Life After Uni: Work in a Bar

If you enjoyed a lager or two at university, the appeal of working in a bar for a snow season is undeniable. But it can also appeal to individuals with polar opposite tastes. Whether you're a motivated mountain goat, hankering for the free daytime to catch first lift, or a persistent partier - the role can be attractive for a variety of reasons. 

First up, the social life. Working in a bar, you’ll make a lot of friends. After all, it’s great to be able to hand out a sneaky free shot or two to your pals or someone you’d like to get racy with. In smaller resorts, you’re basically the king of the (snow) castle, practically on first name terms with nearly everyone in the resort. Added to this, if you’re looking to score, you’ll have a ringside view of all the local talent. 

The amount of time you’ll have to ride is a massive advantage. With your days free at least until noon, you can be up and out for first lift every day. You may have to work a couple of daytime shifts, but generally you’ll be free to ski or snowboard to your heart’s content before work. If you can muster the energy to work late at night but rise in time to shred, you’ll have the pick of the powder days.   

A rare view of the bar without a queue in Dropzone, Tignes

A rare view of the bar without a queue in Dropzone, Tignes

Of course, the drinking is a big draw. Unlimited drinks are often included in the deal, and you’ll be roped into revelries all night long. If you can handle the long hours, it’s an ideal job to save yourself a hefty bar tab. The pay is also decent compared to other snow season jobs. You’re likely to be on a local contract with decent wages, especially in France or Switzerland.

Working in the bar means you’ll be chatting regularly with the mountain community and be perfectly positioned to improve your understanding of the local language. Best of all, if you’re nervous to try out the lingo, just slurp back a couple of pints for dutch courage and you’ll be ready to test your linguistic prowess in no time.

A workplace with a view. Catch a few runs and then head here to work. Photo: Sarah Pyman

A workplace with a view. Catch a few runs and then head here to work. Photo: Sarah Pyman

It’s not just about pulling pints though. There are always a few downsides. Cleaning up vomit and various other unsavoury bodily fluids will be part of the work routine. Plus, you’ll be expected to fork out for your lift pass and accommodation. Some jobs offer accommodation as part of the package. However, this is normally on top of the bar and tends to be a pit of sin that doesn’t get quiet until well after 4am. 

If you’re looking for a ready-made social life and you can handle drinking on the job, this is as similar as you can get to uni life - whilst now getting paid to drink and not studying. Working in a bar is ideal for the debauched drinkers, but if you need your beauty sleep - this probably isn’t the job for you.

Commute to work. Photo: Sarah Pyman

Commute to work. Photo: Sarah Pyman