Seasonnaire jobs can vary dramatically by company and country, offering a variety of benefits and opportunities. There is a significant number of companies offering season jobs throughout the world, which can make it tricky to choose which one to work for or what to do.
Big companies and smaller independent companies all have advantages and disadvantages. Big companies can offer you year round work, have a constant flow of customers, CV advantages, a large number of employees and benefits such as store discounts. Smaller companies tend to pay higher wages, offer nicer accommodation and a more personalised experience (especially in winter seasons).
Annys Adventures – Vounaki, Greece
When looking for a season job I would start by thinking about the type of work you would like to do, some examples are as follows;
Summer Jobs Winter Jobs
Waitress – Chef
Chef – Spa Therapist
Spa Therapist – Bar Staff
Bike Instructor – Resort Rep
Tennis Instructor – Housekeeper
Canoe Instructor – Chalet Host
Water Ski Instructor – Hotel Host
Sailing Instructor – Waitress
Personal Trainer – Nanny/Childcare
Fitness Instructor – Ski/Snowboard Instructor
Lifeguard – Driver/ Maintenance
Resort Rep – Ski Guide
Front of House Staff
I would then visit: Resort Work or Season Workers where you can search for your desired job and the sites will display all the companies which offer that job and job descriptions, pay and benefits.
Many companies conduct interviews within the UK or over Skype. I would advise applying for a number of companies and then deciding which one to choose if you are successful. The ideal time to apply for winter season jobs is between August and October and summer jobs October – February. Recruiters do employee after these times but most spaces may already be filled. Seasons can be long periods of time, some individuals may leave before the end of the seasons meaning they look for individuals to replace them and place them on reserve lists.
Seasonnaire life is a good way of meeting new people, having great experiences and an easy way to travel at minimal cost. Many seasonnaires get caught in the cycle, winter season to summer season, then winter again, which isn’t a bad way to live.
Season living has its positives and negatives, some people love seasons, others leave early. It may look all glitz and glam, snow skiing everyday or all day in the sun, my season jobs were some of the hardest jobs I have ever done.
Travel – Season jobs usually take place abroad, which offers employees the opportunity to live in another country and culture. Many companies also pay for employees to travel to their destination, which for many people is an inexpensive way to travel. Season jobs have beautiful locations, in the mountains, by the beaches and sometimes on islands, which creates an amazing home for a given length of time. With season jobs employees usually spend a long period of time in the same place (unless you are lucky enough to get a job where you travel from resort to resort) which isn’t for everyone.
Work – Seasonnaire work is fun, there are a large number of jobs which an employee can do from; waiter, chef, nanny, sailing instructor, boat driver to chalet host, or snowboard instructor. For many people these are their dream jobs, getting to teach people to water ski or snow ski all day to becoming a chef at a luxury chalet. In reality season jobs can be very hard work, entertaining guests, excellent customer service, long hours, 6 days a week, providing evening entertainment or aiding guests with their problems.
Accommodation – Most season jobs offer employees accommodation, which again helps for travelling and not spending any money. This can be both a good and bad thing, some companies I have worked for had outstanding accommodation and others not so great, just depends on the area around the resort. Although this is true between working, socialising and having fun you barely spend anytime in your accommodation.
People – With any job or travelling experience the people make or break the experience, obviously not everyones going to get along with everyone, but on seasons you can be working with between 2 to 70 people, its not often that you find someone who doesn’t get along with anyone.
Parties – Seasonnaires defiantly know how to party, whether its drinking after a presentation night or apres, socialising is a major part of every season, after all the quickest way to make friends is to have a few drinks. This being said partying isn’t for everyone and there is plenty of people on seasons who don’t go out at all.
Hopefully this blog post gave you a little bit more information about what its like to work in a seasonnaire job. If you are even considering doing a season you should just go for it, you have nothing to lose.
I have been fortunate enough to undertake a number of seasons in the past couple of years, both summer and winter.
Annys Adventures – Vounaki, Greece
Summer seasons can be a very fun experience and a crazy adventure to have during University summer holidays or gap years. Winter seasons are equally great but obviously cannot be undertaken whilst at University due to the season being December to April but can be done in gap years or in-between jobs. Summer and winter seasons can be paired together well, with many summer seasons finishing in November and winter seasons starting in December and likewise in April when winter ends and summer begins.
I have created a short list of a few reasons why everyone should become a seasonnaire:
The Job: As a seasonnaire often you work for a company. You can undertake a variety of jobs from water ski instructor, nanny, chef, hotel host, tennis coach, lifeguard-you name it, it’s a seasonnaire job. The job is unlike any other, you may end up doing a job which you could do at home, for example being a waitress or cleaner, but imagine sunbathing on the beach or skiing down a mountain during your split shift. Be warned the hours are often long, but the job is very rewarding. You will look at every job differently when you return home, trust me.
