By Alex Hargreaves in collaboration with The Library Social Media Team
With Christmas on the way, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you can earn a little extra cash over the holiday period. If you’re unemployed, you will probably have an abundance of free time on your hands. It’s a great idea to invest that time into gaining work experience and earning money. Your friends and family will be grateful for it too as you can ditch the home made jewelry/scrapbook and buy your loved ones something they really want this year. Christmas is an ideal time to get a job, as so many more jobs become available due to the uprise of people filling up the shopping isles and lining up in the centre food courts. In fact, studies show that casual job openings increase by 170% during the Christmas period, with 87% of those jobs being created by the retail industry. Here are some easy tips you can put into practice to help you land a casual gig these holidays!
#1 Utilize Careers and Employment Services
There are many services within Griffith Careers and Employment that you can tap into before your holidays begin that will increase your chance of scoring a job this silly season. Have you signed up for Unitemps? Unitemps are Griffith’s own internal recruitment agency and they can assist greatly in your job search. If you register to Unitemps and upload your resume and cover letter, our consultants will be in touch if they hear of a job which matches your skill set. Read more about temp work here. Seen a Careers Counsellor lately? Careers Counsellors can give advice about anything careers related. They will make sure your resume is up to standard, your LinkedIn is optimized to perfection and they can even provide you with guidance on your overall career direction and progression. It’s a good idea to get your resume checked by a Careers Counsellor before you upload it to the Unitemps site, as this will increase your chances of scoring a role through them. Many Christmas casual jobs are being upload to Careerboard in the lead up to the holidays, make sure you check the job board regularly!
#2 Keep an Eye out for Seasonal Jobs
During the Christmas period, you can get paid for a lot of crazy things that wouldn’t normally classify as a job. For example, if you believe you have a resemblance to Santa, why not look for Santa Clause dress up jobs? All you have to do is put on a red suit, sit down for a couple of hours and try to stay calm whilst screaming child after screaming child is placed on your lap. If you’re not much of a Santa but you think you could pull off an Elf, a reindeer or a Mrs Clause, those jobs are all up for grabs too. If you’re a QCA student studying photography, this is an optimal time of year to get some industry experience. Santa photos are high in demand and Westfield centres will be on the hunt for photographers to take the shots. If you can sing, you may wish to join a choir and delight shoppers with your carols. For more crazy Christmas jobs, see here.
#3 Reach Out to Local Businesses
Do you have a favourite retail store where you are already friendly with the shop assistants who work there? Congratulations, without knowing it, you have already put in the foundation for networking. Go into your favourite stores and whilst browsing the products (maybe even buy something for good measure) ask if they have or will have any Christmas casual vacancies opening. Be open about how much you love the store and demonstrate some knowledge about the products. This will ensure you will be at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind next time they need to recruit. Liz, Hiring Manager at Millers, says that when it comes to landing a Christmas Casual job, proving that you are bubbly and able to present yourself well is key.
“If someone comes in and expresses an interest in working at Miller’s and I can see they dress well and have an outgoing and friendly personality, taking their resume would just be a formality” says Liz.
The great thing about Christmas casual positions, is that they can sometimes lead to continued casual/part-time work after the Christmas period. Liz emphasized that enthusiasm is what she looks for when deciding who to keep on after the holiday season.
“The staff who come in early, stay back late and ask lots of questions on the job are the staff I want to keep around after the Christmas period. If a Christmas casual can actively engage customers and make them feel welcome, then I’m more than happy to keep them on the roster” she says.
#4 Get a Side Hustle
Are you mad for music, bonkers for books or wacky for web design? If you have a unique talent or passion, you need to start a side hustle; a sideline gig with a potential to bring in cash. This summer break is the time to rock the world with your DJ tunes, bang out a bookish blog, or become a freelance web designer. Whatever floats your boat. Bachelor of Commerce student, Azaria Bell started her YouTube channel during the last Christmas holidays while working at a theme park. And she’s now getting paid to make videos. Like most us, Azaria always had an interest in YouTube but never considered kicking off her own channel – until she found her niche.
‘I started my YouTube channel as I always found myself helping people with study tips and money management!’ she says.
‘I was already sharing a lot of my methods with friends, and thought, why not put this information out there?’
And it paid off. Aside from learning about marketing, social media, networking and negotiating with businesses, Azaria has started to see a cash return from her side hustle.
‘I’ve made around $100 on ad revenue. Considering I have just over 20 videos, I think that’s pretty awesome!’, she says.
Unexpected opportunities have also arisen from her YouTube side hustle. This summer break she’s scored a paid gig with Griffith University to create videos for an online tutorial. Azaria says,
‘I’m going to be super busy working with the Griffith Library re-vamping the Study Smart tutorials. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into that. I’ll also be working a couple of jobs to build up my savings and keep myself busy. I can’t say I’ll be bored!’.
The awesome thing about having a side hustle is even if you don’t hit the cash jackpot, you’ll be doing something you love. And you’ll certainly learn a thing or two along the way.
So what are you waiting for? Find your passion and hustle the heck out of it!
#5 Jump at Every Opportunity
If the right opportunity presents itself, don’t be shy to take it. The more work experience you gain, the more confident you will feel to apply for new roles. Bachelor of Public Relations and Communications student, Hayley, has never let nerves get in her way when applying for and accepting different roles. As a result, she has interned with the Commonwealth Games, worked casually with Student Services and written articles for Griffith Collective and Getamungstit!
“Griffith University provides so, so many opportunities to expand your knowledge and put your skills to practice. I have been lucky enough to work with Griffith International as a Griffith Mate and a blogger for the Explore! blog since 2015 which has been amazing. I am also one of the editors of the Student Guild’s Getamungstit magazine which I absolutely love. This past year I have worked as a Student Partner for Student Services and was lucky enough to gain a position helping out with their social media accounts, which has really allowed me to utilise skills learnt through my courses” says Hayley.
It may be tempting to think that you’re entitled to a few months of complete laziness after your exams, but you won’t be sorry if you put in the effort to take on new opportunities. Hayley has no plans to slow down over the summer break and has already loaded her plate up with work commitments.
“Throughout the summer I will continue working for Student Services on their social media and I will have more time to strategize and put my knowledge into practice, which will be great. I am also going to Singapore alongside 25 other amazing Griffith students in December to participate in a Common Purpose Study Abroad tour” she says.
Using your free time to put your skills out there and make it known that you want a job can do wonders for your professional profile over your break. Put your debit card down and pick up your resume, it’s time to switch roles this Christmas!