Summer is officially over and there’s an autumn chill to the air. If this is the first October in your life you’re not at school or college, make the most of it! If you’re considering a winter in the mountains, here’s a head start to getting the very best out of a season on the snow. Find the best job to suit you and set yourself up with valuable life skills and experience whilst having a whole lot of fun.
Ski resort jobs can be badly paid and back-breakingly hard work but with a bit of insider knowledge you can have a fantastic adventure and even ski for free!
If your school report says that you’re ‘a good all rounder’, this could be the job for you, as you’ll need to excel at multitasking! A typical day might include cooking breakfast for 12 whilst simultaneously baking a cake for tea, booking ski lessons and cleaning the loos – all done with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.
You can turn a guest’s holiday from dream to disaster if you forget to make their bed, or undercook their chicken, and as the face of your employer, you have sole responsibility for them. But, as long as you can hone your routine, providing great service can be very satisfying. Many chalet operators insist on professional cookery qualifications and require you to produce a sample meal and menu for them to try at interview. If you can’t cook, look at companies who employ professional chefs along with chalet hosts, or consider work as a hotel chambermaid.
If you have babysitting experience and love children, this could be a rewarding option and it’s often one of the best paid jobs in ski resorts. Most employers will ask for CRB checks, references and proper qualifications (BTEC or NVQ Level 3) – childcare is always taken very seriously. You can either work in private chalets or in crèches and you’ll need to be creative and enthusiastic with bags of energy. You may have less time for skiing if you’re looking after little ones all day, but most nannies get two full days off per week.
This is surely the ultimate way to maximize your time in the mountains if you’re serious about snow sports. Becoming a ski instructor can be easier than you might think. Snoworks GAP are running an intensive, fast track, BASI level 2 ski instructor course this autumn, just in time for you to work this coming season. They will even help you get a job once you’re qualified. And whilst you’ll have to pay for your training, this could be a real investment for your future and a great way to begin a professional career on the snow or elsewhere. Just don’t get too frustrated if you’re teaching beginners on the nursery slopes when it’s a fantastic day for powder!
Whilst this is often the most sought-after job in ski resorts due to its casual nature, it is badly paid and often doesn’t come with accommodation (this is normally included with many other jobs). There is little training required but experience is often necessary with so much competition and you can be hired and fired on a whim. The flexibility of changeable shifts does allow for quality time on the snow but you will often be working in the evenings when the other seasonaires are out partying. Bar work is normally secured with a face to face interview in resort, so you may have to travel out there with no job security.
For some years now, many ski resorts have seen increasing demand for post ski massages and beauty treatments as an added holiday indulgence. In response to this, several companies now employ qualified beauty therapists to work in house for luxury chalets, hotels and spas or you’ll be contracted to provide your services as and when needed. This work can be well paid and generally allows for lots of skiing time with guests normally asking for treatments in the early evenings having returned from the slopes.
As a resort or chalet driver, you will be responsible for driving guests to and from the airport, the slopes and around the resort. You will need a full, clean, driving license and will have to be happy driving on the other side of the road, often in icy, snowy conditions and on steep, winding mountain roads. Prepare to spend a lot of time hanging around either waiting for delayed flights or for guests who change their minds! You’ll spend much of your time digging your vehicle out of the snow and hauling luggage and ski equipment in and out of the boot. Like bar work, this is popular is it requires less responsibility and can allow lots of time out.