With summer approaching, it’s time to think about plans for this exciting season. Whether you are in transition between careers or planning for summer school or camp, an alternative to the traditional would be to find and apply for seasonal work. Not only can seasonal work help pad your wallet, but it could actually be a simple way to jump-start your long-term career. Consider the following:

The beauty of seasonal work is its low commitment level. Its limited duration offers glimpses into a specific industry or line of work, which may intrigue you or leave you thankful for the quickly dwindling weeks. Seasonal work can help you develop a clearer picture of what type of work you enjoy and what type of work environment is optimal for you—very important criteria for both the student solidifying a clear career goal or for the professional planning a career change.

If you choose to find employment as a seasonal worker, don’t hold back—embrace the opportunity! Seasonal work is a great arena to show your enthusiasm and willingness to learn. If approached with the right attitude and work ethic, seasonal work could do one of two things for your future—both good of course. Take a moment to imagine things from a boss’s perspective. Say a full time position opens up and qualified candidates are needed. As the person doing the hiring, you have options. A capable and enthusiastic worker that you know and have observed wins out over someone who simply looks good on paper. The hiring decision is easy, because it saves time and a working relationship is already built. According to a careerbuilder survey, 77% of employers plan on considering their summer staff for permanent positions. But oh – your #1 candidate has a disability? Not an issue at all! This candidate performs duties successfully and with a fantastic attitude in spite of their challenges. Get the picture?

Ok, now out of the boss’s brain space and back into your own. Keep in mind that your supervisor has connections in his or her industry too. Your boss is your “foot in the door”, eager to help you get to wherever you see yourself in the industry. Did you know that up to 80% of full time jobs are obtained through networking? (More on that in this great NPR story). Definitely a noteworthy statistic when thinking about full-time work.

As we’ve seen, a lot of good can come from trying out summer seasonal work. Now, here are some links to get you started in your search:

  • Seasonal positions on indeed.com
  • Browse craigslist to see what you can find. It’s a popular site to post to, and a real variety of work is available to you here.
  • Portland Parks & Recreation posts often to fill its seasonal employment needs. If you love being outside and organizing activities, then this wide array of opportunities is perfect for you.
  • Seasonal and temporary postings with the Forestry Service are ideal for the job seeker with more of a natural setting in mind. Note that USFS postings are on the government’s main job page. Include with your query, “USDA-Forest Service” and your location to find current listings.
  • Or, get out there and NETWORK!!!

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