How to make it through your Christmas temp job

If you are a student or recent graduate in need of some extra cash, chances are you have snapped up a temp position for the holidays. Due to the onslaught of seasonal shoppers and diners, retail and hospitality establishments need a little extra help. Whether or not you have worked in these industries before it can be hard to prepare yourself for how demanding your role will be. Here are WNOL’s top tips on how to survive your Christmas temp job.

1. Punctuality

Whilst it may seem obvious, being consistently late is an easy way to get yourself fired. Always turn up ten minutes before your shift. It is not as easy as slipping into the back of your lecture hall hungover. Make sure to allow for travel delays, especially in winter. You need to know if your entire transport system is going to go down due to a few flakes of snow.

2. Initiative

Showing initiative is a great attribute for every Christmas temp and is the surest way to an offer of permanent employment. Whilst there will be support from other staff members and a small amount of on the job training it is unlikely to be that extensive. Due to how busy the permanent staff will be serving customers themselves, there may be times when you are on your own. You should always feel free to ask them for help but it is important to use some of your own initiative when carrying out your job role.

3. Footwear

If you are not used to completing eight hour shifts on your feet than the comfortability of your footwear will be the deciding factor on whether you will ever walk again. It takes a toll that your body is just not used to and having your body scream in pain will make your shift go a lot slower. Most employers won’t allow you to wear trainers in the hospitality industry as they want to present a professional image. So make sure you find a pair of comfortable-sturdy flats that won’t leave you with blisters.

4. Tolerance

Performing a customer facing role in the run up to Christmas can certainly be a challenge. Whether it is shoppers with twenty items to wrap but only five minutes to wait, or diners scrambling for that last restaurant reservation. People seem to loose all rationality and it is up to you to keep a clear head. Do your best to show empathy (even if through gritted teeth) without being patronising. And remember if you are receiving a complaint that you can not deal with yourself, you can always go to your manager for support.

5. Efficiency

As it is the busiest period there is no time for dawdling about. Managing to keep a fast and productive pace will go a long way in impressing your employers. Making sure that each customer gets served in an efficient manner and performing tasks to the best for your ability will make you the favourite of the Christmas team.

6. Commitment

Be prepared to loose you Christmas Eve, Sunday lie ins and even Boxing day. Most Christmas temp contracts will require you to work holidays such as these and New Years Eve and day. It does not have to stop you enjoying your holidays but it does mean you have to turn up, relatively sober and alert. Especially when it comes to Boxing Day sales. Good luck.

Image: Maunus

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