In America, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer.
School is out for many college students and winding down for most high schoolers. Temperatures start to crank up, and families are figuring out new routines as the worlds of gainful employment clash with the desire to travel and enjoy the warmer months.
As ‘unofficial’ as Memorial Day is to signal the start of the summer season, which kicks off on June 21, it is the official opener to many of the things that we cherish in warmer months spent on holiday: camping, swimming, theme parks, and other outdoor seasonal adventures. Formerly sleepy tourist meccas come alive as throngs of visitors come to make memories and the gates to many of America’s largest seasonal destinations open for the summer including theme parks and water parks -- seemingly endless days of roller coasters and wave pools.
🔥 Current Job Market = Hot
To say that the job market right now is hot is an understatement.
Despite continued headlines forecasting a bleak future for retail, the U.S. job economy continues to be hot. In fact, close to record-low unemployment numbers have led to an increasingly tight and challenging labor market.
As Josh Bersin notes, there’s currently a job available for everyone who wants one.
According to an article in the Motley Fool, the current job demand spans multiple industries and verticals.
"We continue to see a really strong labor market, and with almost 6 million jobs open in the U.S., and 200,000 new jobs created in January 2018 alone, there are job opportunities for many throughout a variety of industries," wrote Glassdoor career trends expert Sarah Stoddard who was referenced in the article by The Motley Fool.
A number of companies on a list from Motley Fool are aiming to hire large numbers of employees for seasonal positions included industries like technology, restaurants, and retailers.
Summer Jobs = Not Just For Kids
Summer jobs are not just for kids anymore.
In fact, you can make the point that fewer and fewer traditional summer appointments are held by teenagers. Because of growing requirements for some college kids to take internships, and any other number of changing economic conditions, just 40 percent of kids will get a summer job -- down from 72 percent in 1978. Today, everyone from retirees to teachers are eyeing gigs as a way to make money.
At Branch, we’d like to argue that it’s not that the summer jobs are disappearing, it’s that they’re transitioning -- changing and evolving as are any number of verticals from manufacturing to retail. And consequently, numbers are illustrating that there's increasingly a need to fill a myriad of roles, like office positions, retail customer service associates, and manufacturing roles. Apple announced plans to hire 20,000 U.S. workers by 2021, anchored by plans to open a new campus. And without a doubt, home improvement seems to be hot. Home Depot plans to hire 80,000 new workers starting this past spring as well as Lowe's which looks to tally 53,000 employees.
To that point, 41 percent of employers are planning on hiring seasonal workers for the summer, according to an annual survey from CareerBuilder -- a statistic that is on the upswing over the course of the last two seasons.
The national survey was conducted in April and included 1,012 hiring managers and human resources professionals in the private sector and 1,117 full-time workers across industries and company sizes.
And for those that do get a seasonal job, there’s a very good chance that it may extend into something much more permanent as companies that are seeing newfound success look to tap into their local labor for much longer than a few summer months.
In fact, increasingly, those hired for summer jobs or seasonal employment have a very good chance of landing a more lucrative, full-time job with the same company. After seasonal employment periods wind down, many employers are looking to transition some of them to full-time positions.
According to an interview in CareerBuilder, 88 percent of employers expect some of their summer hires to move to permanent roles, up from 79 percent last year.
"What that's telling us is as the labor market tightens, employers are going to use those summer hires as an extended interview," said Michael Erwin, a senior career adviser at the firm.
Where to Find Companies Hiring for Summer
We’ve come a long way from camp counselors and newspaper delivery people. When looking for a summer job, it’s helpful to see that the real-world professional jobs are blending into those being sought by seasonal employees and young students. It's more than the work required to sustain outdoor and recreational industries. Summer jobs are as much in the office, retail and manufacturing as they are poolside.
According to CareerBuilder, the five hottest jobs that employers want to fill are in a diverse array of verticals:
1. Customer Service: Just ask our webinar participants Shep Hyken and Jeanne Bliss about the importance of customer service, and you’ll no doubt understand why this tops the list. Increasingly, customer experience and customer service positions are going to be much more vital for those companies who have dared not prioritize them. They also make great part-time, seasonal positions to fill in a variety of roles.
Jop Types: Representatives, sales coordinators, call center workers
2. Information Technology: The glue (and virtual pipes) that keep our world running, one ticket at a time. IT jobs range the gamut from web developers to web admins, technical analysts, and the all-important tech support.
3. Office Support: Administrative assistants, clerks, support associates.
4. Engineering: Maintenance technicians, analysts, quality assurance testers, engineering interns.
5. Manufacturing: Assembly operators, production workers, package handlers.
And, if you're wondering about the -- shall we say, most interesting and odd summer jobs, we've got that list for you, too. These are the most unusual summer jobs that people reported holding:
⛸ Ice Skating Teacher
🚑 Ambulance Driver
🚘 Part of an all-girl valet parking crew
📚 Assembly line worker for loose-leaf binders
🕯 Egg Candling
🌽 Corn Detassler
☠️ Mosquito killer
🍍 Pineapple picking in Hawaii
🐦 Scaring seagulls off roofs
⚾️ Senior citizen softball league umpire
🐛 And the most unusual of them all: A worm farmer.
Tips on Searching for Summer Seasonal Jobs
Landing a summer job takes a blend of persistence, tenacity and a dash of creative thinking. Today, positions could be found while networking at a party, talking to a new contact, or mining on social networking sites and traditional job listing services.
- 👑 Networking is king. You never know who you'll meet, or when. At picnics or random encounters, be prepared to seize an opportunity if you find one and don't be afraid to tell potential employers that you're available.
- 🔗 Link into potentials. Reach out to employees or managers on LinkedIn. Create a list of the companies you're interested in working for and search for job listings and potential contacts on the job connecting site.
- 👫👬 Consider alternative social sites. Facebook is increasingly listing thousands of hourly positions and there are still others to be found from your personal connections and even Facebook groups. Some local companies will even let you apply for a position directly in Facebook.
- 🚪Look next door. The neighborhood social app Nextdoor is also an interesting resource to find listings of local businesses that are looking for employees, with a lot less attention than the big social channels.
How to Make Your Summer Seasonal Job Last
Summer employment is great for providing and teaching on-the-job lessons about customer service and communication skills that are in great demand in the workforce. For younger employees who are new to the workforce, they help provide professional contacts and teach them about money gain. For others, they can be a bridge from part-time seasonal gig, to full-time gainful employment.
Here's a few tips on making the most of your summer gig:
No matter what position you have, never forget the importance of your customer(s). Find unique ways to go above and beyond and deliver exceptional service, within the realms of what's allowed by your company. It may be the difference between bringing in a repeat customer.
Tip: Listen to the webinars from customer service experts Shep Hyken and Jeanne Bliss about how exceptional customer support can help in your job.
Be flexible with your scheduling - ready to fill in when other employees need to get shifts taken, or to help during busy times.
Tip: Learn how to take Branch with you to work. It’s the perfect tool for helping to see upcoming shifts, as well as help trade shifts with colleagues or help fill upcoming vacancies during some of summer’s busiest times.
Tap the knowledge of the best resource -- your colleagues. Ask current full-timers about what you can do to make your job full-time. If you want to take that a step further, ask to rotate around to different positions or fill in for others and learn other skills around the office. It'll show you have the committment to learning while also showing your employer your value by you care about being flexible and helpful.
Ask advice from full-time employees about making your job permanent. Also, ask them to teach you parts of their job you are curious about, and offer to help them with their workload if possible.
Best of luck this summer, and be sure to let us know where you’re working and how your job is going. Share your story with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.