Companies in a variety of fields -- retail, shipping, restaurants, and more -- need seasonal workers. Most importantly, they need employees at a time when low unemployment and heavy demand makes workers hard to come by. That puts leverage in the hands of job seekers.
Such leverage can be used in a variety of ways. You can try to make as much money as possible, or to negotiate a favorable schedule or other things that make a job more pleasant.
Some workers, however, will take the prevalence of seasonal jobs as a way to recharge their resumes. Instead of just grabbing as much cash as they can, these employees will make strategic decisions that benefit their careers in the long term.
View the need for workers as an opportunity. Be bold and use your job -- whether it's your main gig or a secondary one -- to make you a more appealing candidate once the holidays are over.
1. Enter a new field
Holiday hiring can be a way to prove yourself in a field where you have no experience. Maybe you work in retail but want a desk job; holiday hiring for customer service may be your way in. The same is true if you're looking to break into a customer-facing position, or hope to gain experience working for a shipping company.
You may have to take a lower-level job to break into a new field, but it's smart to do so. Once you're in the door you can prove yourself, and as you show competence, your experience in other fields may help you advance.
2. Learn a new perspective
If you work in customer service now, it could be valuable to work in shipping or in-store operations. Learning a different perspective can benefit you in your current line of work. It allows you to see things differently, and might give you some new tools when it comes to problem solving. In addition, working in another aspect of your profession helps you forge connections that might be useful down the road.
3. Move up
Companies need seasonal workers because they have heavier volume and increased hours over the holidays. That may create opportunities for you to take a position that's higher-level than the one you hold now; it may also mean being willing to work nontraditional hours, or to take on a combination of responsibilities that are not typical during the rest of the year.
Seize the opportunity to show you can handle more responsibility. Even if you can't earn a permanent higher-level job, handling one during the busiest time of year shows that you can do it once the next opportunity comes up.
It's an employee-friendly market, so use that to your advantage. Even if you're just trying a job to see if you like it, this is an ideal time to do that. You can take a seasonal full-time job and not worry too much about landing something permanent after the holidays.
Use this opportunity to move yourself forward, and to learn new things while growing your skill set. Be creative. And whether you're looking for a side gig or a permanent one, consider how the seasonal job you choose impacts your overall career.