Use temp position to your advantage

With the holiday season in full swing, there are plenty of temporary positions available to workers looking for a few extra bucks. In fact, according to the Employment Security Department, Washington retailers will add 14,600 workers during November and December to meet seasonal demands.

Companies that expand their workforce for the holidays (this includes tourism or hospitality businesses, in addition to retailers) usually offer flexible hours and employee discounts. However, if you are a career-minded professional, you may be more interested in the hidden benefit of seasonal employment: The chance to get your foot in the door with a company that you love and use the opportunity to land a permanent position.

It’s important to remember that seasonal businesses hire personnel to meet a temporary need, and they will say goodbye to holiday staff when that need goes away. Surely, you talked about this matter in your interview. But the good news is that you can make a great impression and prove that you will add value to the company over time, positioning yourself as a top contender for a future opening.

Maybe a full-time employee will give notice and plan to leave immediately after the holidays, suddenly creating a new job. Or perhaps the company will establish a new branch in early spring, and a new staff will be required.

Companies constantly grow and change. You never know what might happen, which is why you should present yourself as a serious job candidate from the get-go. Here are a few ideas that may help:

Be absolutely reliable. If you want to position yourself for a permanent role, arrive early, work efficiently and stay for your entire shift. This is the busiest time of year, and retailers and other seasonally oriented companies count on hardworking, dependable personnel. Be one of them.

Put in some extra effort. Some seasonal personnel arrive on the job, punch the clock, do the least amount of work that is possible during their assigned hours and then head home. If you genuinely care about the quality of your performance and you are willing to put in a little bit of extra time or energy to meet the company’s goals, you will surely stand out.

Introduce yourself to the boss. Instead of completing your job anonymously and then disappearing at the end of the day, introduce yourself. When you make a positive impact with customers and boost sales in your department (which you plan on doing, right?), your boss should know who did it.

Express your interest. Unless you say otherwise, your manager will assume that you look forward to leaving the company after the busy season ends. Express your interest in landing a permanent position, and tell your supervisor that you’d love to talk about opportunities as they arise.

If no jobs become available right away, don’t give up. Present your resume before your last day, and follow up in a few weeks to see if anything changed. If you keep the lines of communication open, you’ll be the person they think of when a new position comes along.

Send your job search questions to

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Members of Gravitics' team and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen stand in front of a mockup of a space module interior on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Gravitics' Marysville facility. Left to right: Mark Tiner, government affairs representative; Jiral Shah, business development; U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen; Mike DeRosa, marketing; Scott Macklin, lead engineer. (Gravitics.)
Marysville startup prepares for space — the financial frontier

Gravitics is building space station module prototypes to one day house space travelers and researchers.

Orca Mobility designer Mike Lowell, left, and CEO Bill Messing at their office on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could a Granite Falls startup’s three-wheeler revolutionize delivery?

Orca Mobility’s battery-powered, three-wheel truck is built on a motorcycle frame. Now, they aim to make it self-driving.

Catherine Robinweiler leads the class during a lab session at Edmonds College on April 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Grant aids apprenticeship program in Mukilteo and elsewhere

A $5.6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant will boost apprenticeships for special education teachers and nurses.

Peoples Bank is placing piggy banks with $30 around Washington starting Aug. 1.
(Peoples Bank)
Peoples Bank grant program seeks proposals from nonprofits

Peoples Bank offers up to $35,000 in Impact Grants aimed at helping communities. Applications due Sept. 15.

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Arlington’s Eviation selects Seattle firm to configure production plane

TLG Aerospace chosen to configure Eviation Aircraft’s all-electric commuter plane for mass production.

Jim Simpson leans on Blue Ray III, one of his designs, in his shop on Friday, August 25, 2023, in Clinton, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Whidbey Island master mechanic building dream car from “Speed Racer”

Jim Simpson, 68, of Clinton, is using his knowledge of sports cars to assemble his own Mach Five.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

An Amazon worker transfers and organizes items at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amazon cuts ribbon on colossal $355M fulfillment center in Arlington

At 2.8 million square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Washington. It can hold 40 million “units” of inventory.

A computer rendering of the North Creek Commerce Center industrial park in development at 18712 Bothell-Everett Highway. (Kidder Mathews)
Developer breaks ground on new Bothell industrial park

The North Creek Commerce Center on Bothell Everett Highway will provide warehouse and office space in three buildings.

Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

Brian Mariotti resigned Sept. 1, six weeks after announcing he was taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Paper or plastic? Snohomish County may require businesses to take cash

County Council member Nate Nehring proposed an ordinance to ban cashless sales under $200. He hopes cities will follow suit.

A crowd begins to form before a large reception for the opening of Fisherman Jack’s at the Port of Everett on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Seafood with a view: Fisherman Jack’s opens at Port of Everett

“The port is booming!” The new restaurant is the first to open on “restaurant row” at the port’s Waterfront Place.