Waiting to bloom

Ah, summer! How quickly i forget that summer isn’t really summer, not when you’re working April to September (or the months in between) but a slideshow of the same phenomenons viewed through all-the-more-knowing eyes of the seasoned seasonal worker.

First, there’s the quiet solitude available in the build up to the season, when fellow workers get to meet as they settle in without nary a care for the chaos that tourists bring with them, almost as if that very chaos was stored in their luggage amid the sunscreen and badminton rackets.

Then there’s the first outbreak, the first trickle of guests, the hint that the season is officially here and now. It’s still quiet, but the workload gets heavier, and if anyone was under the impression it would be fun, fun, fun, the element of professional makes a headline.

The height of the season is what we live for: the pandemonium brought on by working indecent hours, getting away with little sleep, spending way too much time at the pub as an exorcism of homesickness (which is really worksickness). At this point, the season is irrefutably in full swing.

And then, just like it sneaked up on you, it’s suddenly gone in the huff of traffic, all of them mad tourists leaving, removing their unmistakable presence in a withdrawing motion. Summer/Winter is over, and you are the last one to know and care, because you’re also the last one to leave and return home.

So, season work! Jelle and i have been at this for 2 years in 3 different countries, the combined effort of 8 different jobs and unique experiences. Some, more interesting than others, others still more rewarding than others.

One of the most recurring questions we get asked is how we found the job, whether it was pure luck or the results of several weeks’ labor in the depths of the internet (which is how we always apply for and get the job). I’d say it depends on the season, the money you can allocate to job hunting and the urgency with which you need employment. Above all, it’s always a combination of several dozens of tries, follow ups and, just as certainly, luck.

The fact is, season work begins and ends rhythmically. There is no extension on the contract, no way around the viability of its term. We always know when we’ll be knocking on wood again, so we usually set upon looking for the next adventure (and job) while we’re still employed.

For notices, Natives and Seasonworkers as well as Ski-jobs are great places to start. Anythinganywhere offers precisely that, and it’s where i found my first summer job as a hotel animator. A group we’d like to work for is PGL, the English holiday specialist with resorts all over Europe (but you need a UK insurance number to be selected).