Are you ready for the great Christmas wind-up?

Photo: IR_Stone / Getty.

While many of us are beginning to look forward to winding down for Christmas, retailers, restaurants and delivery companies are busy winding up to meet the extra demand of festive shoppers flocking to city centres and online marketplaces. At this time of the year, the need for people to pack and deliver Britain’s pressies, staff the tills, serve the meals and wash the dishes creates a recruitment rush of epic proportions.

If you could use a few extra bob and have time on your hands this Christmas, you won’t have to look too hard for temporary work: the likes of Royal Mail, John Lewis and M&S are part of a much longer long list of employers offering tens of thousands of short-term vacancies right now, and the demand is set to continue through Christmas, the January Sales and beyond.

A job for life, not just for Christmas?

Okay, it’s pretty unlikely processing orders in a warehouse will lead to a job for life, but Christmas jobs can and sometimes do turn into bigger and better things. A job well done could catch the attention of your manager and lead to something more permanent. So, even if you see your temporary contract as a nice short-term little earner, it doesn’t hurt to stay open to opportunities that may emerge. At the very least, and particularly if you are a young worker with limited work experience to date, every Christmas job gives greater substance to your CV (more on how to write your first CV here). 

Know your rights

Finally remember, just because it’s Christmas, there’s no break from potentially shoddy and exploitative employment practices from bad employers. You could wind up feeling short-changed and hard done by if you don’t know your rights at work, so it pays to read our answers to these five frequently asked questions about working at Christmas. For more about your entitlements at work over the festive period, see our Christmas Issues section.