Christmas work – love it or loathe it?
So, for many of us we are now well into the Christmas spirit, and as the year comes to an end, we’ll soon be wrapping up our last few weeks of Christmas temp work.
At this point, you may or may not have determined whether this job bought you some Christmas joy, by lifting your spirits as well as your bank balance. Or you may have been less fortunate and found yourself being well-and-truly Scrooged over.
But, whether you loved your Christmas job or you loathed it, I’m here to bear some good news and inform you of some of the benefits from having worked over the festive period – and how you can make the most out of it.
In most instances, you should have received some form of training, whether it be greeting customers, till-training, or even window displays. By being in any role, there will always be something you can learn and adopt into your day to day life.
For example, by being in a customer service role, you’ll likely have learnt how to engage with a diverse range of people. This is also something you can turn into a practical skills – which you can never have too many of on your CV.
How to make the most of training: Simply, begin by identifying all you may have learnt. Make a note of all them, so you do not forget. Make what you learn a skill, and finally add that skill to your CV.
One thing you’re guaranteed to get from Christmas work is a sense of whether a job is for you or not. Some may ask, but how will you know? Well, ask yourself how does it make you feel, and do you feel of value? Are you passionate about the work doing, or the company you’re working for? And finally, does it bring you fulfilment?
If the answer is yes on all counts, then it is likely that this is the area or industry for you. Though this may not be the exact role or company you’ll continue to work for, this experience will help give you a strong indication of where your strengths are.
How to make the most of self-discovery: If you’ve made a good impression, your manager may be willing to keep you on, or let you know of any future opportunities. However, my biggest tip would be to try and ensure that you sustain that relationship so you don’t go out of mind.
However, this is not an excuse to become a stalker, simply ask for an email address, and maybe send an email asking how things are and reiterating your interest every few months.
3. Working in a team
As a Christmas temp, you’ll usually be working within a large group of people. This is a great way to exercise your ability to listen, co-operate, support and effectively communicate, which are all crucial attributes for almost every role.
By working alongside so many diverse personalities and people, it’ll teach you how to interact and engage with a lot of different people, but more importantly for those who are shy or reserved, it’s a fantastic way to overcome any social anxiety that you may have.
How to make the most of working within a team: For many of us, we tend to naturally form friendships with those who are most similar to us. This is not the best approach, particularly when talking about the workplace, so do your best to engage with everyone – there’s so much you can learn just by speaking to someone new, and who knows you could end up forming bonds that you never expected.
Learning to get along with any and everyone is an ultimate tool because the employer will always be looking to see whether you would be able to ‘fit in’ with their company culture.
4. Preventing gaps in your CV
Okay, so I am sure we all know what a CV is (if not, try our free CV template – seamless). But if you have a few gaps in yours, it can lead to some pretty awkward interview moments – not to mention stand out to recruiters for the wrong reasons.
The best thing about working over Christmas is you can avoid any gaps, and help justify the time that otherwise may have been unproductive or just not well spent.
How to make the most of preventing gaps in your CV: So, for those who may have gaps in their CV, my best tip will be to try and minimise the time frames as much as possible. The first thing you do will be to identify the gaps and examine the reasons why those gaps exist.
Next, ask yourself, during those periods of time were you ever involved in anything productive no matter how big or small, and if so were you able take something positive from it. If you can confidently say yes, then do not panic, just elaborate on the various activities you took part in and the key lessons or skills you took from it.
There may be some who have legitimate reasons for certain time gaps, if that’s you then please do not worry or feel under pressure, simply be transparent with the employer, should they ask you why and I am sure they will appreciate you all the more.
5. Lifetime friendships
My final tip for the benefits of working over the Christmas period is the special memories you may make, and the lovely people who you will meet.
My first Christmas temp job was for a shoe company in Bluewater, and it was the first time I can truly recall where I was in an environment where I do not know anybody. And, although I was nervous and even shy, I couldn’t afford to let that takeover. So I was forced to come out of my comfort zone, and speak to my colleagues and of course the customers.
There will be many opportunities that may come your way, and they are likely to come by or through the people you know, so it’s important to put yourself out there, but to conduct yourself in a professional manner and to enjoy the short time and make the most of it.
How to make the most of lifetime friendships: Simply, try not to lose touch. You just never know where that relationship will take you, or what doors it just might open for you. Some of my best friendships were formed as a Christmas temp – so never rule it out.
For those of you who are adamant that this is not a career worth pursuing, or who don’t get kept on for a permanent position, then there is still a huge benefit. How?
Well, now you’re just that little bit clearer on what you like and dislike. So, you’ll know what role to steer clear from.
Lastly, you were still able to learn some valuable skills and experience, and add to your CV, which will always be a benefit. If you’re lucky you may have even been able to secure yourself a good reference…
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