Working for the theme parks can be way more than a full-time job during such high-attendance periods as Christmas week and Spring Break. During the off-season, though, no one is guaranteed full-time hours except the relatively small percentage who are classified as full-time employees. If you are seasonal or part-time, you might watch your hours fall like a rock during slower seasons. Fortunately, there are ways to pick up additional shifts.
Keep in mind that overtime is not generally approved, except under specific circumstances. Always ask your direct supervisor, and the location supervisor at any other location you plan to work for, before picking up a shift that would put you into overtime. Here are four steps to picking up shifts.
1. Work for someone at your location
The easiest way to pick up additional hours is to work for someone in your location who wants a day off. If your work site has a lot of employees, there is probably a bulletin board for people to post schedule change requests. You can post a notice that you are looking for hours, or simply reply to notices from people who want time off.
If your location is smaller, ask around or simply keep your ears open. At smaller work sites, everyone generally knows a lot about everyone else. Pay attention to people’s upcoming events, such as birthday parties and family weddings, and ask if they already have an approved day off.
Note that you might not be able to pick up shifts from everyone in your location. Not all employees are trained in every aspect of the job, and each day’s schedule needs to have enough people certified in the right areas to fully cover all the positions. In some cases, full-time employees are not allowed to give away shifts that would put them under 32 hours in a week, as this could automatically trigger paid time off. Because of these and other factors, shift changes must be approved by a supervisor and entered into your location’s computer system.
2. Take on a special event
Special events run the gamut from private parties to hard-ticketed public festivities such as Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights and Walt Disney World’s Night of Joy. Although it is never guaranteed, overtime is usually more available during special events due to the sheer number of employees required to work them. Familiarize yourself with the annual schedule of public events, and let your supervisor know you are open to working private parties.
Signing up for special event shifts can be as easy as verbally telling your supervisor you will work, or as complicated as logging into your company’s website and formally accepting a particular shift. At some locations, supervisors tend to automatically schedule people who have expressed an interest in special events, so make sure you check your weekly schedule for any surprises.