First and foremost it is important to ask yourself whether this is for you. Do you consider yourself confident and well presented? Are you prepared to leave home comforts for a different lifestyle? Are you willing to work hard whilst everybody around you is relaxing or partying? No experience is necessary for potential employers, you won’t need to know a word of Spanish, but you will need a bit of adventure within you to take up the challenge, Just a few things to consider before you jump into a new exciting life in the sun.
Ok so you’ve decided to have a go at this working abroad stuff whatever your reason and don’t know where to start? You need to decide when you’re going to arrive, where you’re going to stay….
Best time to go?
In reality there is no ‘best time’ to go, whether a clubs star PR has been offered more money to work elsewhere or the shot girl need to return home for University, there are new vacancies created every single night which I guarantee the manager will be desperate to fill. However there are recommended times to arrive, most notably during April and may. In march although this is when many bars open their doors for the first time they generally don’t need many staff and those that do get the jobs are normally workers from the previous year. Once June arrives although again people get the sack, go home, change jobs etc the high season is truly in full swing and most places will already have their staff. I would recommend looking for work either, the first week of April, just before Easter or just before the two bank holidays in may, these are busy weekend in magaluf and managers need to be fully staffed to make the most of the busy period, use this to your advantage.
Before you arrive
Once you’ve decided when you’re going to start your adventure you need to work out where you’re going to live for the next few months! There are various apartment blocks which are considered workers accommodation but let’s not worry about that for now, the recommended thing to do is book about 2 weeks in a hotel. Before the end of may you can get some really cheap deals (and have your bedding and room cleaned for free!) lodging at dodgy hotels or hostels is generally is not a problem in Magaluf or Palmanova go cheap and save your money on more important things, once you are here, you have a job and you definitely want to stay long term you can ask around for workers accommodation, something I will discuss later.
Setting a budget
It won’t cost you a fortune to settle in to life beside the beach, however I do recommend you set aside enough money to pay for your week(s) before your working. You will have to consider having enough to pay your first weeks rent and up to a month’s deposit in your newly acquired accommodation and have enough in case of an emergency, have between €500 and €1000 to take with you and you should be fine.
Health and Safety
Before you arrive you should make sure you have a e111 card, its free on the NHS and will help should something go wrong, also please get some travel/health insurance!! It costs about £20-£40 which is next to nothing when you consider how much it could save you in lost contents or doctors bills, there really is no excuse, just get it!
if all of this seems like too much hard work and you would happily pay somebody to securely do it for you? There are companies who (for a price) will get you several weeks accommodation, assign you a rep, introduce you to other job seekers and help you look for work. Many seasoned workers started this way so perhaps this could be the route for you.
now you have arrived and no doubt you will spend at least the first few nights getting absolutely trashed which is fine but eventually you will have to get yourself a job and a proper home…
Finding a job
Finding a job or asking for work is a lot easier than most people would think, a lot of it is being at the right place at the right time. There are so many different types of jobs, some people do something they didn’t even know existed! It’s very simple, just a case of asking the manager of a particular bar/club/restaurant etc if there are any job vacancies, if so and they think you may be good enough they will give you a trial (the following day or sometimes right there and then!). Having a trial for the first time can be nerve-racking but stay calm, work hard, don’t get too drunk and you stand a good chance, remember they need you as much as you need them, if you are indeed good enough they will offer you the job. A few tips whilst looking around, don’t go in pairs or groups asking for jobs, they won’t have jobs for all of you, plus it looks as though you have no confidence if you can’t ask on your own, speak to other workers whilst looking, most are very supportive and a few will know of current vacancies, ask for jobs when the venue/manager isn’t busy i.e. 8pm-9pm for bars on the strip when there isn’t many customers around. Many people change jobs several times during a season so don’t get too disheartened if a trial or job doesn’t go your way, there will be other opportunities, in order to keep a job you will need to have a good attitude, not be late or get too drunk whilst at work. Beware there are good and bad places to work, some places will take advantage of your vulnerability, anybody offering week trials then don’t bother (if an employer tells you your on trial it will probably mean you’re not getting paid) again talk to experienced workers and they will help you to avoid bad employers. You will either get paid nightly or weekly, if you start during low season your wages should go up about 20% in high season (June-September).
