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Seasonal job options for retirees

Last Updated at January 12th 2022
If you are retired and looking for some casual or temporary work to keep yourself occupied over the summer holidays, you may enjoy seasonal work.

Key points:

  • Seasonal work can be a great option for retirees who want to make extra money and keep active in their community
  • Local events and festivals are common temporary work options, especially during the warmer months
  • As holidays and summer can be a busy time for businesses, they are more likely to look for temporary or seasonal workers
Older man with newly picked fruit
Seasonal work can be a fantastic opportunity for retirees to keep engaged in their community or make some extra money. [Source: Shutterstock]

The holidays can be a busy time with more people taking holidays, children not at school, and businesses need more workers to help with this new influx of people.

It can be a perfect opportunity to make some extra money and keep active without having to commit to a full-time position.

Many businesses enjoy employing retirees because they have years of diverse experience, generally have flexible schedules, and work hard.

Doing seasonal work can also help you stay active in your community and assist with any loneliness and social isolation you may be experiencing.

Be mindful that if you are receiving the Age Pension, then it may be impacted by how much money you make during this period of temporary work.

Here are some different seasonal job options to consider:

Fruit picking

There are a lot of fruit picking opportunities for retirees that can be great as they generally only last for a couple of months or less.

If you aren't too concerned about location, some businesses provide share housing or accommodation options for people to come to their farm for seasonal work.

The work pay is generally based on performance, for example, how many boxes of fruit you pick in a day, so the money can differ between people.

If you are worried about the work being too labour intensive, certain fruit harvesting can be less strenuous, like blueberries, raspberries or blackberry picking.

Vintage

With lots of different wine regions across Australia, the vintage season is an important part of the winemaking industry.

There are a variety of jobs available ranging from grape picking to lab work to bottling or even cellar door assistance.

If you love a good drop of wine, why not get up close and personal with the whole production of Australian wine.

Festival or event workers

Summer is a prime time for festivals, markets, or events because the weather is great and people want to get out and try new experiences. And with that come a lot of job opportunities ranging from casual, volunteer, part time or full time roles.

These jobs are not long term and can get you close to the action, whether it is a music festival or a food festival.

Organisations like the Australian Open are a huge employer every year in summer for the huge tennis event or there may be smaller local events you could apply for.

Customer or retail service roles

Some cafes, restaurants or stores employ more workers over the holiday period. For instance, with people having more time to themselves, they might go retail shopping.

It can be a busy time of year for these businesses, due to end of year sales or new year sales, and are very hands-on deck, which is why seasonal workers can be really helpful for these workplaces.

Lifeguards

Hot weather means more people are swimming at the beach or at the pool. Sometimes a local pool or beach may need an extra pair of hands or eyes to make sure people are safe.

If you are physically fit and have basic first aid training, this would be a perfect job for any older person who enjoys the water. You may even be able to teach some swimming classes to children who are just learning how to swim if you have the right experience.

Theme parks

Australia has its fair share of theme parks along the east coast, and those theme parks are never busier than during the summertime.

Whether it's Luna Park in Sydney or Movie World in Queensland, these places can have a huge intake of workers during the holiday season to help with crowd management, ride safety, or food retail.

Finding seasonal work

It can be a good idea to start looking for seasonal jobs early into the summer season, as you will have more to choose from and some of the better options may not be available if you wait too long.

Online search tools can be really useful for seasonal work and most job search engines tend to have a search option for seasonal or temporary work opportunities in your specified location.

In your local community, it may be helpful to visit the local council, who may list seasonal work options - such as summer programs assistance - or keep an eye out at any local business that is looking for an extra helping hand.

When applying for seasonal work, be upfront that you are looking for seasonal or temporary work, as well as your preferred work hours or if you are flexible on times.

Documentation you should have prepared when applying for seasonal work include an up to date resume with work experience that fits the job you are applying for, any work visas (if applicable), a cover letter, and any certificates or checks you may need, for example, a working with children check or first aid certificate for a lifeguard or theme park worker.

If all else fails, volunteering opportunities are always available in your local community if you can't find seasonal work but want to do something meaningful to fill your day.

What summer jobs have you taken up in your retirement? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

Journey into retirement and how life might change
Finding purpose in your retirement
Volunteering benefits for older Australians

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