The pros and cons of seasonal temp work

Many people will seek to use holiday work as added work experience. This is especially true for some teens and many more college students. For these two groups there are both the good side and bad side of holiday work which should be looked into. Make sure you are not just seeing dollar signs when thinking about a holiday job.


There are many aspects which come with both the good and bad of holiday work. Here are a few of the positive things.

  • Extra income - you have your own money
  • Work experience - you gain experience and skills for later in life
  • Resume filler - these jobs make good filler for CV's and resumes
  • Time Management experience - you learn about schedules, managing your free time and estimating travel time
  • Money management - if treated properly you can quickly learn about saving and planning for future interests
  • References - holiday work can gain references for future employment
  • Working with others - this is a good way to learn about dealing with co-workers and possibly customers


While there are positive things to holiday work, as with anything there is the good and the bad of holiday work.

  • The job eventually ends - every holiday season job will end either right before or after the holiday
  • There is no guaranty of permanent employment - most holiday jobs will not turn into any type of permanent position
  • Schedule issues - you don't get to make your own schedule and must work around your job
  • The wages - most holiday jobs are minimum wage jobs
  • No benefits - you don't get insurance or any other benefits of employment outside of the paycheck
  • Time and money management - this can also be a negative issue if you have not done this before
  • Trade-offs - working will take away from free time, family time and may cut into vacation time

Set Goals

Many of the good and bad experiences of holiday work can be traced back to the goals and reasons for getting the job at the beginning. Here's a few tips to help avoid the bad part of working the holidays.

  • Know the reason you want to get a job
  • Understand what is involved in having the job you want
  • Understand the cost of having a job
  • Know how much of the paycheck will be saved and spent
  • Parents and students should have a discussion about money sometime before the first paycheck.

If you are a student, and you still want to get a job for the holidays, understand that being aware of both the good and the bad of working seasonal jobs doesn't make working a bad idea. Having goals in mind, including saving and spending limits, can help any job become more enjoyable when you see results at the end of the pay period.