Over the busy festive period, many shops and hospitality venues opt to hire temporary staff to help out with the increased workload. In Australia, these kinds of roles are typically known as ‘Christmas casual jobs’, as they tend to be advertised in the months leading up to Christmas. However, some specialty businesses may employ additional staff over other periods, like Easter or school holidays.
There are several different types of Christmas casual positions, but working in a café, restaurant, retail store, pick packing (fulfilling customer orders, often at a warehouse) and gift wrapping are some of the most common. Christmas casual jobs are usually posted on major job sites – you can check out our guide to where to look for work here.
The benefits of Christmas casual jobs
A casual job over Christmas is a fantastic way to make some extra money during time off from your studies. As well, working in a Christmas casual role can add value to your resume and help you stand out when applying for other jobs. You learn valuable skills like sales, customer service, managing stressful situations, problem solving, thinking on your feet and teamwork. Research by Adzuna has also shown that gaining work experience over the holiday period may enhance long-term earning.
How to turn a Christmas casual role into a permanent job
While Christmas casual work is usually seasonal, in some cases, you may be able to turn it into an ongoing role. There are a few tips you can take on board to increase your chances of becoming a permanent employee:
– The first step is to inform your manager of your desire to stick with the company. Showing that you’re eager is always very appealing to managers, and they will no doubt appreciate your interest. Make sure you do this after you have spent considerable time in the role and are confident you’d like to stay on.
– During your time with the company, keep an ear out for job opportunities. The moment you hear a role has opened up, raise your hand and tell your manager you’d like to apply for it. By showing enthusiasm and drive, the hiring manager may consider you above applicants who have not worked with the company before.
– Building relationships is important, no matter the role. Make a good impression on your manager, as well as the rest of the team. It is very likely that they will be feeding back to a more senior manager, who may be in charge of hiring decisions. Bonus: You can also use relationship building as an opportunity to learn more about Australia and make friends!
– Go above and beyond expectations, volunteer to take on additional responsibilities, and tackle any challenges that come your way. This is your chance to show your dedication, drive and ability to solve problems. Not only will you get noticed, but you will also be top of mind as soon as a job vacancy pops up.
– Always take Christmas casual work seriously. Even though you may only be working at the company for a few weeks or months, it’s still a job that requires you to put in maximum effort. Make sure you show your enthusiasm for the role, especially if you want to turn it into a long-term position.
– Present yourself professionally. This means being neat and tidy and wearing your uniform properly (if you’re required to wear one).
– Be reliable. Punctuality and open, honest communication are key to succeeding in any role. Arrive to work on time and stick to your allocated lunch break (disappearing for three hours won’t look good!). Tell your manager as soon as possible if you will be unable to make a shift or are confused about how to tackle a task. Most employers understand that holidays are a busy time and will appreciate your conscientiousness.
– Treat the casual role as a permanent one. While you are not expected to do everything, act like you are looking ahead to the future of the business by being proactive and showing initiative. This will help your employer envision you as one of their own – for the long haul.
How to include your Christmas casual role on your resume
Even though your Christmas casual employment might not be directly related to what you’re studying or other jobs you want to apply for, a seasonal role can be a hugely valuable addition to your resume. Believe us, most employers look for the skills that Christmas casual jobs offer.
When including your Christmas casual job on your resume, list the role as ‘Christmas Casual Assistant – name of organisation’ and the period you worked there. To ensure your skills are transferrable to other jobs, you could focus on the soft skills that you have learned, such as organisation, punctuality and problem solving, rather than listing tasks like greeting customers, cash handling and stocktaking (unless these are applicable to the job you’re applying for, of course!). For example, if you are studying to become an engineer, skills like communication and problem solving will be very attractive to employers. Use this experience to your benefit!