Why Seasonal Work Makes Sense for Veterans

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A Vail Ski Patroller and Avalanch Rescue Dog meet and greet the public along side a Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helic. pter lands during Legacy Days in Vail, Colorado. (Army National Ashley Low)
A Vail Ski Patroller and Avalanch Rescue Dog meet and greet the public along side a Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helic. pter lands during Legacy Days in Vail, Colorado. (Army National Ashley Low)

As you leave the military, you're likely looking to secure a job that gives you a steady income, benefits (those you don't have as a veteran) and career stability. But would a seasonal job or two offer you more than full-time work at this time of transition?

Seasonal jobs are typically short term and temporary and occur during holidays or when a business is really busy and needs extra help. Seasonal work can include:

  • Retail jobs during busy holiday shopping seasons (Memorial Day sales, Black Friday sales, end of the year holiday promotions)
  • Jobs designed to support a business "ramping up" production of new products or services
  • Workers needed to support financial firms during the busy tax season

These workers are employed to support specific jobs and tasks needed to help the business during a particular time or project.

Benefits to the Company

The company benefits from engaging seasonal workers because these individuals are not hired onto payroll, aren't given benefits and employee status (which would qualify them for additional perks and support). It typically costs the company less to employ a seasonal worker and then part ways after the need ends.

Related: Search for Veteran Jobs

Another benefit to the company is that they can recruit and hire specifically skilled workers to support the business during a busy season, when hiring that person full-time might not be feasible. Perhaps there is not enough work for such skilled workers all year, or that worker could be too costly to the company if hired beyond a few months. The company also gets to "test drive" workers, sometimes hiring them full-time after the busy season.

Benefits to the Worker

Seasonal work can be a great way to get experience in the private sector after your military career, for example:

  • Working as a Santa Clause in the local shopping mall might not be your dream job, but it can teach you customer service, logistics and event planning skills.
  • You can learn how retail operations work by serving as a security guard for a department store or working in an Amazon fulfillment center.
  • Working as a warehouse manager for a manufacturing company during the launch of a new product can teach you commercial logistics skills.
  • Providing back office data support to an accounting firm during tax season can significantly increase your exposure to the financial industry.

In addition to exposure and new skills, your network can increase as you interact with others. Keep any socializing to after work, but learn what other positions these seasonal workers have had, which companies they think highly of and which to avoid.

You'll be interacting with various companies and industries by performing seasonal work. These jobs can show you what the company culture is like (particularly under stressful conditions) and whether you'd enjoy a more full-time stable job there.

At a minimum, you'll be able to build your resume of experience and reduce gaps which can exist as you hold out for your dream job. You can explain in your cover letter your reasoning for seasonal work as skill building, exposure to new opportunities, a desire to serve in various roles, and your goal of trying new jobs.

Find the Right Veteran Job

Whether you want to polish your resume, find veteran job fairs in your area or connect with employers looking to hire veterans, Military.com can help. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have job postings, guides and advice, and more delivered directly to your inbox.

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