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Use seasonal job to gain skills, build resume

Retail provides countless opportunities to develop and utilize transferable skills.
Retail provides countless opportunities to develop and utilize transferable skills.

With the busiest shopping day of the year just one week away, thousands of people across the United States will soon be in the throes of seasonal employment.

Although used by many people as a way to generate extra cash for holiday shopping, these jobs can and should be used as an opportunity to learn, develop, and even refine, skills which can be applied to a full-time job or transferred to another position altogether. A transferable skill is simply one which you take from one job to another.

Consider retail, the most popular industry for seasonal holiday employment. While many people equate retail with stocking shelves and operating a cash register, it actually provides hands-on experience in customer service, inventory management, sales, and organization-skills which are valued and highly sought-after in any number of other industries.

Income tax preparation is another popular field for seasonal employment. Although tax preparation companies do most of their work between February and April, many are hiring now and will begin training in December. Apart from clerical, administrative, and data processing skills, these jobs provide employees the chance to learn a new computer program and the ins-and-outs of tax laws.

Because competition for these jobs is so fierce due to the economy, seasonal employees should focus not just on a quick paycheck, but on the skills they'll gain and could apply to another job. They should also focus on building solid professional connections, because what started out as a temporary job could actually turn into a full-time opportunity.