How to Find a Ski Season Job in New Zealand

Mike Haycock
How to Find a Ski Season Job in New Zealand
Author: Mike Haycock
17.04.2019 18:12PM

Those who have worked in Queenstown for a ski season before will probably say two things: that it is one of the most fun places on the planet to live, and that securing work can be notoriously difficult.

Because of its beauty, Queenstown pulls backpackers from every corner of the world, and that means a lot of people applying for jobs.

The biggest industry by far is hospitality, or ‘hospo’ (the hospo nights out are always crazy), and there’s loads of opportunities around, you just have to be a bit backpacker-savvy to find them. This blog will show you how.

1. Online

It’s no surprise in this day and age that the majority of jobs can be found online. For employers, it’s the quickest way of getting their new role in front of loads of people. For those seeking backpacker jobs in New Zealand, you can get a resume and cover letter over to them in a matter of minutes.

But you can certainly break down your online search into easier chunks. To begin with, try the huge NZ job sites, which are Seek and Indeed. These tend to have more office based roles, but are certainly not limited to them.

For more of a broader, backpacker range of roles, be sure to check out backpackerboard. A lot of friends of mine have plucked jobs from here, and it’s also a great resource to use in general.

2. Job Boards

One great thing about Queenstown is that no matter how many international visitors it gets, it has always retained a ‘close-knit town’ feel. As such, you’ll find certain things are still done in an older-fashioned way, like having a bulletin newsletter to keep everyone informed of local news (The Lakes Weekly Bulletin, in case you were wondering). This is a great way of finding both ski season work and accommodation.

But job boards seem to be a really under-utilised approach to finding work. A good few years ago, people would stick up notes on supermarket notice boards advertising work, as this was where they’d get the most exposure. Although technology has moved on, some employers still prefer the way they grew up with, and as such you’ll still find jobs this way. Even if it’s a few hours here and there, it’s a great way to build up your network.

3. Handing a Resume in Person

If you’re looking at getting a customer-facing role in the likes of a bar or restaurant, what better way to show you’re a people person, than having the confidence to go in and speak face to face?

A lot of these roles will accept someone handing in a resume, as it gives them an immediate way of checking out your personal skills. It saves time on running through interviews after interviews, and if they have something available (and they like you), they’ll no doubt ask you in for a trial shift shortly after.

Beware, a lot of people will be doing this, so get your outgoing and smiley head on, and confidently get into places!

4. Intermediary

There are certain programmes available, that have a limited number of places, which include a job placement. These take away the stresses of needing to source out work yourself, as they will help you with your application to ensure it’s what employers are looking for.

As they also already have pre-existing links with employers, it can smoothen the process in getting your foot in the door, especially if it’s in an industry you want to be in.

5. Network

The most effective method in Queenstown is getting involved and keeping your ear open to word of mouth. Whether you’re in a hostel, or living in a shared house, get asking around your local network to see if they’ve heard of anything. Honestly, the amount of times I’d be in a dorm room and get asked “do you know anyone who’s looking mate, my place is taking on” was crazy.

It’s so accidentally easy to build a group of friends in Queenstown. Everyone is in the same situation, and it brings people together. On the whole, everyone wants to help everyone, and everyone wants to be nice to everyone, as they’re in exactly the same position. Be outgoing, be happy and be kind and it’ll come back around full circle.

Yes, it’s busy, and yes there’s always a search for jobs. But they are most definitely there, as long as you look in the right places.

There’s a reason why Queenstown is literally the number one place for all New Zealand backpackers. A really cool town vibe, mixed with fun fuelled activities and spectacular scenery, its the country’s number one tourist destination. Once you’re in and settled, you’ll be working in one of the best winter ski towns in the world.

About the author

Mike is the Editor-at-Large at Smaller Earth, and the founder of The Lost Lot, a self-development platform helping young adults find direction when feeling lost in life.

He focuses on the bridge between travel and growth, highlighting how both can be a catalyst for positive change in your life.

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