So you’ve perfected everything there is to perfect and now you feel it’s time to take your level of skiing expertise to the next level by working a season at a ski resort - but you don’t even know where to start… Don't fear, Ski & Trek is here to help.

If making lots of money isn’t the be-all-and-end-all at this point in your life, there really are few things better than working at a ski resort. However, before you get your equipment together and say goodbye to your family for five or six months, you might want to do some serious thinking.

In order to avoid hanging up your skis earlier than planned, it really is vital to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before heading off. Although opportunities to do great things during your time away may seemingly be endless, Ski & Trek has put together this simple guide to help.

Which job to choose?

There are a host of job opportunities available to individuals who want to spend an extended period in the resort of their choice, but most of these depend on your budget. If you have a little bit of money to play with, you could try honing your skills and qualifying as an instructor, and those with entrepreneurial tendencies could even set up their own business venture. The primary jobs available are as follows:

  • Resort representative
  • Instructor
  • Resort manager
  • Chalet staff
  • Chef or catering support
  • Transfer coordinator
  • Beauty therapist
  • Bar staff
  • Retail assistant

For the most part, working for an established tour operator is your best bet if you don’t want money worries to stand in the way of making the most of this fantastic opportunity. Usually, companies such as these will take care of your food and accommodation, giving you more time to focus on meeting other people with similar interests, many of whom will have more experience and be well equipped to show you the ropes.

Before getting your hopes up that working a season in a winter sports resort is all fun and games, it’s time for a reality check - it isn’t. You will have to work hard, probably harder than you expected, and there will be long hours involved. Before jetting off, it could be a good idea to engage with a forum of people who have worked or who want to work at a ski resort in order to ensure you are adequately prepared.

How to stand out

Chances are, there will be plenty of young people in the same shoes as yourself and are looking for their next challenge during the upcoming ski season. When you consider just how many people are likely interviewed for each position, it’s vital you come up with a way to set yourself apart from the rest. Show off about your past experience if you have any, and if you don’t, show yourself to be willing to take part in any training that is required.

Most tour operators will provide some kind of training lasting around seven days when you first arrive, but you will also be required to learn about other important processes while on the job. What’s more, the majority of other positions will offer continued support to help you develop.

The season in stages

In the majority of instances, the start of the season is the most physically demanding in terms of work. At this time, customer satisfaction is key, and it is vital that guests have realistic expectations about their holiday, and feel that their every wish is being met. Although this may go without saying, it can often mean employees are asked to do some jobs they wouldn’t usually be asked to do, such as cleaning and clearing snow.

The middle of the season is not a time to be complacent, as failure to handle work correctly at this time could prematurely bring about the end of your time at the resort, as a lack of customers means fewer employees are required. Again, signing up to a forum is a great way to find out what you can expect during each stage of the season - by doing so, you’ll soon discover there is less time to kick back than you might have thought.

On the whole, the most important thing to do before jetting off for a season is research. Sign up to forums, such as Natives or Season Workers, research where you would like to go and ensure you are emotionally prepared for what is likely to be one of the most rewarding - and challenging - chapters of your life.