How to get a job in the ski industry
I often get asked, "How do I get a job in the ski industry?" This is my answer. . .
Me age 22 working 14 hour days trying to build skis in my parent's garage
WARNING: The ski industry is a seasonal niche business so you may never make as much money as other year round mainstream industries. Also Because you need to crunch 12 months of business into 6 months, you will likely spend LESS time actually skiing than you do now.
However I still enjoy working in the ski industry because I'd rather make a living being passionate about my work with an ongoing goal of make skiing better and not let it fall into the wrong hands. So if you're the same I'd suggest starting by doing whatever it takes to get your foot in the door regardless of how small or far removed it may seem.
However DO NOT assume the only way to get into the ski industry is to literally start building skis or start a ski company. There are thousands of different types of businesses and jobs in the ski industry. Think bigger than just literally making skis. There's resorts, realestate, stores, restaurants, travel, lodging, construction, engineering, media, from accountant to plumber all working in the ski industry. So focus on the type of skills you enjoy doing most and if you kick but, you'll move up fast while doing what you love for a cause you believe in!
I suggest starting by learning as much as you can from others in your field before ever starting your own business of any kind. This will enable you to avoid the pot holes and learn from their failures and successes. This way you'll be able to gain years of their experience and knowledge and really understand what you like and don't like about the job and business without taking any financial risk. Basically try to get paid to learn as much as possible. If and when you no longer are learning or getting paid more, then it's a good time to discuss with your boss how to continue to progress and if no other options, move on to continue your progression.
Here's how I'd suggest you get started...
1) Beg to work for free as an intern or get a low level job anywhere relating to skiing - mountain, ski shop, product company, media, etc. so you can get a foot in the door of any kind!
2) You'll then have opportunities to meet people from other areas of the industry like sales reps, and managers of related companies etc. Offer to help them for free in exchange for experience or just tell them you're eager to take on more responsibility if opportunities arrise, remember to let your boss know the same! Get the contact info for anyone you meet so you can follow up personally later when the time is right.
3) Doing the above + variety of experience + great performance = work your way up to bigger opportunities.
4) Lastly, if you don't do anything different, don't expect different results. Even if only a few hours or days a week, get off your ass and start helping someone or some company to make skiing better. One thing will lead to the other and before you know it, you'll be running the show!
5) There are literally thousands of businesses hiring all the time. Reach out to them and ask where they post job oppenings. SIA is a great place to find companies in the ski industry. Many companies have dozens of brands under one roof and post job opportunities regularly like K2 Sports does here. Go get one!
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