How to End a Seasonal Contract on a Good Note


Seasonal work is a great way to make some extra money during your summer vacation from school or the off-season of your regular job.

Some people take on temporary positions to supplement their income, while some work seasonal jobs as a lifestyle choice. Others take on a variety of seasonal contracts in order to try different things.

Whether you’re a manager who wants to ensure a great employee returns next year or a student looking for a job reference, it’s important to end the season on a good note.

Related documents: Employment Contract, Employee Evaluation

What is seasonal work?

Some businesses have an influx of work at certain times of the year, while others may only operate seasonally. By hiring seasonal workers, these companies can bring on temporary staff to cover the extra work just while they’re needed. This way, employees aren’t abruptly and unexpectedly let go.

Some typical seasonal jobs include:

  • Retail jobs during the holiday shopping season
  • Outdoor work, such as construction, landscaping, and snow removal
  • Recreation jobs at a summer camp, outdoor pool, national park, or ski resort
  • Internships or co-op positions

Tips for employers

Ending seasonal employment allows you to leave the door open for them to return next season. Workers with a positive experience are also more likely to let their friends know about the position next season and leave positive reviews on hiring websites like Glassdoor.

Review the employment contract

Being aware of how the Employment Contract presents the worker’s employment term to ensure the employee has a smooth transition leaving the company.

Some seasonal contracts end on a set date, but others require you to provide notice to terminate employment. If that’s the case, ensure you give your employees sufficient notice (usually two weeks) that their contract is ending.

Acknowledge their good work

As with any employee, it’s a good idea to conduct a performance evaluation to ensure your workers know that their hard work is recognized, particularly if you’d like them to come back next year. Seasonal workers who know they’re valued and had a fulfilling experience are more likely to return.

If you have any feedback, remember to be clear, specific, and fair. For example, don’t fixate on a small error made on the first day. When giving constructive criticism, you should clarify the standards expected and provide concrete steps to improve. An Employee Evaluation can formalize the performance evaluation.

Provide an opportunity for feedback

Giving your workers the chance to provide feedback in an exit interview can help them feel valued. Employee feedback also provides you with valuable insights on what you’re doing well and where your business or leadership can improve.

To capture accurate feedback, make sure the employee feels comfortable. If you think your employees may feel too restricted in a face-to-face meeting, you can give them a survey.

Would they like to return?

Share your hiring projections for next year (e.g. how many individuals you plan to hire) and ask your valuable workers if they’re interested in returning. This way, next season, they know they can check in with you first before looking elsewhere.

Tips for employees

Whether you want to return next year or simply want a good reference, it’s important to leave a great impression with a company.

Keep working hard

Many seasonal workers are filling the gaps between school terms or in the off-season of their regular jobs. However, seasonal work is still work, even if it’s over your vacation.

Thank your coworkers

Reach out to the supervisors or seasoned coworkers who trained or mentored you and thank them in person or with a note.

Acknowledging the team is not only considerate and kind but also may improve your chances of being rehired. When hiring next year, your boss may look to the permanent staff for advice or ask veteran seasonal employees who they’d like to work with again.

Sit down with your boss

Ensure your boss knows your last day is approaching to ensure they get your paperwork in order and avoid leaving a gap in their schedule. Chances are your boss will set up an exit interview or performance evaluation, but if they don’t, it’s a good idea to request a meeting.

When you sit down with your boss, be sure to thank them for the opportunity, discuss what you’ve learned, and outline where you want to grow. If you’re a student or recent graduate who is building their resume, this is also a good time to ask whether your boss is willing to act as a reference or write you a recommendation letter.

Voice your interest in future opportunities

If you’d like to return next year, make sure your manager knows. You can show you’re serious by asking about opportunities to move up and ways you can develop your skillset during the off-season.

Similarly, if you’d like to turn your seasonal job into a permanent position, express your interest as soon as possible. Ask your boss whether full-time opportunities presently exist. How have others built their career with the company? What skills and training are necessary to be a permanent employee? Bear in mind that your performance during the season will likely affect if management asks you to stay or not.

Keep in touch

You can maintain the relationship you built with your boss and the company in a few different ways. The easiest way is by following the company on social media and interacting every so often by liking posts or congratulating them on their achievements.

Another way to keep in touch is by sending the occasional email to your supervisor or mentor. In the email, you can mention good news you heard about the company, request advice related to your experience at the company, or if you haven’t yet expressed interest in returning, inquire about future opportunities. The main goal is to maintain the relationship and keep yourself in the front of their minds for opportunities that arise.

Leaving the door open

Whether you’re the manager or employee, it’s essential to leave a good impression after the seasonal work is complete. Following these tips can help you end the season on a high note and sustain your relationship.


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