Working in a hot summer holiday resort heaving with party goers is a dream job for a lot of British people. Fed up with the daily commute in the rain surrounded by miserable faces, thousands of us just want to get away.
In fact, in most top European resorts the same workers go back year after year, they just can’t get enough of it and if you look at the workers groups on Facebook you’ll see the same messages appearing on the wall just after Christmas “counting down the days” and “can’t wait till May” just to mention a couple.
It’s true to say that most workers save in the winter to take out a bit of money at the start of the season, as you need to get there early to bag the jobs. However, the holiday season doesn’t start until June or even July in some resorts so you need to be able to rent a place and feed yourself for a while before you start earning. Oh, did we say earning? Now then, here’s the bit that might surprise you! In many of Europe’s most desirable resorts you may literally only earn enough to eat and pay your rent. It’s a bit volatile and not for the faint hearted, and if it is the first time you have lived away from home looking after yourself on very little money can be a bit of an eye-opener. But d’ya know what? It’ll probably be the very best time you’ll have in your entire life – why? Because everyone else is in the same boat as you, bit skint, need to work to survive, but there to party, really party and have an awesome time each and every day.
Think about it, you spend your day in the pool or on a sandy beach tanning up that lovely body before going to get a bite to eat with your mates and chilling. After a power nap and shower you go to work for the evening, then it’s clubbing all night long and watching the sun come up! Still prefer to be at home in the rain watching TV? Nah, we didn’t think so!
So, if you’ve never worked abroad before and this sounds like your idea of fun, where do you start, what jobs are available, how much will you earn and when do you need to be there? Yes, there are tons of websites about this, and chat rooms are brilliant for info, but here you’ll find the stuff you really need to know, written by the workers at top resorts, to help you make the right decisions.
We interviewed Tommy from Essex, who has spent the last two seasons working in Magaluf. He believes “the most popular job in Magaluf is to be a club or bar PR, there are over two-hundred jobs available in and around Magaluf in peak season just in this line of work.” “The thing is,” he says. “I wouldn’t call it hard work! The nightly routine consists of free drinks (all night), talking to numerous amounts of crazy drunken people, and getting paid up to fifty euro’s a night for six hours work!”
Q: We heard that there’s a problem this year with PRs is that right?
Tommy: Yeah, it looks like they are banned but we’ll get round it somehow.
Q: What tips would you have for new people coming to work in Maga?
Tommy: So many people dream of working in a place like Magaluf so the apartments are snapped up fast. At the start of the season they are easy to find, you just spend half a day walking around and you find a few places with se alquila (to rent) on the balcony, call the number from a payphone and the landlord usually speaks English. Finding work is much easier than finding a place to live, as there are lots of jobs to choose from such as being a podium dancer, bar staff, waitress/waiter, jelly shot girls, selling ticket sales, operating the bucking bronco or bungee ball, being a hostess or a PR! None of these jobs require experience or a CV – you just need to ask any bar and they will give you a trial at the job.
Hayley from Macclesfield told us “finding work here is mostly through word of mouth and everyone is really helpful because they have all done it themselves. They tell you where jobs are going and there’s a local paper in English advertising flats to let.”
Q: What tips would you have for new people coming to work in Maga?
Hayley: You don’t have to have experience, I had never worked behind a bar before but I had the right personality, as long as you’re outgoing and a good laugh you’ll fit in anywhere, save as much as you can before you arrive.” Hayley loved being a worker in Magaluf so much that’s she has now moved out there permanently, check out her Magaluf workers Facebook group to find out more and talk to other workers in Magaluf.
We also spoke to Charlotte from Bristol who was a jelly shot girl at BCM.
Q: What was your day to day routine?
Charlotte: Woke up at 4pm, sunbathed till 6pm, had a siesta, got ready and headed to my local for 9pm, then walked down the strip maybe stopping for a few drinks on route to get to work for 11pm. I finished at 4am, partied till about 10am, had a quick swim in the sea on the way home normally, then went to bed – ready to do it all again the next day!
Q: What was the money like?
Charlotte: It was commission based only, and I brought home about 40 euros a night on a normal night, up to 90 on a good one.
Q: Would you recommend this type of job?
Charlotte: Being a shot girl is the best job you can do – you work fewest hours, you can make the most money, and you probably have the most fun!
We talked to Hayley from London who worked her first season last summer in Café Mambo – Ibiza.
Q: What tips do you have for people coming to find work in Ibiza?
Hayley: Get out there early, in the first week of May if possible and head for the Ship Inn in San Antonio, it’s a workers bar with a big notice board with loads of ads for flats and jobs. If you plan to work in Ibiza for a season but you don’t know any friends who want to do it with you, don’t fret. I did it on my own and I’d advise it more than taking a friend. I had to pluck up the courage to go and talk to other workers. If I had friends there I’d have leant on them. By the end of the season I was so much more confident. You’ll make friends in no time. Everyone is in the same boat and everyone is so friendly. Don’t forget you’re all there for the same reason, to work hard and party harder!
Q: What sort of jobs are available?
Hayley: The most popular jobs are working behind a bar, DJ, host or hostess, shot girl, dancer, PR or ticket seller, I sold tickets for club nights and was earning a basic of 50 euros a night, a lot of jobs in Ibiza are commission based and if you are good and work hard in the height of the season you can earn good money (A good PR can earn 70-80 euros a night) but it’s best to save and take money with you at the start.
