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Advice please? Mid Life Crisis/Empty Nester Wants to do Season.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. My youngest has just completed her A levels and is off to do a ski season. In a moment of madness - I have decided to do the same ( hopefully in different resort/company).
I am little more mature... 55+. Years of management experience ( marketing - client and agency side); event management; and currently Trustee of a Charity responsible for PR, Marketing and Events in Theatre

I have just done a cooking course with Orchards - and got great feedback. Used to running home and business. Absolutely know what I would expect from a catered chalet experience and have the experience, professionalism and commitment to do an excellent job and be a great customer facing representative for any company. However, my husband does not want to do this - so I am on my own. *help

I do not want the following:

- To share a room w a party animal
- To be treated badly -I am too old and too valuable to take this sort of ****
- To party till all hours - happy to have a drink - but just want to ski as much as possible. I am not a black run/off-pister - I just want to improve and do something for me after years of doing stuff for kids. Want to do an honest days work and deliver a good job - whilst improving my skiing

Any advice re good companies to work for and resorts that might suit me - much appreciated or somebody with similar experiences/mid-life crisis!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scott Dunn
https://www.scottdunn.com/luxury-holiday/ski-holidays/ski-chalets-alps

Morgan Jupe
http://www.morganjupe.co.uk/


And also who do you normally book with? They will be catering to your 'tribe' which will make it suitable for you.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks! Usually Le Ski - so trying them
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No reason you have to work unless funding is critical. Most resorts will have a popular of geezernaires skiing on a retired, semi-retired, career break or remote-working basis.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not sure how up to date this is site is anymore, but you may find some more info here

http://www.natives.co.uk
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Have a look at SilverSwan recruitment. They tend to deal with higher end companies
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Good stealth CV wink

Here is the reality -- working in the Alps sucks.

Profits are tight. You're pretty much a disposable slave on minimum wage.

All work and no ski.

Instead, you can do a 25-week season in France from Nov to May for £10-15k.

Cash, creditcard, rent your crib, whatevs.

No need to work.

Just ski.

And more free time to party, eat, find a replacement for lazy hubs, and so on.

Good luck.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hah White gold always to the point
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
"All work and no ski"??? Not too sure about that. Yes you don't get paid much (under the ways most tour ops apply current legislation) but there's plenty of time to ski.

Apply to Le Ski, who often employ 'more mature' staff. Also specialists in the grey market are Silver Ski - they like older staff too.

Have a great time!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks all for feedback. Unfortunately I do have to work - Dave of the Marmottes and Whitegold... Sad Sad But hey!...If I win the Lottery tonight - this could all change! Thanks again
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The last time I stayed with Mountainsun in Les Coches the people running the chalet were similar to you in background and outlook, I think.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
But do be careful of how much you work.

Unlike 20 year olds who can stay work+ski+party with only 3 hrs of sleep, more "matured" bodies may not last as well. Even some 20 year olds admit they didn't get a lot of skiing in because they're knackered after a full day of work day in and day out.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@tinabf,

I think lots of chalet operators would love to employ you. Ideally you'd get a smaller chalet (single handed) where you could live in (rather than in a shared apartment). Think you should be able to find that
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks all - much appreciated
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Is chalet hosting the only option for brits? Are there any other roles that might suit the OP, or do they always go to locals?

It's always going to be difficult fitting in a decent amount of skiing on a working day, but I could see an evening bar or restaurant shift working well. Maybe 3pm to 11pm. Even with a lazy start in the morning you'd be able to get a couple of hours skiing per day. Do those jobs exist?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
dont work!
You obv have a few quid , get your accommodation sorted and lift pass , few quid to get you started and get a changeover type job , work weekends for 100 a day sort of thing , beer tokens.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tinabf wrote:
Thanks all for feedback. Unfortunately I do have to work - Dave of the Marmottes and Whitegold... Sad Sad But hey!...If I win the Lottery tonight - this could all change! Thanks again


* OPTION 1...

Take out a bankloan for ~£15k and pay it back over 7 years at ~£210 per month.

Ski every day for 5 months.

* OPTION 2...

Spend every day scrubbing toilet bowls and listening to customers whine about their vacation.

