At Powder White we are just at the peak time for interviewing for Chalet Hosts, Drivers, Maintenance people and Resort Management for the impending 2016/17 ski season. Now embarking on our 14th season, we have employed over a thousand staff, and on reflection, I feel that we have given them more than just a job – but a life enhancing experience that has improved each of these individuals. We often say that we send away girls and boys and women and men return!
So I believe that every school leaver should to a ski season to help built character, integrity and responsibility but it doesn’t just stop there.
8 reasons why you should consider completing a ski season:
- Hard work – nothing shapes an individual better than a good exposure to some hard work! Whilst ‘doing a season’ sounds like a breeze, in reality you are working six out of seven days a week, for twenty weeks, having to be up early to cook breakfast, bake a cakes and prepare the evening meal, only then to clean the chalet. Then you hit the slopes for a good five or six hours, only to return to the chalet, to serve a four course evening meal – all with charm and a smile on your face. It is the very definition of work hard play hard, and if you can complete a season, not only does it demonstrate that you can see something through to the end, but it also shows grit. Any future employer should see this as a big plus.
- Confidence – working as a chalet host instills a certain confidence within individuals. You are essentially running your own little hotel for the season, which not only means that you are responsible for the day to day practicalities of running a chalet but also the hosting of the guests. At Powder White we have an eclectic range of guests, from all over the world and from all different backgrounds. One week you may be looking after a captain of British Industry and her family, the following week, it could be a group of Skandi snowboarders! Irrespective of who you are looking after, it requires you to interact with these people and adjust your style according to the group. Once completing a season, any future job interview will be a breeze. In fact, many of the PW chalet hosts have actually got jobs from guests they have been looking after!
- Organisation – you need to be organised if you are running a chalet otherwise you will quickly run into chaos which will impinge on your ski time. This organisation comes in many guises: how you arrange your chalet; how you prepare your shopping; how you organise how and what you are going to cook each day; how you manage to large daily work load. In general, a chalet host becomes very efficient in doing their job, not to cut corners, but to make their own lives easier. On completion of a ski season, you will definitely have become a much more organised person.
- Working as part of a team – whilst you may be running your own chalet, you will be part of a bigger resort team and you will quickly find that working a team is a lot more effective than working independently. Often you will be required to help others out, and there will be times when you will be helped out by others. And somehow there is a greater satisfaction achieving as a team rather than on your own.
- Receiving honest feedback – at Powder White we ask our guests for ‘warts-and-all’ feedback, and whilst it is lovely to bask in the praise of happy guests, amongst this there may be some pretty brutal feedback on you and your performance. It is human nature to bristle at bad feedback, but you will quickly learn to grow a thick skin, take the feedback constructively, and look to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.
- Purchasing to a Financial Allowance – the Chalet Host at Powder White has to shop to a financial allowance for the week and their expenditure should not exceed this allowance. So it very quickly instils a keen eye for how to make the most out of the money allocated. Shopping lists are a must – shopping for the right items in the right quantity are critical to minimise waste. All expenditure needs to be accounted for, so there is are basic accounting skills that the Chalet Host will also learn. All important skills for the real world.
- Making Great Friends – some life-long friendships are made during a ski season. In such an intense environment, you will form some great friendships, not only within the Powder White team, but also within the resort as a whole. I set up Powder White with a person that I did a season with, and thirteen years later we are still great friends (and business partners!). Powder White has also had a fair few marriages over the years! Whilst we cannot guarantee this, we can guarantee that you will meet a great bunch of like-minded people from all sorts of backgrounds.
- Becoming a good skier – living in the mountains for five months, if you play your cards right, you can be out on the slopes 5 days a week, for 6 hours a day – for 18 consecutive weeks. By my calculations, that is at least 540 hours of skiing. Sure – you will pick up some bad skiing habits on the way that will probably stay with you for a lifetime, but after a season, no black run will ever phase you again.
Powder White is recruiting now for Chalet Hosts, Resort Managers and Drivers, so if you feel that you have what it takes, then please do apply via the website at www.powderwhite.com