What Is Seasonal Work 2023
What Is Seasonal Work 2023

What Is Seasonal Work 2023

Seasonal work is when additional work is available during a business's busy season.

For example, it could be around the retailers' Black Friday/holiday seasons. For tourism firms, this could be around the summer months.

Different businesses have different busy times, so 'seasonal work' can describe short-term employment contracts throughout the year.

Seasonal work differs from full-time employment, because the work typically only takes place at certain times of the year – and is likely to be repeated annually.

Clearly, not every business will need seasonal staff, but specific sectors may make seasonal work more likely.

For example, industries such as retail, farming, tourism, delivery services, gardening/landscaping, fishing or outdoor pursuits may depend on seasonal work because most of their business occurs during a short and specific timeframe.

Employers welcome the influx of seasonal staff, because it allows them to expand and contract their workforces with ease to cope with the changing demands of their business.

In addition, as the seasonal staff is hired on temporary contracts, they may not need to allocate as much money towards employee benefits, healthcare insurance or pension contributions. As a result, using seasonal staff can be an extremely cost-effective way of running a business.

What Is the Difference Between a Seasonal and a Temporary Job?

You may be wondering how seasonal work differs from temp work. After all, both are short-term employment contracts.

Seasonal workers will always be employed temporarily to provide additional cover during an anticipated busy period. In addition, temporary workers are hired for short-term contracts that may not be related to seasonal periods.

For example, they could be an additional resource to work on a specific project or cover an absent staff member.

Therefore, a seasonal job will always be a temporary job, but a temporary job may not be a seasonal job.

How Does Seasonal Work Function in Reality?

Many businesses take a significant bulk of their income during key months of the year. Its business relies on this seasonal income to keep them afloat during quieter months.

For example, a ski resort may run at full capacity during the winter months, and the profit earned during that period could cover their costs during the summer season.

If a business knows that it will have a seasonal boost each year, it can factor in a recruitment strategy that employs many seasonal workers on short-term contracts to manage this influx of work.

The advantage of seasonal work is that a business can easily plan for it. It can begin its recruitment strategies far in advance, giving ample time to find the right staff and provide workplace training where needed. Then, once the seasonal work diminishes, the employee contracts will end.

Let's look at a few examples of seasonal work in practice.


These days, it's easy to shop online and have items delivered to your home.

However, you may not realize that delivery drivers have clear seasonal work patterns based on the time of the year. Key calendar dates such as Valentine's Day, 4th July and Christmas can create additional demand for online shopping.

Additionally, these dates can also create huge demand for food deliveries. It's not just about home shopping deliveries or takeaways – it's also about the logistical infrastructure needed by supermarkets to ensure that they have enough food on the shelves to cope with these busy seasonal times.


This is an obvious seasonal sector. Jobs near beaches and vacation destinations are far more likely to have seasonal jobs when tourists visit during the summer months. And as mentioned above, ski resorts will be hugely popular during the winter months.

The beauty of the tourism sector is that the seasonal work can spill into a multitude of related areas.

For example, you could be an instructor for seasonal sports or work as a camp counselor for school-age children. You could work in a popular restaurant near a high-profile tourist attraction.

You could even get seasonal work in a hotel or other form of accommodation. Even travel agents experience seasonal demand in vacation bookings.


Like the seasonal delivery work, the retail sector has key times of the year where footfall from customers is likely to increase.

The Black Friday sales are an obvious time for seasonal work, as retailers need additional staff to cope with the demand. Seasonal jobs may appear on the shop floor, in the stockroom, as bag packers or delivery drivers.

You could even find that some stores take their seasonal staff extremely seriously and implement specific seasonal jobs. It's not uncommon to visit a shopping mall to find Santa in his Christmas grotto or staff dressed in their finest Halloween costumes to provide candy and treats for children.


Sectors such as construction and hospitality are slightly different in that seasonal work is often available.

Still, they aren't reliant on the income boost in the same way as other sectors are. Instead, these are areas where firms can make the most of additional seasonal staff to cope with a more subdued influx in work.

Let's look at construction as an example. Building firms may rely on seasonal staff to help speed up their building work during the summer months, where they are less impacted by weather-related issues and have longer daylight hours.

In addition, they may want to take advantage of the summer months to manage the swift construction of buildings so that they can focus on internal tasks as the weather declines in the winter.

Relevant tradespeople within the construction industry could also identify seasonal adjustments to their work, even if the volume of work remains consistent all year round.

An electrician, for example, may spend their winter months installing heating services before switching to the installation of air conditioning units in the summer.

Similarly, someone skilled in general maintenance could find the bulk of their summer months spent maintaining and repairing swimming pools before changing to something else in the latter parts of the year.

How To Increase Your Employability When Searching for a Seasonal Job

There are many reasons why you may be interested in seasonal work. Perhaps you know it's an area that generates great tips. Maybe seasonal work ties around your personal schedule, particularly if you are still in school.

You could be looking for a seasonal job to help you generate additional cash ahead of an expensive time of year (such as Christmas).

If you are serious about getting a seasonal job, it's important to be strategic in your job hunt. First, of course, you need to update your resume and create a well-written cover letter.

But you also need to spend time researching what type of seasonal job you want and figure out where those companies are advertising their jobs.

