As the summer season winds down, thoughts in a ski town inevitably drift towards snow. It must have been about 70 degrees at the top of Snow King the other day, but as soon as a small breeze came through, I watched and listened to a man near by clapping his hands together with a big smile cheering, “winter’s coming”. That’s what generally happens around here at this time of year… locals have enjoyed a good 2 to 3 month fun filled mountain summer, and are back to preying for snow.
This is also the time of year when the question of a “real job” surfaces for many recent college grads either finishing up another season in a ski town, or just starting to research the move.
With that in mind, a few thoughts as you get started in your job search …
If you are moving in from out of town, make a point to research the housing situation before you begin to interview. A prospective employer will want to know that you are fully educated on the local housing market prior to making the move.
Employers are well aware of why many choose to live in a ski town. Please try and refrain from bringing up powder days during your first interview. At the time, it may sound like a cool thing to talk about, but after the interview is over, the employer will immediately start to question if you would be one of those employees that fail to show up at the first sign of snow.
Job Markets – Small town vs. City
Acknowledge the fact that you are looking for a job in a small town, not a large metropolitan city. There are jobs available, but going into a smaller market, you may have to compromise, and get a little creative. If you are struggling to get a position in your chosen field, start to think about the kind of work environments that you enjoy, and the skills you have that may be transferable. For example, the few years that I did not work in my preferred field of recruiting/staffing, I used my real estate leasing background, and worked in vacation rental reservations for a company based at the ski mountain that offered full health benefits, ski pass, gym pass, and yoga classes. Excellent benefits for a ski town job.
Tails of the typo
For everyone, anywhere looking for a job, check for typos on your cover letter and resume before sending them out … at least 3 times. None of us are perfect. I actually pushed the “send” button the other day without a thorough check myself only to find the terrible typo just 5 seconds later. Brutal. I must have stared at that screen for a good 10 minutes irrationally trying to figure out a way to get that e-mail back. The reality is that if you send out a resume with a typo, you are not getting an interview.
Questioning the “real job”
I know and understand all about wanting a “real” job, but make sure you are not torturing yourself over getting one. Are you living in the mountains, working, paying your bills … and are you happy? If so, you are way ahead of the game. The truth is, some of the jolliest people I know here are locals in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who have always worked seasonally, and have never even considered the so called “real job”.
Resort jobs, seasonal jobs, full-time careers … living in a ski town for a season or a lifetime … there really is no right or wrong path to choose; it’s more about discovering your own path … and following one that feels true to you.