To Travel: Seasonnaire jobs are mostly available abroad- many winter season jobs are located in the French Alps, Italian Alps, Austria, Switzerland, Andorra or even in America or Canada. Imagine waking up every morning to a mountain view out of your window. Summer season jobs are located mainly in Greece, Turkey, Italy or France. Although this is true, you can occasionally get a job which is a little further afield for example in the BVI, Caribbean or the Maldives. I can’t think of anything better than spending 6 months in an all inclusive beach resort.
The People: Many seasonnaires who work for English companies are from England, meaning you could find yourself in the middle of Greece or Turkey surrounded by English speaking people. There have been a number of times when I have been on a season with people who live in the village close to me or a city less than a hour away. Seasonnaires are a specific type of person- adventurous enough to leave their home for a period of time and work abroad. I have met some amazing people on seasons, who I found I had more in common with than my friends at home or school (this is especially true for the people in your department who share many of the same interests as you). You will often find that people don’t usually do just one season, so you may end up doing a number of seasons with the same people.
The Lifestyle: Who doesn’t want to spend 6 months in 30c weather at the beach or snow skiing or boarding everyday for 5 months. Drinking everyday becomes the norm (especially apres), you live with your friends, get paid to do something which you love and meet some amazing people (colleagues and guests). Just to warn you, it’s super easy to get stuck in the seasonnaire life but life is about having fun and seasons definitely are a lot of fun.
The Opportunities: Working on a season creates many different opportunities. I have been on seasons where guests have interacted well with employees and have offered them jobs. Seasons are also a great way to move up in your careers (especially management roles) in a short space of time. You can become a department manager in a year if you perform well and there are also opportunities to become hotel management.
Overall Experience: A season will be one of the best times of your life. You won’t want to leave. The people you meet will stay with you for years to come, you will forget you are being paid and go on an incredible journey of self-discovery. Seasons also look very good to future employers.
All these opinions are my own, but if you have the slightest desire to go on a season, do it- you definitely won’t regret it. There is no better way to travel and work in another country whilst making memories that last a lifetime!
Working at a summer camp isn’t just about the camp experience, you are already in America and have a visa with a month left, why not travel around the country for a bit.
When you are looking at booking your flight think about whether you want to book your return flight out of the same airport as you flew into as you may want to travel somewhere else and fly out from there. Book a flight which is easy to change (from my experience Delta www.delta.com and STA Travel www.statravel.co.uk are the easiest/cheapest to change) or alternatively just book a one way flight and decide when you get there.
You meet many different people at Summer Camp who you might make plans with- some Americans may invite you to go and visit their home or College after camp, or you may find other people who want to travel. So be prepared to change your plans, because there’s no better way to travel across America than with an American!
Getting ready to embark on your summer camp journey can be stressful enough without worrying about what to pack, how much luggage space you have, what to take and what to leave.
Many summer camps will provide you with a packing list, these can be useful but they are very generic.
My advice for packing to go to a summer camp is to pack for all occasions, rain or shine. A rain jacket is a necessity as are shoes which can get wet, as you never know when the weather will turn against you. Do some research about your camp, is it a uniformed camp? If so, you will only need clothes for your days and evenings off, meaning you don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe with you.
You should also look at your activity and understand what you will need to be able to undertake it, for example a tennis coach might want their own racquet, a lifeguard may need a large number of swim suits, water ski instructors will needs swim suits and may want to take their skis. General activity instructors should take a look at all the activities available to the children and be prepared with suitable attire to be able undertake all sports and activities.
Many Summer Camps are located in remote areas away from local towns or villages, meaning it maybe hard to obtain everyday items such as; shampoo, deodorant, suncream, body wash etc. I would suggest that these items should be purchased before you travel and packed with you to avoid getting caught short. Mosquito repellent is a must for the summer, try to find one with a high DEET percentage as they work the best and avoid purchasing shampoos and similar items with powerful odours as these attract mosquitos.
You may want to pack some photographs to display around your bed or some home comforts to make your place feel more homely. Research the special activities your camp has throughout the summer, as it may not be easy to buy any items you may need for dress-up days. For example for 4th July some items that are red, white and blue may be a good to bring with you.
The main thing through is not to stress, if you are sensible and think carefully about what you need for the summer then you should be fine. Remember everyone will be in the same position as you, you can’t and won’t pack everything you need but don’t worry as someone will be there to help you out.