Ski 1 day a week.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
tinabf--As a young 67 having now done 13 winter seasons in 6 countries & 8 resorts, starting when I was 54, I would say go for it. With your experience you would be well qualified to be a manager, resort, chalet, hotel? Best thing about that? Always your own accomodation, usually an apartment. Somewhat better salary. Yes it can be a pain in the a--- dealing with young kids who sometimes seem not to have any idea of what real work is, but if you do get a good set of staff they can make your 'job' so much easier. I usually manage to get out 2-5 days a week, sometimes it might only be an hour or two but that's usually my choice. You get picky when you have all season to ski. I was very much the exception as an oldie in 2005/6 my first season but more & more mature people are coming to it and GOOD companies appreciate the work ethic and dedication older people with some life experience bring to the roles. You don't mention whether you have any language skills, which is a great help when applying for some of these roles. Tailor your CV to reflect your experience relevant to the roles you might apply for. Don't just send in your 'standard' CV. Try Mark Warner. I know they recently advertised for Hotel managers for France and a good company to work for. I worked for them last season and hope to next if the right hotel comes available.(I don't want France). Hotelplan group, Total, Esprit(if you like kids) and Inghams are one of the largest operators with lots of options. Not heard good things about Crystal. There are many more, check them all out and choose one to suit you. Good luck in your endeavours and I hope you find something to suit. It is a great way to spend winters, skiing at someone else's expence!
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Don't really see me in a bar. ...Possibly a restaurant but my French is good but not fluent anymore. German etc negligible...Beer tokens? Laughing Keep any ideas coming folks... Thank you
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tinabf. Basic French is probably good enough for most roles. Don't be put off by the cynics on here who criticise all kinds of seasonal work. Either they have lots of their own cash or mummy & daddy are supporting them. Yes there can be some guests who you would rather not see again, but guess what? You won't! At the end of the week they are gone and you still have the resort to play in which they would love to do if only they had the guts to throw in the towel and try it. Go for it!
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I did it when I was 40. Worked for Silverski in Les Menuires. Pay was rubbish (but I knew that and I had cash to supplement it if need be). I was the ski host (back when you could be), though I had originally gone out to be a chalet cook and did cook a couple of days per week. I skied loads, though would have preferred not to have been with guests 4 days per week. Beware- after a season, a couple of weeks per year skiing will never be enough.

Downside...a shared bedroom and nowhere private for alone time. Phone calls with then then boyfriend (now Mr P) were taken on occasion in the freezer and drying room, by the indoor hot tub when it was closed, and inside the sauna (turned off)!
A properly organised grown up running a chalet and cooking can easily get masses of time on the slope.
Go for it, or anything else that takes your fancy. Given the new approach to employment regs applying to posted employees, you may even find you get two days off a week!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Whitegold wrote:
tinabf wrote:
Thanks all for feedback. Unfortunately I do have to work - Dave of the Marmottes and Whitegold... Sad Sad But hey!...If I win the Lottery tonight - this could all change! Thanks again


* OPTION 1...

Take out a bankloan for ~£15k and pay it back over 7 years at ~£210 per month.

Ski every day for 5 months.

* OPTION 2...

Spend every day scrubbing toilet bowls and listening to customers whine about their vacation.

Ski 1 day a week.


You've obviously never worked a season in a chalet, and are quite frankly talking rubbish.

And you can do 5 months in Europe for considerably less than £15,000

Christ, if you picked the right locations for the right dates you could almost have a 5 month HB ski holiday for £15,000

£750 per week for 20 weeks
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Perty wrote:

A properly organised grown up running a chalet and cooking can easily get masses of time on the slopes!


This, in spades 👍

EDITED TO REFLECT REPLIES AFTER THIS

I was a Chalet Cook working with a Chalet Host (who I hadn't met prior to the training course) at Chalet Bianca, Ellmau, Austria for Crystal Holidays in the 1993/94 winter season, so this may or may not be relevant to chalet work circa 2018

We had 16 guests per week.

I was responsible for all food related duties - shopping, prep, cooking, cleaning - and about 40% of the chalet cleaning.

After the first week setting up the systems and getting everything organised where we skied two days, this was our weekly schedule

We had one full day per week chalet based / shopping - transfer day - where we didn't ski.

We had one day off per week where we managed to leave the chalet at approx 9am and ski all day

The other five days we left the chalet about 10am, were skiing by 10.30am and we were able to ski back to the chalet by 3.30pm in time to serve afternoon tea and prepare dinner. A couple of those days I would do additional shopping. Bread & milk was delivered to the chalet.

Outside of extraordinary circumstances that equated to

6 ski days per week - 1 full day, 5 x 5hr days

Either we were extremely organised, lucky, or both


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 11-07-18 10:35; edited 5 times in total
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@tinabf, midlife crisis, tick. Nest always empty so tick. Did a season years ago when I was young and fresh-faced working for a British TO. There's a very good reason why I didn't repeat the process. Pay negligible. Accommodation woeful. Ski time maybe 8 hours a week if I was lucky. Fun yes. But I would seriously never want to deal with disgruntled Brits on holiday again.

So my answer was to sell up, ditch the job and move myself, my cat and those belongings I felt I could not do without to the mountains. Like you I have to work. But I managed to find a part-time job in the same career field I have always had. I work 4 days a week in the city, and I ski 3 days a week, not to mention the odd week off, or balancing time with accrued overtime. As far as midlife crises go, this one is a belter... Very Happy
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@tinabf, Wife and I were in similar position to you a couple of years ago - we got jobs as Chalet Chef/Chalet Host, but we quit half way through the season.
As someone with management experience it was difficult working in a poorly organised and chaotic environment (which I had no control over) which caused me lots of stress, staff accommodation was poor - the small room we were prepared for, but the staff shower didn't drain properly and no-one was interested in fixing it. Once doing all the shopping, accepting deliveries, stocktakes, ordering lift passes, cooking breakfasts, cakes, dinners, evening soups for late arrivals etc was taken into account it worked out to about 60hrs per week (I am well organised and disciplined, but make sure everything is done - no skimping). The pay is poor, but we expected that.

