Summer Job in London
July 13, 2004 2:37 AM   Subscribe

How do I get a summer job in London? I'd like to make a bit of extra cash before I go to uni, so I would like to get a job that lasts me up until the end of August. I have no real experience, but I am willing to do pretty much anything. So, how do I go about it?
posted by Orange Goblin to Work & Money (8 answers total)
For such short-term work in London, your most likely option is bar work, but maybe you have some other skills or experience you could use? Best places to look are TNT Magazine (also pick it up free every monday morning outside a lot of tube stations) and The Gum Tree
posted by quiet at 3:44 AM on July 13, 2004

You'll need to be quick! In my experience summer temp positions are in pretty high demand, as all the uni students also want them (those that come from London generally seem to come back over the summer as they can earn more in the capital than the rest of the UK).

With little experience, bar work is the obvious choice. If your IT skills are reasonable and you've got a typing speed of 35wpm or more (not too hard) you ought to be able to get office work, which is generally better paid. The only hitch is that sometimes agencies want 6 months office experience, but you might be able to persuade them if your typing's good. Admin positions in central london tend to get around £8ph and as a student it'll be tax free too!

Other stuff that I did to save for uni: worked in a CD factory (ok pay, and long hours meant I was too tired to go out so I saved lots), working as a shop assistant, front of house museum staff... I tend to just walk into places and ask if they've got vacancies, although it's hardly the most efficient jobsearch technique.

One thing I would say is that if it's at all possible to go into something that vaguely relates to your degree it might be helpful for later on.

Good luck...
posted by Skaramoosh at 4:08 AM on July 13, 2004

As a student who wants a summer job (and has spent the last few days looking for one), I have to say that they all seem to be pretty much gone at this point. Maybe the situation is different inside London (I'm about 20 miles outside London), but I doubt it. Turning up just about anywhere at this point will get you "we've already got enough students, and we've got a huge waiting list too, thanks".
posted by reklaw at 5:42 AM on July 13, 2004

Go to a job centre?
posted by ascullion at 5:52 AM on July 13, 2004

Oh, and, don't tell people you'll be leaving to go to Uni.
posted by ascullion at 5:53 AM on July 13, 2004

Seriously, go to a job centre, they'll sort you out with something. I've just been to one to try and claim job seekers allowance for the summer which was a slightly surreal experience. Suffice it to say I was sent away with a flea in my ear. You will almost certainly have to forget to mention that you'll be off to Uni in October in order to get anything worth taking.

On the flipside I drove past McDonalds in Wandsworth today and they're hiring!
posted by dmt at 6:17 AM on July 13, 2004

dmt: Its surprising how many people are surprised they can't claim benefits during their "holidays" ;)

A little tip for you. As mentioned, it will be much easier to get bar/restaurant work than office work. However, its not a bad idea to try to hold out a little longer to get some. Upon leaving university (I know, it seems decades away) you will no doubt be a very clever graduate. However, you may well get caught in the "no experience of working in an office" trap mentioned by Skaramoosh.

It may be easier to hold out for this sort of boring office work now, with the security of University looming in the not too distant future, rather than upon graduation with the rest of your life looming. And the next rent cheque.

As for "different" non-office work, there are always "charity mugger" jobs around. Amnesty (UK) use a company called DialogueDirect. Details about the job and numbers to call available here. Advance warning. Its a pretty thankless job, but its cash in your pocket and Amnesty are a worthy operation.
posted by davehat at 7:15 AM on July 13, 2004

dmt: Its surprising how many people are surprised they can't claim benefits during their "holidays" ;)

Didn't used to be the case, that's for sure! Actually, I'm properly unemployed this summer and not 'on holiday' but wanted to try my hand at scaffolding - needless to say Clapham jobcentre wasn't able to sort me out. Still, it was fun explaining to my caseworker what a lobbyist is/does and why I had a couple of months free. Still home ownership and benefits are incompatible it seems....
posted by dmt at 5:17 PM on July 14, 2004

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