Seasonal work keeps on giving! Just take it!
Our series on researching, bagging and enjoying your seasonal job continues, and this time our guest blogger Cookie focuses on the fun side, and how to make the most of your experience! Grab every opportunity with both hands and go for it!
Get stuck in and go for it!
You’ve made it to resort – time to make the most of it!
Make friends and get involved. Whatever type of season you’ve chosen to do, summer or winter, there will be countless opportunities for things you can try out and do, and I don’t just mean a non-stop stream of offers to go out partying!
Don’t get stuck in a bubble – get out and explore. Meet people outside your working group and mingle with other companies where possible.
Meet locals and learn a few phrases in their language. Let’s be honest, you’re going to go ‘out out’ often, but you will be staying in too!
You’ll be working hard and playing hard, so find a balance between the two. That will keep you safe and sane through the season.
Winter jobs normally involve the white stuff!
If you’re working a winter season, chances are you’re heading to the snow. Mix it up a bit and see what other snow sports you fancy.
- Try ‘the other sport’! You’re likely to head to the snow thinking of being a skier OR a boarder – make sure you try both!
- Speed-riding, if available, is amazing! Check out my article on Holiday Staff for more info, and check out my video. If speed-riding isn’t available in your local area, then look out for paraponting, similar to speed-riding but less scary and you are accompanied by a pilot.
- Cross-county skiing – this might sound a bit naff for a bunch of seasonnaires skiing and boarding every day, but get a group of mates together and it’s a great laugh!
- Sledging – many resorts have long sledge or luge tracks and local shops renting good strong sledges! Here in Alpe d’Huez we’ve got a groomed luge specific track that’s around 2km long. You rent the sledges for 5Euros and use the gondola. It’s such great fun for adults and kids alike – the more people involved the better!
- Snow-blading! Definitely not as a full-time thing, and never describe yourself as a blader as you’ll be banished from any group of skiers or boarders! Simply get a team of you together for an afternoon and it’s pretty fun!
- Spring BBQs in the snow. Get the team, get some food, and find a great view to enjoy some time in the spring sun. Ideally find a place in late spring with a puddle or defrosted lake to use for skimming on your skis or board!
Summer fun – step away from the scooters!
- Sports galore! It doesn’t matter what sort of company you’re working for in the summer, there will undoubtedly be loads of things to try out. Try them all! Every beach you go to now will offer kayaking and stand up paddle boards, but look further… what is there that you haven’t tried before? Sailing, windsurfing, biking, tennis, yoga, or climbing?
- Rent a car – take a group of you and explore the area. Ask around before you set off to find the local spot to swim, climb and see!
- Avoid the scooters – I’ve known so many seasons come to an abrupt end when people have decided to rent scooters. You might be safe (ish), but often uneven roads or dangerous drivers put you at risk. Add the fact that you’re probably wearing your light summer gear, and you’ll have little protection should you come off! Just leave them alone!
- Snorkelling or diving. Chances are your summer season will be near a beach, so find the local dive centre and either go on a snorkel safari trip, or a scuba taster day.
- Eat out often! Try the local restaurants and food you’ve never sampled before. Ask your new local friends where best to eat – there will be some hidden gems that you’ll only find out about by asking. Some of the best places I’ve found are the ones that don’t have menus and just tell you what you’re eating that night!
- Hike to the highest point around! Find a view spot and go for it!
Yes, yes, yes!
I suppose to summarise how to make the most of your first season is to be a ‘yes’ person. Make the most of opportunities on offer to you – excursions, sports, people, parties, friends and events.
Remember, it’s not the town, village, beach or city that makes the season great, it’s the people you meet, friends you make and memories you create, so go for it!
Kill nothing but time,
Leave nothing but footprints,
Take nothing but pictures,
Keep nothing but memories,
Believe in nothing, but believe in yourself.
Does Cookie’s advice strike a chord with you? If you’d like to read more about his vast experience being a seasonnaire, please read more of his guest articles on our blog.
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