After quitting we skied the second half of the season in Austria, and got ten times more skiing. Following season we earned some cash in advance and just went skiing for 12 weeks - vastly more skiing done than you ever could in a season working.
I'm not saying don't work a season, but if you do make sure you are certain about the work environment, the management, the accommodation, the people you will work with (it's hard working alongside clueless youngsters when you have authority to sort them out).

Above all - good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

* OPTION 2...

Spend every day scrubbing toilet bowls and listening to customers whine about their vacation.

Ski 1 day a week.


My experience as a Chalet host was that I skied 5 half days and one full day per week.
I wouldn't listen to @Whitegold he usually spouts ballcocks.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@tinabf, go for it, if you feel you have to work then work... You've done the Orchards course; one of their USPs used to be that they had contacts with chalet operators to help students get jobs, is this not still the case?

Even if it is I'd suggest you look at the small/medium sized operators as they tend to give their team better accommodation but as you're on your own I suspect it's unrealistic to not be sharing with someone.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@queenie pretty please, I wish...sounds like the dream. But my work - even on 4 day basis - could not generate enough to support and I can't take anything out of family pot as we have 2 kids to support though Uni and then to help get on whatever ladders there are. I can only do this if i do not cost the family any £...

Thanks for all your comments folks. I am aware it will be hard work. Not afraid of that - just afraid that my work ethic - I care and don't want to do a bad job - plus the employers attitude will mean I get no ski time etc. It's something I will have to think about; take care of; and organise myself sensibly...

Any ideas about resorts that might have good atmosphere ie not party party but some mature women groups/gentle skiers etc - would be very welcome if people know of them
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
tinabf---'I get no ski time etc' Honestly having done all I have in the last few years, not getting ski time wasn't a part of it. As I said before. Choose a as good as you can employer. There are some out there, Mark Warner, On The Piste, etc. Do the research, read Glass Door reviews of employers etc. Always remember YOU COME FIRST. So even if you end up with a not great employer, a bunch of useless, lazy GFN kids as staff, YOU can still make it worthwhile for YOU. I am still looking forward to starting another season in November.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@tinabf, fair enough. I'm a lifelong single gal, so no major restrictions for me. I might add that when I did work a season I was promoted to Resort Manager which meant a lot less free time than the chalet staff or even the reps. I was compensated with a higher wage, but double meagre is still meagre! Good luck!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
queenie pretty please---Surprised to hear you had less ski time as RM? Only ever having been RM, HM, I pretty much set my own agenda to maximise ski time. Yes of course there were those days when demands of the job keep you in when you should be out but generally, the rewards, especially own apartment are worth it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Perty wrote:

Downside...a shared bedroom and nowhere private for alone time.


An interesting euphemism for a menage a mois Smile
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hi @tinabf,

We run a little ski company called Ice and Fire and we would love to hear from you! We often have older people doing a late gap year and it works really well as a setup.

www.ice-fire.co.uk

Some of our host positions come with their own room and I would strongly suggest that you applied for one of those - it means that you have some time to yourself as well as the sociable/skiing/hosting side of things.

Any help?
Heather
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Pick a few resorts where you would want to do a season, then look at the seasonnaire accommodation available. If you can find accommodation that suits then rent it yourself, then look to sub-let beds to people you meet in resort that you think you could live with (5 months in a small apartment is a long time without being crowded and/or with people you don't get on with - common with tour operator staff accommodation).
For employment look at the British run bars, restaurants and shops (especially ski hire shops). Many will be recruiting now for next season.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Can you get much ski time working in a hire shop? I'd have thought they want you to be present while the pistes are open.
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thelem --The ski hire staff do get quite a bit of time off. Remember their busy times will be AM & PM. 1 or 2 staff may be in shop on a rota basis all day but the rest are free to ski. Changeover days are obviously another matter and they may be required all day. they would usually have 2 days off a week to.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Resort rep job for a decent company in a resort with no chalets = no staff, plenty of time for skiing (if you’re organised) and no sharing accommodation. The job gets you accommodation, lift pass, equipment rental, staff prices/discounts and some structure around the skiing.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thx - am applying for both
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thelem wrote:
Can you get much ski time working in a hire shop? I'd have thought they want you to be present while the pistes are open.


I cannot say for other countries, but France has a 35 hour maximum working week. A hire shop would generally expect all staff to work Friday afternoon & evening, all day & evening Saturday and all day & evening Sunday (when most of the kit is coming back, being serviced & going out again). The rest of the week would be a skeleton staff by rota.
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Kenzie wrote:
thelem wrote:
Can you get much ski time working in a hire shop? I'd have thought they want you to be present while the pistes are open.


I cannot say for other countries, but France has a 35 hour maximum working week.


Ha ha ha I'll have to tell my boss that one.
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