Resources

Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Will Employers Consider Retirees for Seasonal Jobs?

Patty Ceglio

One of the questions we’re most frequently asked by retirees considering seasonal jobs is “Will Employers Actually Consider Me?”.

Would it surprise you to know that around 20% of the job seekers who use CoolWorks.com as a seasonal job-hunting resource are in this retiree/near-retiree demographic (ages 55 and older)? Aren’t you happy you asked? (Speaking of asking, employers can’t ask your age on an application and you don’t have to reveal your age at any pre-hire point.) Further, surveys have shown that older workers are highly valued for their experience.

Here’s the thing, – you know the saying – “You’re as young as you feel!”? Take that to heart. What is it that you’d like to be doing in the next year or five? Working seasonally – and living in a Great Place – might just be a great option for you!

“Whatever your situation, there’s no shame in admitting that you’re not really cut out for retirement. If you’re lucky, you’ll have more options to consider than you did before retirement. You may be able to work on a contract basis, opt for part-time, or work from home at least part of the time. You may decide to work in an entirely different field. ” BalanceCareers.com

Believe it or not, retirees can be considered perfect candidates for many seasonal employers. Here’s why:

  • Developed Skill Set – Your seasonal suitcase comes packed with life skills. These transferable skills such as dealing with difficult customers, supervising a team (or family!), or project management adds depth and breadth to the workplace.
  • Dates of Availability – For seasonal operations, dates of availability are crucial components of hiring decisions. Many traditional summer employees (e.g. college students) have a limited window of time they can work in the summer, and employers can have long seasons (i.e., May to October) that require staff. Providing wide-open availability dates when filling out an application increases your chance of being selected as an ideal candidate.
  • Job Flexibility – Those working their way up the career ladder may expect to be learning, growing, and adding bullet points to their resume. As retirees, you have different goals at this point in your life.  Being happy to meet new faces and explore your Great Place during your time off might be the top things on your bucket list, so you can be more flexible to take a seasonal job that doesn’t align with any career goals. For example, if you spent your career as a loan officer, you might be thrilled at the change of pace that comes from a summer job in a campground, greeting and registering guests. Think in broad terms, and when you speak with the employer, stay open to new possibilities!
  • Love of Location – As a retiree, seasonal job recruiters know that you’re deliberately choosing a location based on a strong desire to experience a place. You may have waited many years to have the chance to work in Yosemite or Denali. Your connection to the place is a motivation in and of itself; that passion and excitement shared with co-workers and visitors will be contagious.

Hopefully, this information is encouraging and you’re getting more excited at the prospect of joining many other retirees who work seasonal jobs in Great Places! Here are just a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Staff Housing / Room and Board – one of the unique qualities of a seasonal job is the chance to LIVE and work in a Great Place. Oftentimes staff housing is the only option due to remote or unique locations. You’ll hear more about that from prospective employers. Some are more suited to offer rooms with private bathrooms, for instance, or a “24-Hour-Quiet” Dorm. If an employee Cafeteria is on the property – you’ll have more time to play when you’re not doing the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. To learn more about the varied seasonal housing situations, check out our resource: Seasonal Job Housing: Home Sweet Home Away From Home
  • Bring Your RV – Hoping to bring your RV/Motorhome or your Camper Van for a more homey experience? Check the employer’s recruiting information. There are employers who have RV sites available, many with full hookups. Sometimes these are included as part of the compensation and sometimes there’s a payroll deduction. PS – this may be the ONLY way you could have Fido or Fifi (your beloved pets) come with you, as pets are often not permitted in staff housing unless you have your own accommodation. For more about having your pet along for your seasonal adventure, check out our resource: Seasonal Work and Pets – Challenges and Considerations
  • Full Work Week – Expect to work full-time while you’re there. Just because operations are seasonal doesn’t mean that business is slow. Many employers in Great Places do 90% of their annual business between May and September, and they need generally full-time staff. But don’t give up hope if you’re searching for a part-time seasonal gig – those can be found, but they are less typical.
  • Test the Waters in the Shoulder Season – Hesitant to commit to a 6-month contract when you’re not sure if this is the right thing for you?! Here’s the good news. In late summer/fall, the employers who typically have a long summer season experience staff attrition as students return to university. They’ll do a second round of hiring for positions to start sometime in August and go till late fall. This is a fabulous time to be in places when they’re not quite as busy with travelers, and it could give you a 4-8 week trial to see what you think about this lifestyle. Learn more about the varying length of seasonal jobs – winter and summer – from our resource: How Long Do Seasonal Jobs Last?

Retirees are very welcomed and valued members of the seasonal job world. They bring life experiences, friendships, and an eagerness to see and do new things that adds a breath of fresh air to any team. We hope you find yourself in a Great Place that matches who you are in this chapter of your life!