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 over 30% of the job seekers who use as a seasonal job-hunting resource are in this retiree demographic? 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, kids – 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 the ticket you’ve been searching for.

“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. ”

Believe it or not, retirees can be considered a perfect candidate to many seasonal employers and 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 add depth and breadth to the workplace.
  • Dates of Availability – For seasonal operations, dates of availability are crucial components to 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 (ie, 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, adding bullet points to their resume. As retirees, you have different goals at this point in your career.  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 the 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’s 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 property – you’ll have more time to play when you’re not doing the shopping, cooking and cleaning.
  • Bring Your RV – Hoping to bring your RV or Motorhome for a more homey experience? Check the employer’s recruiting information – many employers have full hook-up sites available with 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.
  • 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 season when you’re not sure if this is the right thing for you?! Consider the short-season option. In late summer/fall, employers need to bring in additional staff to help during the shoulder season. This is a fabulous time to be in places when they’re not quite as over-run with travelers, and it could give you a 4-8 week trial to see what you think about this lifestyle.

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!