Life after Seasons – Jobs in the UK ski industry
Each season hundreds of people sign up every year to ‘do’ a winter season. This can mean any number of things from training to become a ski instructor or snowboard instructor, repping or working as a chalet host in France, to operating the ski lifts in America, or working in a ski hire shop in Austria. A large number of the British workforce in the different resorts will be new recruits, often fresh from school or college wanting to get their first taste of freedom. There are many Brits abroad however, who are a bit older, their hair a bit longer and their skin a bit more leathery. These are the addicts – the people who have done at least two winters in the mountains, and often many more. Whatever job they’re out there doing, or however long they’ve been doing it, seasonnaires keep coming back for one reason: to ride the hill! The fact that you make true friends, drink quite a lot of Jagerbombs and have the time of your life is really just a bonus.
A fortunate few manage to make the mountain a sustainable lifestyle for over 30 years, but truth is at some point, whether it’s after one winter season or ten, most people find they have to call it a day. Many have places at university waiting for them. Some have their parents in their ear telling them to stop messing around and get a ‘proper’ job. Others have to stop purely because their liver can’t take it anymore. Whatever the reason, for lots of ex-seasonnaires, what to do after you’ve finished doing seasons is a real dilemma. Often, people don’t want to leave the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed completely behind, and practical experience in traditional job roles is generally fairly thin on the ground. After all, being able to nail a backside 720 is not really what you’d call a ‘transferable skill’.
And so a compromise: take a job in the UK ski industry. If you have a good telephone manner, are happy to chat about what you love all day long and can write a decent email, working in ski specialist agency sales could be the job for you. Employers are keen to hire retired seasonnaires because of their in-depth knowledge of resorts and how the ski industry works. Passion for the sport will come across in interview and consequently on the phone to clients which will make them more likely to book their holiday with you and that makes you, the ex-seasonnaire, a valuable commodity.
The money is good too. With a basic salary from £18k, you can expect to earn up to £23k with commission if you’re good at it. There are ski related perks as well, such as an end of season trip, familiarisation trips and discounted holidays during the winter. The ethic in the industry is work hard, play hard and the people you’ll be working with are all like the people you met on your season: up for drinks and a laugh but with the added bonus that you won’t have to share a room with them.
If you're looking for an opportunity to work in the ski travel industry, you may be interested to know that UK Ski holidays company Interactive Resorts is currently hiring. The company is based in Fulham, London, and they are a remarkable ski-travel agent due to their great pride in employing only knowledgeable sales-staff who have spent lots of time in the mountains. To find out more about the positions they have available visit their ski jobs page or email [email protected]