Turning a seasonal job into permanent employment

Posted on 2/6/14 1:14:00 PM

Like most college students, Brittany Brooks was hoping to make some extra scratch during the holiday season via a part-time gig. When she applied for a job at a Houston-area retail store, managers informed her that they were only looking for seasonal help and she would likely be dismissed before the start of 2014, according to Houston ABC affiliate KTRK.

Brooks decided to sign on despite the warning.

"I needed the money and I just wanted to have the experience of saying yes, I have had a job," Brooks told KTRK.

The college student then went on to impress her boss so much that her holiday job became permanent, which is a growing trend across the nation, according to Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder.

"About 49 percent of the employers that we talked to plan on hiring these part-time seasonal workers into full-time positions," Rasmussen told KTRK. "So this is a great opportunity to showcase your skills."

With many Americans struggling to find work, Rasmussen made it clear that seasonal jobs can often provide opportunities in the future. He also said this trend isn't just happening in the retail sector. Finance and accounting, hospitality and leisure, and information technology fields were helping fuel the trend in 2013.

"You should view it as an extended job interview," he said. "This is an opportunity for the company to get to know you, for you to know the company, to show them what you bring to their organization and to show how you can become a valuable asset."

How do you go from temporary to permanent?
Dawn Fay, a member of the American Staffing Association, told KTRK that temporary employees must treat their job as if they are in it for the long haul.

"Don't treat it like a temporary job that maybe isn't as important to you," Fay said. "You know, a lot of times if people are on a temporary assignment, they'll not show up on time, they won't take extra initiative."

According to business blog Business 2 Community, there are a handful of ways temporary employees can stand out. One method is going above and beyond normal duties.

Arriving early, staying late and keeping lines of communication open are three ways to make your boss appreciate everything you have to offer. According to CareerBuilder, as cited by Business 2 Community, hiring managers give special consideration to people who ask for more projects and offer new ideas.

It's also vital to stay positive, according to Business 2 Community. Employers are much more likely to want to work with someone who exudes a positive demeanor, and seasonal workers who are cheerful and optimistic often find themselves in a much better position to land a full-time gig compared to some of their more contentious peers.

Staying ahead as a job seeker
Debra Feldman, an executive talent agent with JobWhiz, told U.S. News and World Report that most Americans do not have to meet all the requirements posted on an advertisement in order to net the ideal position.

"Traditional job searching methods such as submitting résumés online, responding to advertisements, filing an application or blasting résumés to recruiters do not reliably generate responses from employers, even for those who satisfy advertised position requirements," Feldman said.

Instead, the talent agent said it's important to focus on direct networking rather than filling out hundreds of impersonal job applications.

"Connecting with individuals, developing trust and having a mutually beneficial relationship is the key to getting traction and increasing job search momentum," Feldman said. "The most effective network contacts to obtain a potential position are the hiring decision-maker or someone the hiring authority knows and whose recommendation they will trust."