Planning a season
A ski resort is a vibrant and varied environment to work in and depending on your skills; there are a multitude of jobs to consider. Inevitably, a large percentage of them are for British tour operators as chalet hosts, resort reps and hotel staff etc. Working for a tour operator generally means that you would spend the majority of your time with British guests and co-workers but certain positions require good language skills or catering qualifications and can lead onto managerial and long term career opportunities. Many of the larger tour operators also have an office based overseas and look to hire staff with accountancy, office administration and operational skills which can be a good option if you are looking to boost your career during your season.
If you already speak the language well then you could seek work with a locally run establishment such as a bar, restaurant or hotel. If improving your language skills is a priority for you, then working in one of the smaller, less well known resorts where English is less commonly spoken might prove more beneficial. Many resorts these days do not require you to have any knowledge of the local language at all to go about your daily business, however, you will certainly glean more from your season (and integrate yourself better with the locals) if you at least try to learn.
Thanks to the internet (and sites such as ours!) it is now much easier to look for work before you actually get to resort. Websites such as Ski Jobs and Natives are dedicated to helping people find seasonal resort work and provide an excellent source of information and advice on how to go about it.
However, if you prefer to just get out there and look for work once you arrive, then the larger resorts will have more opportunities to explore. To maximise your chances, make sure you arrive in plenty time prior to the start of season (mid/end November) and come prepared with enough funds to tide you over until you secure work and get your first pay cheque. Having some knowledge of the local language will be a big advantage here and you should prepare several copies of your CV (and references) in advance so that you can hand them out in as many places as possible. Be prepared to get knocked back a few times, but if you’re outgoing and friendly (and obviously qualified for the job in question) then you may just find yourself in the right place at the right time and land a great position. The main thing is not to give up; the more people you speak to, the more people know you’re available. Invariably with the nature of working in a ski resort, people can get injured (or homesick) and have to go home at short notice, leaving an employer looking for an immediate replacement, and that could be you.
So, you’re thinking about doing a ski season in Meribel? Or perhaps you’re looking for a change of lifestyle and a more permanent move to the Alps beckons? If you are looking to move here you are going to need to sort some basics out. For a start, you will probably somewhere to live. If that is the case, try looking in our Seasonal Accommodation listings (which is in our Where to Stay section). If you are thinking about staying for longer, or wish to invest in property, then we have information about local Rental Agents and advice on Buying & Selling Property. And you may also want to find yourself a job in which case we have a section on Seasonal Job Opportunities.