The run-up to Christmas can be a fantastic time of year to secure a temporary job. From retailers looking for support during their busiest time to uniquely seasonal opportunities like gift wrapping, there are plenty of ways to use the festive period to your advantage.
Christmas jobs can offer you a chance to try something different, learn some new skills, and stay active over the winter period. Who knows, it could even lead to a permanent position in the new year – if that’s what you want.
With that said, here are 10 seasonal jobs to land in the lead-up to Christmas…
1. Become a gift wrapper
For many people, transforming objects into beautifully wrapped gifts can be an entertaining yet therapeutic festive activity – one made even more special because your creations have the power to put a smile on someone’s face. But did you know that you can gift wrap professionally?
You can land a job as a gift wrapper with retailers or gift wrapping services (such as Jane Means) at any time of year. But there are generally more opportunities for temporary work over the gift-giving season.
Gift wrappers can work long shifts during Christmas, so ideally, it’ll be an activity you enjoy and would be comfortable doing for hours at a time. You don’t usually need specific experience to apply for these roles, as you’ll be instructed on the job. Still, you’ll need to be able to make gifts look presentable and appealing while fulfilling customers’ wrapping requests.
If you already consider yourself an expert gift-wrapper, however, you could even start your own seasonal gift-wrapping service. It’s a great side hustle because the start-up costs are relatively low (you can get cracking with just a few rolls of paper and some ribbon), and there’s always demand for gift wrapping. You can advertise your services on local Facebook groups.
Ready to become a wrap star?
2. Help Christmas keep moving as a delivery driver
Want to kick your job search up a gear this Christmas? The good news is that there are plenty of seasonal opportunities behind the wheel.
Delivering gift packages to people’s loved ones can be a gratifying job over Christmas, as you’ll know that you’re helping to make people’s festive seasons the best they can be. Plus, if you enjoy driving, what better way to spend time than hitting the open road and listening to Christmas belters?
So, if you think a driving job could be perfect for you, now might be the time to put your foot down and find a role. As long as you have a clean, full UK licence, you should be able to get started right away.
Set off on your Christmas driving journey
3. Find a Christmas retail role
Are you a sociable person who enjoys meeting new people? Does the thought of helping someone find what they need this Christmas excite you? If so, you could consider a seasonal role in the retail industry. Christmas is the busiest shopping season of the year, so many retailers throughout the UK are recruiting for extra help.
A retail job can make for a rewarding way to get more involved in your community by helping people pick out the perfect present for a loved one or a sumptuous selection of treats for their Christmas dinner. Plus, between the decorations and merry shoppers, retail environments can quickly get you in the festive spirit.
So, if you think you’d enjoy meeting and offering assistance to a range of different customers, it’s worth looking at what jobs are on offer. From working as a seasonal sales assistant for Harrods or helping shoppers pick out new outfits at River Island to becoming a seasonal makeup expert at Space NK, there’s plenty to choose from!
Shop social seasonal roles…
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4. Work as Santa or one of his helpers
Are you enthusiastic with a love of performing? Or perhaps you want to step outside of your comfort zone this holiday season? At this time of year, employers begin looking for seasonal staff to help bring their Christmas grottos to life. It’s the perfect way to fully immerse yourself in the festive spirit and help spread some Christmas joy.
Christmas grottos usually start popping up throughout November and December in places like shopping centres, department stores, and theme parks – and they need lots of eager employees to play roles like elves and even Santa himself.
People of all ages (but usually children) will visit Santa’s grotto to make a Christmas wish. The experience is designed to help everyone who attends to feel as festive as possible!
To work as Santa or a Christmas elf, you’ll be required to dress up (the costume will be provided) and act like the character you’re playing – so it’s a chance to channel your inner thespian.
There are plenty of employers who hire theatrical Christmas staff with no previous experience and provide on-the-job training – from theme parks like Legoland to agencies like Great Grottos. As long as you’re warm, friendly, and willing to entertain people of all ages, there’s no reason why you can’t apply today.
Immerse yourself in a new role this Christmas
5. Work from home in a customer service role
If you’re looking for a seasonal role that allows you to work from home, why not consider a job in remote customer service?
With people doing more online shopping during the Christmas period, the busier remote customer service teams get – so lots of companies will be looking to bring on seasonal workers to help with all the extra queries in November and December.
Remote customer service roles generally involve helping customers with questions about things like order processing, deliveries, cancellations, and refunds. You’ll generally use multiple channels to speak to customers – such as phone, email, social media, and live chat – so strong digital skills (including Microsoft Word and Excel) are a must.
Some remote customer service roles will require some previous experience. However, others are happy to hire people based on their soft skills and personality. They’ll then train you up on the job. Employers will be looking for enthusiastic, patient applicants with excellent communication skills and a strong desire to provide a quality service.
Interested in earning from home this Christmas?
6. Help out in a bar or restaurant
The holiday season is one of the busiest times for the service industry. In the lead-up to Christmas and the New Year, pubs, bars, and restaurants are packed with people catching up and celebrating with friends, family, and work colleagues.
