

Industries that commonly have seasonal jobs

There are more varieties of seasonal jobs than most people think. Many of the jobs people associate with seasonal work—retail sales staff, restaurant wait staff, or ski lift attendants—are only the tip of the iceberg regarding seasonal jobs.

The retail industry

Seasonal retail jobs aren’t limited to in-person sales associate positions. There are often many other behind-the-scenes roles that require seasonal help—some of them remote. Holiday jobs in the retail industry can include:

  • Human resources administration to help run payroll for additional staff
  • Logistics specialists to coordinate increased shipments and deliveries
  • Warehouse workers and package handlers to manage additional inventory
  • Cleaning staff to stay on top of increased foot traffic in stores
  • IT professionals who can quickly resolve website and point-of-sale (POS) system problems

Long before the retail buying frenzy begins, there may be a pre-season demand for temporary professionals who can code new online inventory systems and develop marketing strategies for the coming holiday season. Professionals proficient in website development, content strategy, social media marketing, graphic design, and email campaigns may see an uptick in demand for their services during this time.

The insurance industry

Insurance companies often need extra customer service representatives to help out during open enrollment periods when anyone can sign up for an insurance policy. These companies may also need extra IT support to ensure that their enrollment websites don’t crash when traffic peaks.

This type of seasonal job is not only great for those seeking a way to establish themselves in the insurance industry, but it also provides solid experience for anyone wanting to gain practical skills, like how to handle telephone inquiries and troubleshoot customer issues.

The financial services industry

Accounting and other financial services firms find themselves in a frenzy for temporary workers during tax time. There isn’t just a demand for accountants, either.

While many brick-and-mortar firms seek additional accountants and other certified professionals during tax season, there are numerous self-service tax software programs, websites, and other tax-related online services that look to hire skilled customer service representatives and IT support workers.

The hospitality and service industry

Like retail and other industries, there is a long list of additional behind-the-scenes workers that hospitality and service businesses may only need on a temporary basis during predictable peak times. You might find holiday workers doing any of these jobs at a hospitality company on a seasonal basis:

  • In-person front desk and customer support representatives
  • Phone-based customer service specialists
  • IT professionals with networking and communications experience
  • Human Resources administrators
  • Social media marketing experts

The healthcare industry

Health care professionals can find seasonal work opportunities at different vacation and travel destinations throughout the year.

While hands-on health care providers are typically top-of-mind when thinking about the health and wellness industry, there are many support services that also need shoring up during peak season.

These include customer service, billing and finance, and marketing professionals who are needed to ensure that the health care organization stays on track with its financial and service-oriented goals.

How to find seasonal jobs

Finding the right seasonal job can be easy if you follow the steps laid out below.

1. Know what work you’re a good fit for

Before beginning your job search, consider your skills, education, stamina, and personality.

  • Are you someone who can troubleshoot website issues and communicate clearly with users?
  • Do you have experience working with e-commerce or accounting systems?
  • Are you available to work nights and weekends if required?

You’ll also want to think about your goals.

  • Do you want or need to make a certain amount of money?
  • Are you interested in acquiring new job skills or meeting new people?
  • Is there a particular location in which you want or need to work, or do you prefer to work 100% remotely and online?

Make a list of the types of industries and specific work you are qualified for or drawn to and align them with your goals. Narrow down the jobs that will utilize the majority of your skills and meet most of your preferences—these are the roles you’ll want to look for and apply to first.

2. Look in the right places to find seasonal jobs

Holiday job seekers can often find seasonal jobs on the same job sites used to find full-time work, such as LinkedIn and Indeed. You just need to know what phrases to use.

To find an entry-level seasonal or holiday job opening, try searching job boards for terms like:

  • Temporary remote position
  • Seasonal summer employment
  • Holiday employment
  • Part-time seasonal holiday work

If you’re looking for a temporary placement in a particular career field, you can adjust your online searches to include the name of the job you’re looking for. It’s also helpful to set up job alerts on different job sites. This way, you can be one of the first to find out about (and apply for) new seasonal jobs.

You can also consider freelance work. Many of the companies that need to hire skilled holiday workers will be happy to bring on a freelancer to fill that role on a contract basis. Upwork has thousands of listings for freelance jobs, ranging from long-term contracts to temporary and seasonal positions in fields like:

  • Development and IT
  • Design and creative
  • Finance and accounting
  • Administrative and customer support
  • Engineering and architecture
  • Sales and marketing
  • Writing and translation

3. Apply for seasonal jobs

It’s a good idea to begin applying for seasonal jobs weeks or months in advance. Many companies will hire holiday workers as early as possible in order to make sure they have enough staff lined up.

However, if you don’t find your ideal holiday or seasonal job right away, keep applying! Sometimes, demand increases rapidly and unexpectedly, creating an urgent need for seasonal professionals on short notice. Other times, holiday workers have to leave their positions mid-season and companies need to quickly find a replacement.

Can you put seasonal jobs on your resume?

Yes! Seasonal jobs are a great addition to your resume. If you’re a student, retiree, or parent interested in reentering the workforce, seasonal jobs can give your resume a refresh. Adding specific hard and soft skills you acquired at a seasonal job is always a great idea, too—even if you have another full-time job you plan to keep.

If you’re interested in freelancing, Upwork makes it easy to showcase your work history and portfolio all in one place. You can even add professional skills credentials or badges that showcase who you are and let others know when you’re available for work.

The Upwork Community blog is a good place to begin learning more about how you can optimize your Upwork profile to showcase all of your experience.

Is a seasonal job right for you?

Whether you’re interested in seasonal or holiday work to make extra money, hone new skills, freshen up your resume, or to try something new, you can find the right fit on Upwork.

Plus, when you seek out seasonal work on Upwork, you’re in control—you get to set your rate, see how much each job pays before applying, and choose when and where you work. Start your search today by creating or logging into your Upwork account.

If you are communicating with a hiring manager for a job through the Upwork platform, please note that sharing your personal contact information, such as email address, phone number, or LinkedIn profile, is not permitted in cover letters or at any time prior to the start of a contract. Additionally, all communication should take place through the Upwork Messages feature. Learn more about using Upwork Messages here, and see more details on sharing information on Upwork here.

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Author Spotlight

How To Find Seasonal Jobs and Part-Time Work
Emily Gertenbach
B2B SEO Content Writer & Consultant

Emily Gertenbach is a B2B writer who creates SEO content for humans, not just algorithms. As a former news correspondent, she loves digging into research and breaking down technical topics. She specializes in helping independent marketing professionals and martech SaaS companies connect with their ideal business clients through organic search.

Emily Gertenbach is a B2B writer who creates SEO content for humans, not just algorithms. She's a former news correspondent who loves research and reporting.

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