MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Want to ring in the new year with a new job? In this tight job market, that could be a tall order. But if you can land a seasonal job, it could be a big foot in the door.
More employers are getting extra help for the holidays this year; and transitioning temporary workers into permanent positions is a trend that is taking off.
Experts have a few tips to turn that seasonal gig into a regular paycheck.
When college student Brittany Brooks applied for a job at a local store, they told her they were only hiring seasonal help and she would probably be let go after the new year. She decided to go for it anyway.
“I needed the money and I just wanted to have the experience of saying yes, I have had a job,” said Brooks.
But Brooks impressed her boss, and her holiday job turned permanent.
“About 49 percent of the employers that we talked to plan on hiring these part time seasonal workers into full time positions. So this is a great opportunity to showcase your skills,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder.com.
Rasmussen said seasonal jobs can provide not only an immediate paycheck, but also a foot in the door.
“You should view it as an extended job interview. 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,” said Rasmussen
And it’s not just retail, either. Brent said companies in a variety of fields are “test-driving” temporary employees before hiring them for good.
“Hospitality and leisure, IT and finance and accounting are doing that in 2013,” said Rasmussen.
So how do you score a permanent position? Dawn Fay, a member of the American Staffing Association, said first you need to treat the job as if it’s already yours.
“Don’t treat it like a temporary job that maybe isn’t as important to you. 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,” said Fay.
Some other ways to put your best foot forward is to ask for extra assignments.
Make an effort to get to know your coworkers by attending social and professional functions and ask for regular feedback of your performance and how you can improve.
“People love people that have initiative and that want to do a better job,” said Fay.
And lastly, make sure your boss doesn’t think you want the job for the wrong reasons.
“Retail organizations tell us all the time they’re offended when people only work for the discount and not for the company,” said Rasmussen.
Fay points out that these tips hold true all year long.
“Some people think seasonal, they just think during the holiday times. So many companies use temporary workers so that they can fill gaps in some of their peak seasons,” said Fay. “So there’s a lot of different reasons and times during the year when companies actually use project professionals.”
Two years later, Brooks is still working at her holiday job and loving every minute of it.
“The people I work with honestly are like family. I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” said Brooks.
Experts said it’s also important to be flexible with your time when it comes to seasonal work. Full time employees usually get first dibs on the best schedules meaning you might end up working odd hours or even the holidays themselves.