Q: What’s so good about working in Ibiza?
Hayley: I got to party every night and listen to my favourite DJs, sunbathe all day on stunning beaches. In Ibiza you have the best of both, you can party for days on end, but you can also get away from it all and totally chill out. There’s a nice balance.
Clare from the UK now lives in Ibiza year round and says: “I have been working in Ibiza for a few years now and about to start my 5th season. I have been working at Bar M as a club sales rep, promoting all the clubs and different club nights. I have also been working for Ibiza residents, Dirty Rotten DJs advertising their parties, making bookings, dancing and entertaining.”
Q: How did you find the job?
Clare: I basically booked a weeks holiday and decided after 3 days that I wanted to stay, I did it all on my own, finding a place and a job. I love this Island so much and have been here ever since. I now live here full time winter and summer. If anybody would like any information at all they can put a message on the Working Abroad Magazine group wall on Facebook, I’d be happy to help.
We spoke to Andy from Kent about working in Kavos.
Q: How did you find a job in Kavos?
Andy: I turned up on the 1st May on my own, had a few days to chill out then went to some bars asking if they had any work, most places did so I chose the place I preferred with the quickest start date as they all pay roughly the same.
Q: What would you say are the best paid jobs there?
Andy: DJs can expect anything from 50 – 150 euro’s a night, Bar staff and PR’s between 25-50. Selling tickets for foam party and other clubs/events can be good earners but you are on commission. For example, sell a ticket for 10euro’s, owner takes 6, you take 4. Some people have been known to sell 50 tickets a night = 200 euros in your pocket but that’s only on event nights.
Q: Who is the best person to contact for a job/flat?
Andy: Just ask at any of the bars, they are all so close together and they all need workers. For accommodation, ask workers out there, they will always help, but you will see signs advertising rooms. A lot of the restaurant owners have apartments behind/above the restaurants. I would recommend Uncle Harry’s.
Craig who worked in Kavos last summer, said one of the best things about working there is that drinks are around 2 euros each, a room is 5 euros and cooked English brekkie 2 euros – that’s less than 2 quid people!
The jobs forum at www.justcorfu.co.uk
We talked to Dan from Kent. He has done bar work, ticket sales and worked as a PR in Malia.
His advice? “Working in a pool bar during the day and evening is cool as your room gets so hot during the day you can’t sleep anyway! You just have a little fan blowing hot air around, workers don’t have air con as it’s more expensive!”
Q: How do you get a job in Malia?
Dan: I emailed a few bars before I went over and they all told me to come and see them when I arrived, so I would say just get out there and ask for a trial, work hard and be at your best and they’ll take you on, I found my first job on www.malia.co.uk. it’s a website that advertises jobs, flights and hotels. It’s a really helpful site.
Q: Why would anyone want to work in Malia?
Dan: It’ll be the best summer of your life, you meet so many amazing people, some will become your best friends. It’s everything a young bloke could want. You get workers prices everywhere on food and drinks and being able to walk down the strip, knowing everyone and saying hello to all your mates is awesome.
We also spoke to Selina who worked in Malia: “As a PR I used to get 35 euros a night but there were a few people that had been working there for years so they were getting 75 plus a night, plus 1 day off a week which in Malia is really good as you never get days off.”
Q: What advice do you have for people thinking about working in Malia?
Selina: Make sure you get paid nightly as some places pay weekly, that way if you get the sack you won’t lose a weeks wage. That happened to a few people and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Nick from Norwich worked in Malia last summer, and he said: “I preferred being a PR because you start work late at night and finish in time to go out and party! Dancers have good hours too but I would never do bar work as you start when the club opens and finish when it shuts so there is no time for night time fun! You can make loads of cash selling tickets, but you have to work day and night to make the money. It’s good, but I stopped because in Malia we all met up at the beach everyday and got smashed playing drinking games and having a wicked time. Money doesn’t mean everything so I gave it up to party up, that’s what I went there for! It’s weird when you work there for a season because you meet everyone and you become like a little family with everyone you meet. I still speak to most people on Facebook and cant wait to get back!”
We interviewed Dayne from Manchester who has worked in Magaluf, Malaga, and Benidorm. Starting at the tender age of 17, as soon as he worked in Faliraki, he knew that was the resort for him.
Q: Why is Faliraki so much better than the other resorts in your experience?
Dayne: There’s something about the atmosphere there. It’s a tight knit group, most workers come back each year. We pull together, you get to know everyone and you are one big family – the workers, reps, hoteliers and bar owners. It’s very rare you meet a worker in Faliraki that you dislike or a person who wouldn’t bend over backwards to help you settle in.
Q: How easy is it to find a job in Faliraki?
Dayne: Getting work in Faliraki is nowhere near as daunting as you might think. 99% of people who work out there for the first time book a cheap package holiday so they have a base to start with, and I think that’s the safest option as you have a return flight in case you are not happy or don’t find what you need to stay. However, most people settle, find work, and have the summer of their lives. You don’t usually need work permits or papers and if you do, the employers will sort this out for you, so you can normally work on your first night of your holiday if you want.
Check out this Facebook page for ideas, advice and contacts and join the “bedrock faliraki” or “king arthurs faliraki” Facebook groups.