Where to look
London is a city where there is plenty of opportunity, but it isn’t always obvious how to go about finding casual or part time work in the most effective way. Whether you are considering waitressing jobs, retail, fast food, labouring or part time office work, there is almost certainly demand if you have the right skills and experience and are available straight away, but you need to know the best way to find these kinds of opportunities, and how to go about applying for them.
Avoid physically looking for places that are hiring
One thing that you will find is pretty rare in London is being able to walk in off the street and simply ask if a shop, pub, restaurant or other business is hiring, and get given an interview on the spot. This perhaps used to be a common way to do things, but these days there is almost always a need to keep detailed records of recruitment, so even if somewhere is hiring you will still be likely to need to fill out a detailed application form, apply online, or go through an agency. This makes just walking around the area you’d like to work in and looking for ‘help wanted’ signs or enquiring inside about the least efficient approach there is if you want to find part time work.
Instead, use one or more of these approaches:
Go through a temp agency
One of the fastest and most efficient ways to get some work is to register with a good temp agency. You may think that temp agencies only handle office work, but actually, there are temp agencies used for all kinds of vacancies including catering, events, waiting, hospitality, manufacturing, and construction work, so just about all kinds of part time or casual work are covered. You can even use temp agencies to find general waitressing jobs, and you may find that you get a faster response, as well as shifts that are more suited to your schedule in comparison to individually contacting restaurants.
The benefits of taking this approach are many. For one thing, you’ll usually only need to go through a screening process with your agency, so you won’t need to go to lots of interviews and submit lots of applications to get your job. Additionally, you can state your own availability, so even if you are only looking for a job during certain periods, for example while you are on a break from university, or while you are in London for a prolonged visit, you can find work that suits your needs.
Ask people you know and businesses you use
Another way some people find part-time work is by word of mouth. They ask other friends who are in a similar situation to them how they got their jobs and get an introduction that way. Be careful about this though, as finding a job through friends can sometimes be more damaging than fun. You may also find that places you go to regularly, like your local pub or coffee shop, where you can get to know the staff, may be able to tell you if there are any vacancies there or in other places they know about. A personal introduction can be very helpful, so network!
Almost every business posts its jobs online these days, so use online job boards as your main point of research when looking for vacancies. Remember though, that many of these vacancies are posted by agencies, so you may still be better off signing up with local temp or recruitment agencies rather than sifting through all of the vacancies every day, depending on what you are looking for.
There are all kinds of jobs in London, but this can make finding one seem like a daunting process. When you understand that most businesses use agencies, online recruitment and word of mouth, however, it becomes a lot easier to get the job you want!