If you have ever worked in retail, then you probably know that most seasonal employees are not kept more than a few months. Once a peak holiday season (Christmas and back to school) is over, stores can’t afford to continue scheduling that many extra employees. However, it is possible to increase your chances of becoming one of the few seasonal retail employees who are kept on staff permanently. At one of my current positions, and at one previous, I was one of these few people. This is how I did it.
The first rule in becoming a permanent employee is to show up every day on time. Sounds like common sense to most adults, but let’s face it: seasonal retail jobs often draw high school and college kids that often don’t have the strong job skills an older person will have. Sooner or later some of these kids may start to flake out. Your punctuality and reliability will stand out.
Secondly, be as flexible with your scheduling as your life permits. If you can cover shifts, or even trade, so that the company has adequate coverage on the sales floor, you are a big help. In retail, this kind of flexibility is appreciated, especially if the store has bad luck with attracting kids that pull no shows. At my current position, I once picked up 20 hours in one week just by covering shifts that others didn’t show up for. This helps out the store and your wallet. Once your managers know you’re willing to cover shifts often, you may be the first person they call in the future.
Another way to turn a seasonal retail job into a permanent position is to do what you are asked without any questioning or attitude. This should be common sense, but there are some kids that don’t take seasonal jobs seriously. The managers will appreciate having someone that only has to be asked to do something once. They will also appreciate having an employee that does not need constant supervision. They have more important things to do besides baby sit.
Lastly, put forth your best effort all the time. Doing “just enough” is easy, and some people do this with a seasonal job because they differentiate between “seasonal jobs” and “real jobs”. Treat your seasonal job as you would any other job – you’re being paid to work, not go through the motions. If you consistently work hard, it will stand out.