Thinking of applying for a seasonal gig at one of our stores during the holidays? You might well end up with much more than some extra cash and a great discount on gifts. We recently chatted with three sales associates who joined Athleta, Gap and Banana Republic as seasonal hires and loved their stores so much, they decided to become permanent employees.
Audrey Mundstock, a sales associate at Athleta in Bayshore Town Center in Milwaukee, Wis., is a distance runner who especially loves Athleta's Fastest Track tees, so “the discount was a huge perk" when she joined the store's team during the 2015 holiday season — as was scheduling that accommodated her classes at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Flexibility in scheduling is also key for associates who juggle work and family life, like Joanne Tassone. She's coming up on her second anniversary at the Gap Factory store in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, where she signed on as a seasonal employee in 2014.
“During the school year I can work while my kids are in school," said the mom of two, “and in the summer, I can change it up to work evenings so I can be home with them during the day."
Linda Bird, who joined the Banana Republic team at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif., for the Summer 2015 season after retiring from a long career in corporate sales, enjoys the culture and the diverse team at her store.
“I think I'm the oldest one here," she said with a laugh. “My younger colleagues give me energy... maybe I give them some wisdom!"
Joanne echoes Linda's appreciation for her co-workers. “I wondered if I'd be judged for having been a stay-at-home mom," Joanne said, “but the people I work with are amazing — you come in and immediately they treat you as one of their own.
“During the holidays, especially, we have a lot of fun sharing treats and letting off steam together."
Audrey will graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the spring; she plans to move to Minneapolis to work at another Athleta store and look for work in the graphic design field.
“The chance to stay with a job I know and really like is a great thing, and will make the transition after graduation so much easier," she said.
For Joanne, the job has reverberated more deeply than she ever expected. “As a mom, you're always doing something for someone else," she explained. “So when your kids get older and don't need you as much, it's easy to feel a little bit lost. Taking the plunge into a job like this can give you some independence, a feeling of accomplishment, and of course help in paying the bills at home."
And for Linda, learning a different kind of sales job than what she was used to has been a delight. “When you bring your life experience here and apply it alongside the thorough training you get, your life can turn into something totally different from what you'd envisioned," she said.
“If you like people and like to learn, this is a wonderful place to be."
Check out seasonal jobs at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta.