Temp, Holiday and Student Jobs in London
What types of temporary job can you expect to find in London? Office work is a big attraction; the best way in is to register with as many agencies as you can. Some agencies may test your computer and typing skills. Retail, customer service and receptionist jobs are some of the best to look for, particularly those that provide on-the-job training. Some retail positions will also entitle you to a discount, which is a nice perk! Beware of ‘Marketing’ jobs; they’re advertised widely, but make enquiries by telephone if the description is vague – many of these positions are likely to be in telesales or on-the-street market research.
Where to find temporary jobs in London
Hit the streets: If you’re looking for office work, print out copies of your CV, complete with your office / retail / other skills, interests and qualifications. Dress smartly and take yourself on a tour of London’s recruitment agencies, beginning closest to your accommodation and working outwards. Be prepared to be tested on your typing skills (fast typers will probably get posted faster). Once you’ve done the tour, boost your chances by pestering your agency contacts – a short weekly email reminding him or her that you are keen and available will be sufficient.Hit the bars: But no drinking (yet). If you want work as a London barman or waiter, it’s a great idea to simply go out and knock on doors. Ask at every bar and restaurant you pass, looking out for ‘staff wanted’ signs; if you make a good personal impression, you might just get lucky.London Job Centres: The government-operated Job Centre has branches all over the country, including more than 30 in London. Find your closest, or search online at the Job Centre Website.London’s leading paper is The Evening Standard, and this carries an enormous job section on Mondays. Time Out also contains classified ads, a good source of private (childcare or cleaning) work.
Christmas jobs in London?
In the city, Christmas is a grand affair: the big switch-on at Oxford Street, and the subsequent swarm of excited, bundled-up shoppers is an experience you’ll never forget. There are thousands and thousands of temporary jobs available in the season of goodwill, too. Last Christmas, Revenue & Customs (the British tax body) reminded employers and temporary staff of the requirements of minimum wage. At the moment it’s £5.52 if you’re over 22 and £4.60 if you’re 18-21. You probably won’t get sick or holiday pay, but you should have a contract like permanent staff, and many retailers will pay temporary staff overtime if they work on a bank holiday.
Summer holiday work in London
Summer in London offers thousands of opportunities to students and seasonal workers. Jobs of every shape and size are advertised – use our guide to jobhunting (above). But working in the London hospitality industry is a great option. Look for ads for commis chefs, waiters, porters, kitchen staff and bar staff. Tips provide an extra incentive – this is one job where you can legally pocket some additional income (make sure you write it on your tax return of course). Travel out of London, and you could find live-in summer jobs at hotels or restaurants. Be warned though: being on your employer’s premises doesn’t make for an easy life!
Summer is the best time to find temporary accommodation in London – because, with many of the students home for the summer, there are hundreds of empty rooms. Contact universities directly to ask about vacancies in their own accommodation halls. Imperial, UCL and Kings all offer accommodation for students (including international) between late June and early September. Prices are very competitive and you’ll be sharing facilities, which can be a good way to meet people.
If there’s no space at the universities, look up some of London’s hostels. Backpackers and independent travellers share rooms and facilities here, but prices are great – £10-£20 for a night. You will have access to a common kitchen, which means you can save on food too. Look around before choosing your hostel, because standards vary – and if you can get advice from others who have been to London, do.