Because of this influx of customers, hiring managers will usually take on seasonal staff for the autumn and winter months, to make sure they have enough help over the hectic holiday season.
Although it’ll be busy, if you’re a sociable person, working in a bar or restaurant during the festive period can be great fun. People begin to relax as they wind down towards Christmas, meaning they tend to be in good spirits, and you can get to meet a diverse range of people in your community.
Plus, there are plenty of different roles to choose from, from becoming part of the bar and wait staff at Fuller’s to working as a seasonal chef.
You may have an advantage when applying for bar and waiting roles if you have previous hospitality or customer service experience. However, don’t worry if you don’t, as many employers will train staff on the job, provided they have a positive attitude.
Many people have the perception that hospitality is strictly for younger people. But it can be a sociable and rewarding career for people of all ages, whether you’re looking for seasonal work or a full-time gig. Check out our conversation with Julie, who started a career in hospitality in later life, to find out more about why it could be the perfect role for you…
7. Work for Royal Mail
Can you deliver in a seasonal role with Royal Mail this Christmas? The holidays can be an exciting time to send and receive post. Mail staff work hard to make sure that letters and parcels reach their final destination in time for Christmas – even if that means getting a letter to Santa to the North Pole!
While they accept applications for a range of roles all year round, Royal Mail need all hands on deck over the holiday months – after all, there are 29 million addresses across the UK and the festive season is their busiest time. So, in the lead-up to Christmas, they take on ranks of casual staff to fill a mixture of full and part-time indoor sorting positions.
They also offer a variety of different shift patterns, making it easy to find something that suits you. If you decide to work for Royal Mail this Christmas season, you’ll be doing a meaningful and rewarding job by helping people connect with friends and loved ones all over the UK.
Want to spread some festive cheer?
8. Work behind the scenes in a warehouse
As already mentioned, Christmas is the busiest time for retailers. But this doesn’t just mean they need seasonal workers to help out in shops, but also behind the scenes. Retailers become inundated with gift orders over the holiday season, so it’s no wonder that they need extra hands in their warehouses to make sure that everything continues to run smoothly.
If you’re in good health and enjoy doing physical work, there are plenty of opportunities to work in retail warehouses picking, packing, and processing orders. Warehouse roles are ideal for people looking for seasonal work because they generally don’t require any previous experience and, in many cases, you can find a schedule to suit you.
These jobs can be demanding, but for those who are physically able and enjoy working in an organised and methodical way, they can be an interesting temporary employment option over the festive season.
Pack presents this Christmas
9. Become a pet sitter
Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person – or something else entirely – there are plenty of animals that need looking after during the holiday season.
Not everyone stays at home for Christmas; many people use the time to go on holiday or stay with faraway family, and it’s not always possible for them to bring their furry friends. This is where pet sitters come in!
Pet sitters may care for animals in their own homes or their clients’ homes. Typical duties involve feeding, playing, walking, and looking after the general wellbeing of any pet(s) left in your care. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, websites such as Tailster and Pawshake are great tools for learning the ropes and building up clients.
As well as earning money, pet sitting can also be an excellent way to secure some free accommodation. You can find people looking for house and pet sitters to work in exchange for the use of their home through platforms like Trusted Housesitters. It’s a great way to spend Christmas somewhere new (either in the UK or abroad) without paying for an Airbnb or hotel.
Want to spend Christmas with a furry friend?
10. Volunteer to help others this Christmas
If you don’t need a paid role this holiday season but are looking for a rewarding way to spend some time over Christmas, you could consider a seasonal volunteering opportunity.
Christmas can be a difficult time for many people. For the very elderly and homeless people, the colder weather can pose a threat to their physical health and even their lives. And for people living on the breadline, giving their families basic Christmas staples – like small presents and a meal on the 25th – can be a real challenge.
With all the imagery and messaging about family and friends around Christmas, the holidays can also be a particularly difficult time for people who are chronically lonely.
If you’d like to lend a hand to help people over the Christmas period, there are a number of charities looking for extra help. Every year, Crisis need volunteers for their Crisis at Christmas campaign; a unique effort that provides immediate help for homeless people over the holiday period.
Crisis recruits a number of different volunteers, including hairdressers, people to run arts and craft sessions, and meal volunteers to help give homeless people confidence and bring a bit of cheer to their festive season.
Or you could befriend an elderly person through a charity like Age UK, or help provide families with Christmas basics at a food bank – you can use this search engine from The Trussell Trust to find your local one.
Want to see what other opportunities are out there?
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Whether you need some quick work while you search for something permanent, want to top up your savings, or are interested in adding some purpose to your Yuletide season, temporary work can be a great option.
And while it can sometimes feel like a means to an end, it can be helpful to think of seasonal work as an opportunity to open new doors, try new things, and learn new skills – all while getting paid. Many temporary jobs can lead to permanent opportunities, and even if they don’t, you’ll have something new to add to your CV.
For more job ideas, head over to the career advice section of our website. And to search for jobs, click the button below…
Are you considering taking on some seasonal work this Christmas? Do you have any other job ideas that you would like to share with other Rest Less members? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.