Temp-to-Perm: Turn your seasonal job into a career
In many areas, the demand for workers in the hospitality industry varies significantly from season to season. Coastal locales often need extra hands during the busy summer months, while mountain towns and ski resorts usually seek additional staff during the fall and winter.
Because of the seasonal variation in the demand for extra staff, many restaurants, hotels, and other properties rely on temporary workers to fill these roles. As a result, temporary and seasonal hospitality industry positions have long been an attractive option for younger workers, students, retirees, working moms, those working second jobs, and nontraditional workers looking for flexible scheduling. They are also a great way for new entrants into the hospitality industry to get a start in the field.
But what if you want to stick around after you’ve gotten your foot in the door? Because it’s understood that most seasonal positions are temporary work with no promises of security and no strings attached, it can sometimes be intimidating to try to parlay your seasonal job into a lasting role with the company. Follow these expert recommendations to devise an action plan, and before you know it, you might just find yourself settling into a permanent position.
Get on the Path to Permanence
Be a Student of the Organization. Learn all that you can about the property, the management team, the year-round need for staff, and any other scrap of information that may be pertinent to your quest for a permanent role. Not only will this help you direct your “campaign” more effectively, but it will also set you apart from your peers among the temporary staff who may be more complacent.
Show that You’re a Team Player. Most people underestimate the amount of attention that hiring managers pay to the concept of ‘fit,’ or the degree to which a particular employee seems to ‘click’ with the property and the other staff members. Fit is especially important in the hospitality industry, where the quality of a team’s dynamics can significantly impact service quality. Make an effort to make friends, help out fellow workers, and fit in with the team -- it could pay off when the permanent hiring decisions are made.
Demonstrate Your Flexibility. To land a permanent role in a facility that scales back its staff when high season winds down, you have to be able to wear more than one hat, so to speak. If you have other professional experiences -- or even personal interests -- that would be helpful in the off-season, make them known!
Go Above and Beyond What’s Expected of You. A great way to catch the eye of a hiring manager is to set yourself apart from the pack with consistently outstanding performance. Dedicate yourself to excellence in even the smallest detail of your work. Don’t be overly showy about your efforts; this might actually work against you by annoying your supervisors. Just cultivate and embody a great work ethic, and you’ll dramatically increase your chances of landing a permanent role.
It’s also important to recognize that some temporary jobs really are just temporary. Look for clues and cues that will help you determine how realistic your chances for a long-term role may be. If you find out there’s little or no chance for a permanent situation, don’t despair -- you’ll find a career position eventually. But if there’s a chance that a few year-round employees will be selected from the seasonal staff, let your hard work, commitment, and determination shine through -- and chances will be good that you’ll be among the chosen few.