Part-Year Work Options – Temporary versus Seasonal

Are you considering joining the semi-retired lifestyle of working part of each year, and taking the remaining months off to pursue your interests or passions?  If so, and you are seeking employment during your working months, knowing the differences and similarities between seasonal and temporary positions can be important.


Most people think of seasonal employment as it relates to either tourism or to the Fall retail season.   Without a doubt, summer in the the United States is a seasonal hiring opportunity throughout the country.  In fact, demand is so high in some areas that employers offer additional job perks such as housing or transportation allowances.

You can find summer jobs doing everything from camp counseling to cooking to driving a tour bus to house-sitting for families spending the summer away.     Many of these same positions exist during winter season in ski areas.  Or, in the southern  hemisphere during North America’s winter months.

The Fall selling season is also an opportunity to capitalize on retail positions, as well as those in delivery and shipping.

Because these employers have need of increased staffing every year during their “high” season, many offer bonuses or additional benefits to employees who return year after year.    Occasionally, positions offer benefits all year.

One of the largest employers of seasonal positions is the federal government.   While you might expect to see seasonal positions at the IRS, you might be surprised to learn that they exist at many other agencies such as the Forestry Service as well.    And not all the positions are for an hourly wage. Some require very specific education and experience, but pay salaries in the high five figures  for six to eight months of work!  Google “federal jobs” to find the central employment website, and then check the button for seasonal jobs to see what is currently available.


With both the federal government and private employers, the term “temporary” usually means the position is for a designated period of time and no guarantees are provided beyond that.   Sadly, these positions frequently do not offer additional benefits such as health insurance.

While this can be a negative if you are seeking a regular “gig” year after year, it can be an excellent opportunity to try something that you are not sure you want to commit to long-term.  It is also a great way to both gain and have different experiences for your resume.

And, many temporary positions can lead to full-time if that is where your interest lies.


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Recovering MBA. Writer. Photographer. Scanner. Learning Addict. Airplane Geek. Teacher. Certification Collector. Serenity Seeker. Semi-retiree in training.

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