Posted November 25, 2019
Saleswoman and customer at checkout counter on Picspree

How to Turn Your Seasonal Retail Job into a Permanent Position

By Grace Tino

Many people opt to take on a retail position in the holiday season. Seasonal positions offer a great source of additional income, job experience, and flexibility. However, if you've taken on a seasonal retail position, there's a huge chance you've come to love the dynamic aspects of the job. Turning your seasonal position into a permanent position is achievable when you put in the work. Going for it will reflect commitment, determination, and growth on your resume! The best way to ensure your seasonal position can become permanent is by demonstrating your worth every day on the job. There are many simple, yet effective, actions you can take to exceed expectations, and it all boils down to taking your seasonal position as seriously as a permanent one.

The first, and perhaps most simple action, is to arrive on time every day. Being punctual, even if you are only part-time, demonstrates responsibility and that you value your position. During the holiday season especially, showing up on time in busy shifts will make you stand out as more reliable than coworkers who may take the flexibility of the position too far.

Another key step is asking for more responsibility. For example, if a coworker needs to leave, offer to cover their shift and stay longer. If the store is in a slow hour, don't be idle- try asking a supervisor if there is anything else you can do while your hands are free. If you are assigned to one specific department, ask if it would be okay to help in another department one shift as a learning experience. Remember, there is always something that can be done in the fast-paced world of retail, so be the one to step up without even being asked to.

Be sure to always have a great attitude. In stressful times such as the holidays, it's easy to get exhausted and frustrated. Busy shifts, rude customers, and extra workloads can easily dampen the mood of a retail employee. Rather than allowing yourself to get dragged down, do your best to maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic. Even a smile can go a long way in the eyes of a supervisor. An employee with enthusiasm is much more likely to be asked to stay on permanently than one with negativity.

Work hard to be a team player. Try to get to know each employee you're working alongside of, build relationships with them, and integrate yourself into the team. If you can demonstrate you fit in with the culture during the season, you can fit in as a permanent member.

Treat every customer with respect. This is much easier said than done. However, if you can demonstrate abilities to build rapport with customers and manage the difficult ones, this will certainly catch the eyes of a manager. Customer service and problem-solving skills go together and are often considered the most crucial soft skills to have as a retail employee. Practice these daily as you interact with customers, and don't be afraid step up with solutions when complicated situations arise.

Don't be afraid to ask, rather than wait to be asked, for a permanent position. It can be helpful to hint to a supervisor that you're interested in a permanent position long before the season is over. Try reaching out to different managers, the human resources department, and other coworkers to find out what availabilities there are or will be expected by the end of the season.

Finally, when the season is coming to an end, ask your supervisor if they have some time to sit down with you one-on-one to discuss your performance. As your boss reflects on the great job you've done, use these examples as a vehicle to exhibit your crucial role to team. Explain how much you've enjoyed the position, the company, and learning from your supervisor as you ask if it is possible for a permanent position- you want to show how much your enthusiasm for the job is valuable to the team. As long as you've taken your seasonal position seriously, they should be happy to have you stay on!

Turning your seasonal retail position into a permanent one is as simple as putting your best foot forward every minute on the job. Be punctual, responsible, and enthusiastic, and your retail job can turn into a career.