f you’ve already got empty pockets, it’s time to start looking for ways to make extra cash. The good news is there are plenty of vacancies – the pre-Christmas period is typically one of the most fruitful for job hunters, with shops, bars, clubs and restaurants bringing in more staff to cope with the extra demand. And recruiters are starting to advertise now, so make sure your CV is up to scratch.

That’s entertainment

Christmas goes hand-in-hand with eating and drinking. Whether it’s parties, family meals or New Year celebrations, bars and restaurants across London buzz with festive excitement.

As such, decent bar staff, waiters, chefs and mixologists are sought-after. And if you thought you’d need previous experience to get a foot in the door, you’d be wrong – it’s all about personality, according to Ed Vokes, director of Evolve Hospitality.

“From a front-of-house point of view, it’s about attitude and willingness to work,” he says. “We offer free training which is accredited to the Academy Of Food And Wine Service – rare for a recruitment company.

“Everything we do is about personality and attitude. We’ll train the skills into them.”

And rather than stuck behind a bar all night, you could get the chance to mingle with the stars.

Vokes says: “We’ve worked with every member of the royal family this year bar the Queen, as well as the prime minister, Bill Clinton, Elton John, David Beckham – you could be doing anything from canapés, plate waiting, banqueting and private boxes.

“It’s about having the ability to converse with these people, and not getting easily star-struck.” If you’re on a working visa, you’re welcomed, with an added incentive.

“You’ll get to see some of the most iconic venues in London, and some of the most iconic events,” Vokes adds.

Ho ho ho

There are the seasonal jobs that are just for Christmas: dressing up as Santa or turning into an elf for the holidays.

As you’d expect, the former is a male-dominated role, but anyone can be an elf. James Lovell, director of the Ministry of Fun, says potential Santas need to approach the role with a “sense of magic” – and having a big belly and a beard is a bonus.

“The most important thing is they’ve got to want to be Father Christmas, it’s not just a job to fill in for a few weeks,” he says. “They’ve got to have performance skills and be able to communicate with children.”

For wannabe elves, it’s a lot more flexible. “Elves are the unsung heroes, but they are as important as Santa as they need to keep the kids entertained while they wait.”


Retail therapy

The shops will be heaving, so stores need ample staff on their floors. Unsurprisingly, the festive season is a busy time for Pines And Needles (pinesandneedles.com), which sells firs and spruces.

They’ll be recruiting for 15 sites – sales assistants and managers.

“You’ll be interacting with customers – but we’re not a company that pushes hard selling,” Jim Cartwright, stores general manager, says. “Generally, if someone turns up for a Xmas tree, they’re already sold.

We just need to make sure they have a memorable experience.“ Interested? You’ll earn a basic, as well as be rewarded for sales on a commission structure.


It might not be the most glamorous job, but someone has to make sure all those letters from Santa get delivered.

Royal Mail will be employing about 18,000 extra staff across the country, sorting more than 130 million items every day.

You’ll earn from about £6.80 per hour on weekdays. See royalmail.com

Going off piste…

Looking to work a winter ski season? Check out natives.co.uk. Here you’ll find a variety of jobs, from chalet roles, to driving and even instructor positions in a number of resorts including the Alps and Canada.

Natives also boasts guides and advice on everything you need to know about working a winter season – from what to take, to etiquette on the slopes.

Plus the Natives forum is jam-packed with people waiting to help answer your questions.

If you are interested in a career in the mountains, head to the Natives Jobs Fair, at the Novotel London West Hotel, on Saturday, September 29 and speak to the experts.


Photos: Getty; Thinkstock