/ Looking for a ski season job in the Alps

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Alex Pryor - on 27 Jun 2013
I've applied to several of the tour companies, but thought maybe someone on UKC might have some contacts or good suggestions.

I'm not a typical "seasonaire" as I'm retiring from teaching (Maths and IT) this summer at the age of 59. However, being over 19 means I have more life experience, maturity, etc, plus the following skills:

- languages: French (A level grade A), German (GCSE A), Spanish (GCSE A), Italian (good conversational)
- skiing (40 weeks experience), snowboarding (5 weeks plus weekly trips to Chill Factor indoor slope over 4 years)
- IT skills esp Office applications
- organisational skills: experience of organising group ski trips (10) and school ski trips (10), as well as loads of school outdoor activities
- communication skills and public speaking
- enthusiasm and energy despite my advancing years
- plus all the usual stuff: clean driving licence, reliable, conscientious, etc.

Unfortunately I'm not a cordon bleu chef or an expert mechanic, and I don't really want to party through to the early hours.

I don't expect or need much money as I'll have a pension.
All I need is food and board, a lift pass and time to go skiing and boarding.

All suggestions or offers of employment gratefully received!
ClimberEd - on 28 Jun 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

I would have thought you would be perfect for a resort or area manager role with a ski company, although I am guessing these might tend to be picked internally.

I don't have any contacts I'm afraid but I would approach all the ski companies about that role or similar.
Carolyn - on 28 Jun 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

I wonder if it's worth hunting out some of the smaller, upmarket ski companies (particularly Italy based, given that's your strongest language) and approaching them directly. In my (limited and indirect) experience, they're more interesting in employing people who aren't students, and can find it hard to find the staff they do want.

If you're happy driving minibuses, might be worth approaching transfer companies - manic at the weekends, but potentially quite a lot of time to ski in the week. Younger drivers won't necessarily have minibuses on their licence, so a smaller pool of applicants.
galpinos - on 28 Jun 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

I did two seasons as a barman and one as a rep.

Barman – 5 day work a week, 3 early starts (1pm), 2 late starts (5pm). Skied 6 to 7 days a week, even if it was just for a morning (powder runs!), got engrossed in the resort community and made great friends.

Rep – The job was as the sole rep in resort and it was wonderful. Saturday was a no ski day; all the others were ski days assuming no-one hurt themselves. Harder to go touring or spend nights in huts away from the resort as you are effectively on call if anything goes wrong.

I did all three seasons in the same resort and wouldn’t have enjoyed the rep job as much if I didn’t already know people, the reps tended to hand out in the “al English” crowd. It depends what you’re after.

You do sound ideal for a resort manager role but that will mean sorting out the c**k-ups of your staff, which will be fairly frequent.

I’d try to get a sole rep in resort role then you’ve only got yourself to blame if you don’t go skiing. A well organised rep will ski 5 days a week easily. Do you have any resort knowledge, i.e. repeatedly had holidays in one resort so near know it like the back of your hand? This would help.

Alex Pryor - on 01 Jul 2013
Thanks for the suggestions.
I went down to London on Saturday for the Natives.co.uk recruitment fair.
This was really useful as I got an offer of a job driving a shuttle minibus to Verbier, and an interview for a sole rep job, prob in Italy as they have more difficulty finding Italian speakers.
So good prediction Galpinos! I'd be quite happy working there on my own. I find it more interesting talking to the locals and the Italians really appreciate it if you speak the language, however badly.
So just have to decide which to go for now!
Becky E - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> (In reply to Alex Pryor)
>
> If you're happy driving minibuses, might be worth approaching transfer companies - manic at the weekends, but potentially quite a lot of time to ski in the week. Younger drivers won't necessarily have minibuses on their licence, so a smaller pool of applicants.

The work pattern isn't what you'd expect - not in places like Chamonix anyway. My brother drove 4 days a week (I think). Needed an easy day to recover, a good day, and then another easy day so he was fresh for the next driving stint.

Not saying it's not worth it - just not what you might expect.

Might be worth applying to somewhere like Colletts where more experienced and "mature" staff appear to be valued.

earlsdonwhu - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor: Good luck! This is something I have been contemplating having seen my daughter do a couple of seasons and lacking the enthusiasm to keep teaching until I am 68 or something!
galpinos - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

Do it Peter!
Trangia - on 02 Jul 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

I did consider this when I retired but the stumbling block for me was the requirement to share accommodation so I never followed it up.
aligibb - on 10 Jul 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

hi Alex,

I'd go the rep route rather than the shuttle bus in verbier route, unless you are careful driving jobs can be pretty bad for ski time.

My advice (after 7 winters and counting, I now live out here) would be to be v careful about the company you work for as this will make your season. I did 2 seasons running a chalet and probably the biggest reason I am still in the same area and out here at all is that my boss was brilliant. She didn't mind how or when I did things as long as they were done for the guests. So I could really maximise my ski time and do lots of domestic jobs on really bad weather days.

As I see it a general rule of thumb is a smaller company will allow you that flexibility and if you are careful will lead to a much better season. I have a friend who is ops manager for Olympic Ski so could ask him what people they need for this winter if you'd like another option?

Good luck and enjoy it - my one season between degree and masters has turned into 7 years and I can't imagine living anywhere else!

Ali
Alex Pryor - on 22 Jul 2013
Thanks for all suggestions.
I've got an interview on Wed with Inghams for a sole ski rep job, and another to be arranged with le Ski, plus a possible with Direct Ski.

Ali - thanks for the advice, you could be right about the driving, and the package may not be so good too. Please ask your Olympic Ski friend, I'd be happy to send a CV over.
TomDisomma - on 23 Aug 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

Working for tour operators will nearly always place you in shared accomodation, for rep, be expected to be over worked, under appreciated and blamed for everything.

You're best going for smaller companies that appreciate their staff.
tatty2 - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor: Can highly recommend Le Ski - have skied with them for the past 5 years and have got to know some of the reps quite well. Lovely family run firm and really good to work for.
TomDisomma - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to tatty2:

Ah le ski, caused me endless amounts of problems last year with the whole ski hosting thing kicking off. Convincing police my guides were still allowed to take guests out was tough.
arctickev - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Alex Pryor:

Alex,

small is better for these jobs and with your experience.

Not sure how handy you are but the handyman job is walk in the park, i did a few winters as a handyman and got out skiing 5 days a week all day. I worked hard and efficiently and had a great working relationship with my bosses.

Ernalow is the best employer in the alps but you may be a bit late for this year.

Kevin

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