Let’s face it: The road to wealth is paved with hard work. If you want to reach your financial goals, it pays to keep your nose to the ground for new job openings. It’s a good idea to keep a close watch on seasonal job opportunities to increase your income and reach financial independence faster.
Benefits of a Seasonal Job
There are several benefits you can enjoy by getting a holiday job. Let’s examine some of the more convincing ones next.
- Building Your Resume: Seasonal jobs are a fantastic opportunity for workers who want to boost their resumes and diversify their skill sets. Working seasonal jobs can teach you valuable skills that can be transferred to other higher-paying jobs.
- Avoiding Job Burnout: One of the best parts about working a seasonal job is that you’ll generally avoid burnout. Seasonal jobs usually only last for a few weeks or months, meaning you can move on to something else when the time is up.
- Bringing in Extra Income: Seasonal gigs can be very lucrative for job seekers that are looking to hustle and who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. It may take some getting used to — but once you get into the flow of working seasonal positions, you’ll realize it’s one of the best side hustles.
10 Best Seasonal Jobs to Earn Extra Money
The below list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of where to find the best seasonal jobs.
- Seasonal Retail Sales
- Customer Service
- Gift Wrapping
- Camp Counselor
- Tour Guide
- Christmas Tree Farming
- Construction Worker
- Ski Instructor
1. Seasonal Retail Sales Associate
The busy holiday shopping season is right around the corner, bringing a surge of customers along with it. Large retail stores like Kohls, Macy’s, Target, and J.C. Penney typically bring on tons of temporary employees from Black Friday onward to assist with the influx of customers.
Working with customers isn’t for everyone, though. It requires a tremendous amount of patience and the ability to maintain a friendly disposition — even when someone is screaming at you and saying terrible things. However, it’s a great way to work from home and bring in extra cash to get you through the holidays.
2. Customer Service Representative
If you want to work from home and have a ton of patience, you might be the next greatest customer service representative. As the holiday season picks up, businesses will be ramping up their call center staff with temporary employees.
If you’re effective at the job, there’s a chance you can transition to a permanent position once the holidays subside.
3. Gift Wrapping
If you’re handy with folding paper, you may want to jump on the opportunity to wrap holiday gifts for in-store shoppers. This is a job that typically spikes during the holiday season, however, some large department stores might be looking for gift wrappers any time of year.
Gift-wrapping definitely isn’t for everyone, though. You’ll need to have a steady hand, and pay close attention to detail.
4. Camp Counselor
If you love working with kids, then you may want to consider working as a camp counselor. Most camps tend to have programs that run year-round, meaning there are always seasonal opportunities to explore.
Beyond working as a counselor, there are also maintenance and administrative positions to look into as well, depending on your area of expertise. For example, summer camps often use the fall and winter to maintain trails and make facilities upgrades so they’ll be ready for use during the busy spring season. Campgrounds also host events during the off-season, such as weddings and weekend retreats.
If you live in a place that has seasonal population spikes — like a ski or beach town — then you may want to consider getting a job as a bartender at a local bar or restaurant. Bartenders can make a small fortune in cash tips, especially from tipsy and generous holiday spenders.
Plus, bartending is a great way to make business connections that can lead to better opportunities throughout the year. And, if you’ve never tended a bar before, don’t sweat it. You might have to work your way up, starting out as a table busser, or server. But, if you’re responsible, reliable, and make customers happy, you shouldn’t have a problem moving up to the position that you want.
6. Tour Guide
One piece of advice that I like to tell people who are looking to make money is to take advantage of their local area. Chances are you live within driving or walking distance of something interesting — whether it’s a metropolitan area, historic site, or nature preserve.
Pull up a map, get to know your surrounding area, and then look into becoming a tour guide. Your town may offer opportunities, or you can start your own side hustle and advertise your services online.
You can offer bicycle or foot tours, helping guests become acclimated with your surrounding area. It’s fun, it offers under the table cash, and it’s also a great way to make interesting connections while becoming a local community expert.
Landscaping is tough work. It requires getting up early and working long, grueling days. However, landscaping typically pays very well. Plus, landscaping is one of the few industries that are typically always in demand, regardless of the economy.
Some of the benefits of doing landscaping for a living is that you will get to be in great shape, and you can move around frequently from site to site throughout the day. Once you get bored at one place, it’s usually time to move onto another site. Plus, you get to work outside, and no one really looks over your shoulder.
