Theme Park Seasonal Jobs …
or Theme Park Careers
On the Theme Park Types page, you saw a comprehensive listing of the entry-level jobs you can expect to be offered when you first apply for themepark employment. These summer jobs and careers are vital to the company, as no theme park can operate without a quality team of day-to-day operations people. However, in the grand scheme of things, very few people want to work a cash register or stock shelves for more than a few years. It is hard work with many hours on your feet in all kinds of weather, and can become a bit repetitive after a while.
This is where the benefits of theme park networking come in. The parks strive to hire from within because current employees already are familiar with company policy, rules and regulations, standard operating guidelines, mission statements, etc. In short, these companies save money by hiring internally from their existing work force. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to find ways to make yourself a marketable commodity in your role through networking, taking initiative for new projects, and providing great guest service. You also need to be the one to indicate to your management that you are seeking advancement, and keep a close eye on internal job postings.
There are a plethora of jobs at theme parks beyond the entry level variety. Positions such as administrative assistants, engineers, guest services, training coordinators, and managers for the attractions, restaurants, shops, daily operations, and entertainment venues usually have openings throughout the year. These jobs also involve a lot of footwork, as you may be in charge of several locations at once, but also provide better benefits and pay than the entry level jobs do. Most of these positions require applicants to be computer savvy, dress and act professionally at all times, handle budgets and schedules, defuse disputes among employees, adhere to Union guidelines, approve inventory counts, ensure all safety guidelines are met on a daily basis, and immediately address guest complaints and concerns.
There’s no one “right way” to shift from entry level to professional level; every person who’s been there has a different story to tell.
One current manager reports:
“I started working in the greenhouses as an intern. As I was finishing school, I’d come back and work a few days a year to remain an active employee. Then, after I graduated, I got a seasonal job with Entertainment, doing crowd control during the holiday shows. During that time, I met with a bunch of managers for Food & Beverage, and was able to network myself into a Restaurant Manager role after the holidays were over.”
Here are a couple of tips and tricks for moving up the corporate ladder in the theme park industry. Always keep an updated resume with you, especially when you know you’ll be meeting with some of the managers. Attend the career fairs your company hosts. Ask your managers to help set up shadowing opportunities either with them or with other areas you’re interested in. Make up your own business cards (or get them for free from a variety of internet sites) and leave them with the managers you shadow. And the number one strategy: Network! Network! Network!