Monday, 12 November 2007

How To Be A Ski Instructor. Part 4 - Networking

If you haven't been following this occasional series on becoming a ski instructor, you can catch up by reading Part 1 - The Gap Course, Part 2 - Individual Courses and Part 3 - Finding A Job.

The last part covered finding work in the UK and finding part time (e.g. peak season) work abroad. This was partly because it is very late to be looking for jobs abroad for this winter, and partly because jobs abroad can be hard to come by without experience. If you have found a job abroad as a newly qualified ski instructor, congratulations. If not, don't give up but don't be too disappointed if you do not find one this winter.

If you are a newly qualified or soon-to-be-qualified instructor, the best thing you can do is network (obviously this is important for experienced instructors too, but they should already know that). Talk to everybody. Get to know the staff at your local slope, many of them will have contacts in ski schools abroad. When you are on holiday, or on courses, talk to as many instructors as you can. Ask the ski schools about work (although this is difficult in France). Find out about recruitment processes and timescales. Collect email addresses and leave CVs. People are much more likely to give you a chance if they have met you and can put a face to the CV.

At the end of the winter you probably will not have a job offer yet, unless you are really lucky. What you will have is a pile of contacts to follow up on. The more the better as many might not materialise. Pay attention to each ski school's timescale for recruitment and apply for as many as you can until you have a firm offer. Even then it might be worth having a backup plan, just in case. This can be a fickle and transient industry after all.

The picture above is from the summer race training camp in Les 2 Alpes showing two happy ski instructors on a powder day.

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