There are a few different types of landscaping opportunities to explore. For example, you may specialize in lawn or garden care. Or you may decide to work with fences, driveways, or shrubs. Just keep in mind that if you live in the north, you will most likely get laid off when winter rolls around.
8. Christmas Tree Farming
This is one of the best winter seasonal jobs. If you happen to live near a farm, you may want to consider offering a helping hand maintaining, chopping, bundling, and hauling Christmas trees during the holiday season.
Pay will vary depending on the type of company you work for and your role. But it’s an important job — especially during the busy days right before the holidays, when customers start lining up to buy trees for their homes and parties.
9. Construction Worker
Like landscaping, construction is hard work. But if you can wield a jackhammer and you know a twist bit from a countersink, then you may want to look into joining a company that needs assistance.
It’s not the most glamorous work, and it can be dangerous, but construction typically offers excellent compensation.
10. Ski Instructor
For avid skiers, one thing matters in life: getting more time on the mountain. If this describes you, consider approaching a local mountain about becoming a ski instructor or even a lift attendant — anything that will result in free opportunities to traverse the slopes without having to pay for it.
Price: $9.95 w/ 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
The biggest site for finding remote, work-from-home jobs, both full-time and part-time for your skillset. The trained researchers at FlexJobs hand-screen job listings to eliminate ads and scams found on other sites. Find everything from entry-level to executive positions at FlexJobs.
Seasonal Business Ideas
Another option is to consider creating your own seasonal opportunities. Think like an entrepreneur, and elevate yourself from a position where you’re working for other people to potentially having other people work for you.
Here are a few examples:
Start a farm stand
If you have a plot of land at your disposal, plant a garden during the summer. If it becomes successful, you can hire local kids to maintain the garden and sell the produce.
Start a side hustle painting house exteriors. Build up a client base, and launch a business that runs during the summer months. You could also expand into gutter cleaning or window washing.
If you live near a marina, offer to help boat owners with tasks that they don’t want to do — like scraping barnacles and winterizing vessels.
Open a food cart
Find a busy street corner, secure a permit, and sell items with a low markup — like coffee, bagels, or sandwiches. If you secure a permit for the right area, you could make a fortune without having to pay for rent.
Pros & Cons of Seasonal Work
- Build your resume
- Learn different skills
- Work for interesting employers
- Have fun while earning income
- Boost your income
- Can lead to other full-time positions
- Usually less secure
- Doesn’t always provide benefits
- Can be dangerous
- Seasonal jobs don’t always pay well
- Not much training
- Less free time
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when a job is seasonal?
A seasonal job is a position that exists for a short period of time. Seasonal work is temporary and usually arises at the same time every year (e.g., every summer, or during the holiday rush).
However, organizations like camps and country clubs may have different types of job opportunities that open up within the company. For example, you may work as a landscaper in the summer and then get rehired as a waiter or event supervisor during the winter months if you are a hard worker and reliable. A decent employer will look out for seasonal workers and provide employment opportunities wherever possible.
How long is a seasonal job for?
A seasonal job can last for a few days, weeks, or months. It can be either full-time or part-time, depending on the role and the way the organization is structured.
Do seasonal workers get laid off?
Oftentimes, companies will strategically lay off seasonal employees simply because they do not bring in any business during specific parts of the year. This usually has nothing to do with performance. It’s more of a business necessity. Once the new year rolls around, retail sales typically go way down.
The good news is that in many cases, employers will make arrangements to rehire workers again when the busy hiring season rolls back around.
Is a seasonal job worth it?
In short, it depends — on you, your needs, the type of work that you’re doing, and your financial goals.
It’s always important to consider the type of work that you’re doing and question whether you could be doing something that pays more or is less of a burden. For example, shoveling snow at dawn in subzero temperatures for minimum wage doesn’t stack up very well against a cushy internet side hustle that you can do from the comfort of your home.
When weighing a seasonal offer, make sure to think about whether it’s worth your time. Your time is your most important asset, and wasting it on a low-paying opportunity could wind up making you miserable and even costing you money.
Is a Seasonal Job Right For You?
You know your unique circumstances better than anyone else, and you also know your work ethic and risk tolerance. For some, being a warehouse worker is the perfect gig. For others, it’s shoveling snow, or wrapping gifts.
Any way that you look at it, the right seasonal gig can help you earn more money, meet more people, and forge new connections. Still, the wrong job can cause you agony and even cost you money (like if you get injured).
Weigh the pros and cons of each seasonal job opportunity. Think about which one you will actually enjoy doing, that has some perks, and can help you reach your financial goals.