Here are some tips that offer a failsafe way of securing a seasonal job.

Look at Jobs Boards To Find the Latest Seasonal Jobs

These days, companies are increasingly advertising their seasonal jobs on big job boards such as Indeed.

In addition, many job sites are now actively using their algorithm to allow users to search for ‘seasonal jobs’ and find suitable positions near their location.

Pay attention to what is available and try to sign up for alerts so that you can respond quickly when new positions are advertised. You may also like to sign up with a temp agency to boost your employment prospects.

Be Mindful of the Company’s Hiring Timetable

Companies need to plan to ensure that they have the right staffing ratios. You may think that retailers will be looking for additional staff to cope with Black Friday, but if you start handing out your resume in November, you will likely be too late.

Some companies may be starting their recruitment as early as the summer to ensure that they have enough time to work through their recruitment stages and train their staff adequately.

Understanding the Intricacies of Seasonal Work: What It Is, How It Works and How To Get a Seasonal Job
Understanding the Intricacies of Seasonal Work: What It Is, How It Works and How To Get a Seasonal Job

Your Seasonal Job Could Be Open Year After Year

Businesses will often contact previous seasonal workers as part of their recruitment strategies because it's easier to employ staff who already know the ropes.

If you've experienced a seasonal job with one employer, try to maintain your contacts throughout the year. It could be something as simple as liking their social media posts or sending a reminder email a few months before you know their recruitment strategy will begin.

Try to Upskill Yourself During Your Off-Periods

If you are working in a seasonal job that requires a specific skill, why not use the time when you are not working to try and accumulate new skills or develop new attributes.

You may have noticed that there were elements of the job that you found tough – if so, use that experience to your advantage. Employers will actively employ you if you can show you've taken the initiative to upskill yourself.

Give Your Seasonal Job the Same Respect as a Permanent Job

You will likely find that seasonal work is managed by the same management team year after year.

If you can impress them during your first seasonal stint, they will be more inclined to hire you again and again.

It can be tempting to develop a poor attitude during a seasonal job – after all, you're only there for a few months. But the hiring staff will remember those employees who went above and beyond, as well as those who paid lip service to their job role.

Be Flexible in Your Working Patterns

Many seasonal jobs rely on flexible shift patterns. The more accessible you are, the easier it will be for an employer to find you some shifts.

On the other hand, if you can only work specific times/days, you may be limiting yourself, and an employer could become frustrated.

Have a Backup Plan To Help You Cope During the Off-Season

You may be using seasonal work to provide you with additional cash, or you could be relying on seasonal work to generate the bulk of your income throughout the year.

If you have a distinct skill and rely on your season to earn most of your money (perhaps you are a sports instructor), you need to have a backup plan to keep you financially afloat for the rest of the year.

Try to save as much money as possible during the seasonal months so that you have a fall-back during the quieter months. Even if you are working in a lower-paid job during the rest of the year, you may never know when you’ll need to dip into your savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

A seasonal job is a short-term temporary job that allows businesses to respond to seasonal fluctuations in demand for their products or services.

Some businesses may have noticeable ‘busy periods’, while others may rely on their seasonal income to sustain them through the quieter months.

Typically, a seasonal job will be available at the same time each year.

There are many pros and cons to working in a seasonal job. Some people welcome the flexibility that seasonal jobs can bring, especially working around their school timetables or personal lives.

Others welcome the fact that they could earn significantly more during a seasonal period than other times of the year. In addition, they are happy to move around to different areas of the country, following the seasonal work.

But, seasonal jobs are only ever temporary, and they do not offer the same stability and peace of mind that a permanent job can bring. It will depend on your own lifestyle as to whether a seasonal job is a good fit for you.

The clearest example of seasonal work is the retail and tourism industries. Each has clear 'boom' periods at key times of the year, which are likely to occur at the same time every year.

Knowing when its busy period is makes it much easier for a business to be able to recruit the right amount of staff to cope with increasing demand.

Seasonal jobs are temporary jobs in that they are short, fixed-term contracts.

However, a seasonal job relies on a busy period that frequently occurs at key times of the year. A temporary job is a short-term contract that could take place for many reasons not necessarily relating to seasonality.

This depends on the sector that you are working in. Each job will have distinct elements and timeframes, but most seasonal jobs will typically last two to three months.

This allows the business enough staffing to cope with an increase in demand, and then when that demand ebbs away, the seasonal staff have come to the end of their seasonal contracts.

Typically, seasonal jobs will occur at the same time each year (for example, seasonal retail work may be based around the Black Friday/Christmas shopping periods).

Final Thoughts

Seasonal work is a great way for people to take advantage of short-term job opportunities that meet their skills and their lifestyles.

Seasonal work can be an effective way of earning more cash quickly and easily, at a time that suits you.

But it can also be used strategically to significantly boost your income, with seasonal work often generating a significant proportion of your annual salary.

It can also be an effective way of learning new skills, working in new ways and discovering what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.

Seasonal work can provide you with a wide range of transferable skills that can enhance your resume and improve your employability.

But seasonal work does have its challenges. It can be unreliable; you can easily be replaced, and it can fall through at the last minute.

Therefore, you need to have some backup plans in place to secure your financial future.

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