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I’m sure you’ve noticed but it’s November already! I’m not entirely sure where this year has gone, but it is fast disappearing and it will be Christmas before you know it! Christmas is a really expensive time of the year, but more so if you don’t plan. If you are organised and plan your spending throughout the year, you can make the festive period less hard on your finances, but if you’ve not been organised, or had a change in circumstances, there are still ways of reducing the shock to the bank balance at this time of year.

There are loads of ways of making extra money all year round, but one of the must lucrative (depending on your availability) is picking up seasonal retail work. Depending on your circumstances, you can easily pick up a few (or more) shifts a week, and unlike mystery shops or competitions, it is guaranteed weekly or monthly pay (unless it’s a zero hours contract but I personally would try to avoid them where at all possible).

seasonal retail work

Almost all retailers employ extra staff in the lead up to Christmas and the sales, and so it is a brilliant time to pick up some extra work and top up the bank account ready for those expensive weeks. Not sure where is recruiting? Well my top tip would be to pop into your local town and just walk around. For seasonal retail vacancies, posters in shop windows are one of the best ways for them to advertise any vacancies they have. Not able to get into town easily? Check your local Facebook community groups. Some companies will even advertise vacancies on jobs websites such as Reed or Indeed.

If there’s somewhere specific you think you’d like to work, but they don’t have a poster up or you haven’t seen any ads for them online, be bold. Print off your CV and go in there. If a manager isn’t available, leave it for their attention. Being proactive can sometimes pay off – and you never know, perhaps they were just about to hang a poster but they didn’t get around to it. You might be an answer to their prayers.

Top Seasonal Retail Work Job Hunting Tips

  1. Ensure your CV is looking as good as it possibly can be. Even if you are at college, highlight any extracurricular activities or skills you’ve picked up.
  2. Ensure that you are open and up front about availability from the start. There’s no point saying you are free any day or time, only for them to offer you shifts but you have children and you can’t take them.
  3. If you get an interview, ensure to be on time and smartly dressed.
  4. Remember that the festive period is retail’s busiest time. You might end up working long hours on your feet, so if you have any requirements which require being seated or taking regular breaks, make sure that they are known in advance too.
  5. Work out where you will be doing a lot of your Christmas and festive shopping. Try and see if they are recruiting and if they offer staff discounts or rewards – this can be a great way to maximise any additional income!

Notes on the general public

The general public can be mean – I’ve worked in retail before, and it’s not a career choice for me long term, but I have gone back to it on occasion to help clear debts or make extra money when needed. Stresses about shopping are heightened at this time of year, so sometimes people are grumpier and ruder than usual, so if you are successful in finding some retail work just remember that anyone who is rude to you is not worth a second thought of your time. In any role you should be able to escalate things to a manager and not have to deal with it, especially as a new or temporary member of staff. Just remember when you walk out the door at the end of the day though, they aren’t thinking about what they said to you, so don’t be thinking about it either. I’m not excusing it, far from it. There’s no excuse to be rude to anyone, especially retail staff, but their gripes are probably aimed at the company but you got in the way. Just remember, it’s valuable experience, extra cash, and if you decide retail isn’t for you, that’s another thing to tick off the list! You never know though, you might find something you love too!


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