Christmas is just around the corner, and if you haven’t noticed already, many organisations begin to panic around staffing issues because there simply isn’t the time and people to handle what will undoubtedly be the busiest period of the year. Whether it be at a local restaurant, hotel, card shop, or supermarket, you probably will have started to see plenty of adverts for Christmas roles and companies hiring seasonal workers. As online shopping increases in the run up to Christmas, extra staff are needed to be able to deliver goods, and as same day couriers, we find our own demand increases. The question is, are these roles worth it, and should you consider applying? You may be wondering what does a Christmas delivery job involve and what should you expect? In our latest article, we will take a closer look.
1) Emphasis on temporary
Festive work or festive roles sound rather nice, but when that is stripped away, there is no getting away from the fact that it is just a fancy way of saying temporary work. This may of course be great for some people who have regular casual jobs and would like to pick up a bit of extra work, but after the holiday season it will come to an end, and it is important not to get attached and think of it as ‘true’ employment. This of course sometimes does happen, and if you exceed or excel, temporary work can be turned into full time work in the new year, but in absence of that, just be sure you have your eyes open to exactly what it is – temporary!
Anyone within reason can work at a supermarket or retail unit. It is perhaps an obvious point, but you need a driving licence to be a courier, so this won’t or can’t be for everyone. Driving for pleasure is very different to driving for work. Many people don’t realise that it can be stressful (especially when you have deadlines to meet,) as you will if you take up a festive courier role. Be sure you can handle the long hours behind the wheel and have no problems keeping concentration, even when stressed with other things! That said, the interaction and contacts you can build as you drive around and deliver items can be valuable, so there something which will balance this out.
3) The pressure
All festive temporary jobs are pressured because there is a tight time demand of doing as much as possible in such a short space of time. That said, some festive jobs will be less pressured than others. A courier is definitely not one of these, and if you are someone that doesn’t handle this well, you have to think of personal health considerations. Intense pressure even for a few short weeks can be damaging to health. In contrast, some people can work in really pressured environments and not be phased. These make the ideal candidates for these roles. Consideration of this point is often a personal reflection.
24 hours in a day doesn’t seem enough at this time of year, and as we move closer to Christmas, this becomes more the case. If you are thinking of becoming a Christmas courier or delivery driver, don’t expect a 9 to 5 role, since as demand picks up you will have many parcels to deliver which will need to be completed before your day is finished – whatever time that may be! Expect weekend work, including Sundays too! Courier and delivery driver work is often 24/7 at this time of year.
Coupled with the long hours, there is a big emphasis on a large workload and being very occupied. You will still be of course entitled to breaks, and if you are a driver on the road this is extra important. At this time of year, having to drive around in what seems like the dark all the time, carrying out a hectic job, can be very draining on energy and requires drivers to keep motivation and personal discipline high.
4) Hours and pay
With a festive courier role, the hours can be flexible and the pay can be good, however, you have to be prepared to work long hours to achieve good pay, and this will remove some of the flexibility. What are your realistic aims for pay and commitment? It is a good idea to work this out before applying, so you don’t become disappointed. Many people like to take time to enjoy the festive season, but if you take on a temporary role you will be expected to work at times you may not want to. This all has to be factored into your consideration.
5) Expect competitiveness
Demand for jobs at any time of year is high. Lots of people seek Christmas and seasonal roles, so the demand can be even higher. If you are really looking for a Christmas delivery role, focus on how you are different to other people and what you can offer. Do you have any previous experience or similar? This can help put you in a great position.
6) Don’t expect to get rich
While Christmas delivery roles can earn some extra useful money for the festive season, don’t expect to get ‘flush’ from the role or become a fully integrated employee. Most of these roles (including temporary jobs generally) are only minimum wage or a little more. They are also often zero hour contract roles or short term contracts at the very best. Whilst they can be useful to both employer and employee, they don’t make for stable employment in the long term, and from a career point of view, people need to be mindful of this. The period of employment will also pass quickly and you will soon need to think about work in January and beyond, which will soon come around. When applying for these roles, people need to be mindful of this.
7) Opportunities into the New Year
Notwithstanding all of the above, whilst many seasonal jobs are only temporary, and this can suit people looking for a bit of extra cash, some positions can be extended into the new year. There can even be an avenue for more concrete employment once the main Christmas rush has passed. If you are hoping to try and get a more permanent role, show employers your strengths, capabilities and dedication during your seasonal role. The more you do to get yourself noticed in a positive way, the greater chance you have of securing employment for the other 10 / 11 months of the year also. Having an extra skill will always look good, and if you enjoy driving and think you can handle the pressure of the Christmas rush, a festive courier job can give you some valuable experience, extra pay and enhance your CV for the future. If you are thinking of taking on a temporary courier role this year, we wish you luck.
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