RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The nation's unemployment rate rose just a tick last month, to 6.7%. With spring around the corner, people will soon start looking for that summer job.
So how do you turn that seasonal gig into a regular paycheck?
When college student Brittany Brooks applied for a job at a local store, they told her they were only hiring seasonal help and she would probably be let go soon. She decided to go for it anyway.
"I needed the money, and I just wanted to have the experience of saying, 'Yes, I have had a job,'" said Brooks.
Brittany impressed her boss, and her holiday job turned permanent - something that experts say is a fast growing trend.
"About 49 percent of the employers that we talked to plan on hiring these part-time, seasonal workers into full-time positions," said careerbuilder.com President Brent Rasmussen. "So this is a great opportunity to showcase your skills."
Rasmussen says these seasonal jobs can provide not only an immediate paycheck, but also a foot in the door.
"You should view it as an extended job interview," said Rasmussen. "This is an opportunity for the company to get to know you, for you to know the company, to show them what you bring to their organization and to show how you can become a valuable asset."
Its not just retail, either. Companies in a variety of fields are test-driving temporary employees before hiring them for good.
So how do you score a permanent position? Dawn Fay, a member of the American Staffing Association, says first you need to treat the job as if its already yours.
Some other ways to put your best foot forward?
• Ask for extra assignments.
• Make an effort to get to know your coworkers by attending social and professional functions.
• Ask for regular feedback of your performance and how you can improve.
"People love people that have initiative and that want to do a better job," said Fay.
Lastly, make sure your boss doesn't think you want the job for the wrong reasons.
"Retail organizations tell us all the time they're offended when people only work for the discount and not for the company," said Rasmussen.
Two years later, Brittany is still working at her holiday job and loving every minute of it.
"The people I work with, honestly, are like family. I've enjoyed it ever since."
Experts say it's also important to be flexible with your time when it comes to seasonal work. Full-time employees usually get first dibs on the best schedule - meaning you might end up working odd hours or even the holidays themselves.