The most unusual seasonal jobs

By J&C Team

Winter is a wonderful time of year, full of opportunities, goodwill and festive cheer. For some though, merely pulling out the Christmas CDs and putting up tinsel isn’t enough. This is the busiest time of year for many industries, and for seasonal workers, it’s a great opportunity to get cracking and get some extra money rolling in.

National Careers Service adviser Tracey Bell talks about the benefits of seasonal work: 

So what options are out there?

  • There are lots of opportunities in hospitality and retail, but perhaps you’re looking for something a little more ‘fun,’ quirky, or which will use a different skill set’?
  • National Careers Service advisers receive many requests for information and advice but here are some of the more unusual ones they tend to get at this time of year.


Father Christmas or an Elf

In the lead up to Christmas, many advisers from the National Careers Service are asked for advice on how to get a job as Santa, elf or grotto helper. 

Importantly, to work with children, you will need a DBS/CRB certificate. As these jobs only last for a few weeks, prospective employers will be looking for candidates who already have this paperwork.

Although this may seem like a fun job, there are a few important attributes you will need to possess. For instance, as well as being cheerful and full of energy, it is essential that you are good with, and able to talk to, children. Combine that with a great imagination, knowledge of the latest toys and a fondness for mince pies and you’re on to a winner!


Christmas Market Stall worker

Perhaps a slightly easier job to find than working as Santa or one of his helpers, many people look for seasonal work at Christmas Markets Stalls. Most of these jobs don’t require any formal qualifications, although some ask for experience in sales or retail. To demonstrate that you are right for this role, you will need to be great with people and display a positive attitude. You will also need to have a reasonable grasp of numbers, as it is likely that you will be handling cash and checking stock in this role.

Speak to someone at the National Careers Service about how to find and apply for these opportunities. It’s worth noting that most of these jobs will require you to work evenings and weekends and outdoors in sometimes cold conditions.


Polar Express Train driver

You may think that the Polar Express is just a Christmas book or film featuring Tom Hanks, but up in Weardale, County Durham, there is in fact a ‘Polar Express’ train experience and an adviser did have a request about this!

To do this job, it would be worth learning how to drive a normal train first, so maybe one to think about for next year. The benefit here would be that you could then apply these skills, should you wish, to a job all year round. 

Visit the National Careers Service to find out more about train driving, including the routes into this career, training/qualifications required and desired attributes such as strong customer service skills, good concentration and an interest in mechanics.


Gritter driver

Many of us are thankful for the road gritter at this time of year.

The last thing you want is to miss Christmas with your loved ones because the roads are treacherous. We all agree that this army of drivers do an invaluable job.

However, we live in the UK, not the North Pole, so whilst this could be a great job for a couple of weeks, or even months, you won’t be able to work year round at this.

As you’ll need a clean driving licence, that allows you to drive Heavy Good Vehicles, perhaps it’d be worth considering a career that involves driving. Did you know you can also do an NVQ in Winter Maintenance to boost your skills set? A National Careers Service adviser will be able to talk you through all your different options.


Chimney sweep

Chimney sweeps may well find they have more work at this time of year.

The National Careers Service has a handy page with everything you need to know about becoming a chimney sweep, from professional bodies (the National Association of Chimney Sweeps in case you were wondering) and how much you can expect to earn, to desired attributes such as an ability to work at heights, good customer service skills, and general business knowledge – most chimney sweeps are self-employed.