Where, what and with who?
Which company to work for during your first seasonal job is one of the million dollar questions, and one we can’t really answer for you. However, in the second part of his seasonal work guide, our guest blogger Cookie shares his thoughts on what you can look out for when choosing which job to apply for:
It’s the whole package
Firstly who to work for – there are thousands of companies out there offering summer and winter employment, such as Neilson. Get applying to them all. In my opinion there are no bad companies, but they each offer their own packages – and that’s the key bit you’re looking for in your first season – a package deal.
A season package should be everything you need to get you out into your first season, and support you along the way.
Some of these will be outlined in the job description when you apply for the jobs (on a specialist online seasonal job platform such as Holiday Staff!).
Anything not mentioned in job descriptions can be asked during the interview process. Get all the details you need at this stage.
It’s all in the detail
These are the things that you need to find out while you are researching your seasonal work, and certainly before you take on any work.
- Travel to and from the resort. Don’t be overly surprised if it’s a bus at the start of winter.
- Pre-season training (if you’re available to start before the local season actually begins). Often pre-departure training can be expected through some sort of online platform.
- If you can’t do pre-season training, and you intend to arrive in a resort once the season has started, you will be training on the job, which means straight into it with guests!
- Accommodation. Usually shared and within a simple travel distance to where you will actually be working. Linen and towels are usually supplied.
- Uniform. Sometimes with a cost or retainer attached to it.
- Support. Some sort of management structure to help and guide you through the season.
- Insurance. Companies generally have insurance included, or a company they work with that can offer a relevant package.
- Food. This varies greatly depending on your job, location and which type of season you are on, but worth checking before you begin.
- Further training and job development opportunities – this includes the possibility to return for future seasons with progression in mind.
- End of season bonus, commission or retainers payment. Companies using seasonal workers have many different ways of retaining their staff, so it’s worth checking what they are before you begin with one employer. As mentioned with the uniform, it’s not uncommon to be asked for an upfront retainer that you as the employee pay, returned to you on completion of your contract or used to cover costs should you decide to leave mid-season.
There are creative types everywhere!
Remember when you’re reading job descriptions, the person writing them may have used a little creative license to entice you in… “you must be confident, adaptable, good at responding to others and a logical problem solver” could easily be translated to “when things hit the fan you had better be able to deal with unhappy clients because you’ll be on your own!”.
It’s only like you putting on your CV “solid computer and social media creation skills” because you know how to send emails and have posted a few pictures on Instagram!
The seasonal job range is huge and there are so many roles needed to keep operations running within the tourism industry in whichever country or season you choose.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this seasonal work guide. Cookie has also offered advice on how to work out which role is best for you.
My life couldn’t be more active! As a full-time instructor, coach & trainer, I thrive seeing others enjoy sports as much as I do.
My passions are windsurfing, skiing and snowboarding, and I love trying to inspire people to get active through social channels (and some polite peer pressure of course!).
I’m into all kinds of sports – basically anything that gets me outside and moving!
A particular love is speed-riding – like low-level parachuting with skis on, high speed skimming across the snow.
Find me a sport I haven’t tried and I’d love to give it a go!
My seasonal journey began straight from college, and is now split into two seasons.
Through the winter I live in Alpe d’Huez, working as ski and snowboard instructor and off-piste guide for the local ESF school. I teach everything from beginners to advanced and off-piste on both skis and a board. I started winters with the simple love of being in the mountain and riding.
I have done a wide mix of jobs over the years that allowed me to ski and board a lot – bars, hotels, chalets, repping and operations management. It’s amazing the people you meet through the years and opportunities that arise.
My skills were improving over the seasons, particularly in back-country and off-piste. I then became friends with the director of a local ski school while in the ski resort Flaine, who encouraged me to work for him the following year, to train and become an instructor with his school. The rest, as they say, is history (thanks again Theo!).
Through my winter life I’ve also been lucky enough to hook up with a number of brands as a sponsored athlete and brand ambassador. Huge thanks to Whitedot Ski, Planks Clothing, Cassette Optics and OLFI action-cameras for all your help and support.
The summer sees me working as a Resort Manager for Neilson Holidays. I’ve worked summers with them since 2006, across Turkey, Egypt and Greece in a variety of roles, leading me to now head up the operations in one of our Beach Club resorts. Our centres include windsurfing, sailing, stand-up paddling, biking, tennis, fitness, waterskiing & wakeboarding, and kids clubs. The last few summers I’ve been in the Cosmos Hotel, Vassiliki, a mecca for watersports with some epic biking and fitness facilities available too!
If anyone is looking for advice or to chat through options for work and overseas life, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my Instagram feed at @cookiesport