There are literally Thousands of jobs created between February and June for the busy summer season, choosing the right job for you can be difficult (although its perhaps better not to be picky for now) there are specialist jobs such as DJ’s, security, dancers, chefs but the following are just some of the simpler, more popular jobs and what they involve. This is a rough guide to the hours you will be expected to work and what you will most likely get paid per day (during high season).
a popular and well sought after job, previous bar work experience will be essential in some of the busier bars and clubs due to the pace of the service.
Hours – depending on where you work obviously makes a difference, if you work in a beach bar the hours will generally be during the day (from 10am) or if you’re working in a night club such as BCM don’t expect to be on your way home till 6:30am. You’ll most likely work 8-9 hours a day/night 6 days a week.
Pay Range – €40-€55 plus tips
Pros – Set wages, bar work is stable, enjoyable and pretty straight forward once you know what you’re doing, some bar workers get excellent tips.
Cons – Most have early starts or late finishes, you won’t be leaving until your bar is clean and restocked
PR’ing (Public Relations)
A PRs job is to sell a product or bring people into the bar they work for, the job is very popular yet very competitive, no experience necessary just be well presented and know how to talk to people with confidence whilst selling the deal your bar is offering.
Hours – 90% of PR jobs will be at night, generally speaking if you work for a bar you will start 8pm-9pm and finish 2am-4am, nightclubs tend to do split shifts, advertising/ticket selling a couple of hours during the day and outside the club from 9pm-11pm right up until 3am-5am, 6 days a week
Pay Range – €30–€60
Pros – Set wages, can drink on the job, PR’ing is fun and action packed, your hours are relatively short and a good, hardworking PR or salesman can earn some very good money.
Cons – Very competitive type of job to pursue, if a better PR comes along you will probably lose your job which brings great pressure on a nightly basis.
Shot/Laughing gas sellers
Your Bar Manager will provide you with a tray of shots or balloons with a laughing gas canister, set you a commission rate and send you off to sell as many as possible, No experience necessary
Hours – Most Shot/Gas sellers will work nights however some popular daytime bars provide this service too, depending where you work you will generally start quite late and finish quite early to hit when the bar is at its busiest, expect to work around 4-6 hours a shift.
Pay Range – Mainly commission work
Pros – Can drink on the job, all commission so during the high season sellers can make some incredible money, a more relaxed job with short hours.
Cons – All commission so during low season and quieter days it can be very hard to make money
there are events going on all the time in magaluf, live events, boat parties, bar crawls etc your manager will provide you with tickets to sale for a commission rate. This is a job for the well disciplined and self motivated.
Hours – Except meeting times and end of day cashing up you will be completely self employed! Nobody will look over you and you can sell as and when you please.
Pay Range – Mainly commission work
Pros – Anybody can do this job (A manager can never have too many ticket sellers!) A very relaxed job, can work as you please, a great way to earn extra money (if already employed) can make some serious money during high season
Cons – If you have no self motivation or spend too many days in bed with a hangover you will not make a cent and then really be in trouble, will be difficult to sell during the low season.
There are many restaurants in Magaluf and Palmanova who need well presented staff to provide the best possible service to their customers, previous experience preferred but not essential.
Hours – Most big restaurants will be open from 10am and most would also like their staff to work around 12 hour days with an hour’s lunch 5-7 days a week
Pay Range – €35-€65 (depending on hours worked)
Pros – Free food , Most Restaurants are open for a long season which means you can spend more time on the island! Because of this many expats and residents work in restaurants.
Cons – Can be very long hours.
With a busy bar comes a lot of mess, this is where glass collectors come in, you will be cleaning tables, collecting glasses, cleaning sick, sweeping up glass on the floor and taking the bins out at after closing. The hardest and fastest workers are the most desirable to employers, no previous experience necessary.
Hours – It is normally similar hours to bar staff for glass collectors, normally starting early and being last to finish, expect to work around 8-9 hours a shift, 6-7 days a week
Pay Range – €30–€50
Pros – Set wages, a relatively simple job to acquire, not too much pressure
Cons – Can be physically demanding, normally lower paid than bar and PR staff, early starts and late finishes.
So now you have a job and you have decided you want to stay it’s time to find a real place to live. Finding good long term accommodation is not easy, some landlords will charge a weekly rate per bed others will charge for the whole apartment and expect everybody to pay and equal share, either way you will need to find other people to live with, there are designated workers accommodation which you will be made well aware of, if you don’t have anybody to stay with talk to your boss, your colleagues and other workers, Many people are in the same situation as you so it is not hard to find somebody who will share a room or have space for you. Expect to be paying around €70-€100 a week during high season, find anything cheaper then grab it with both hands before somebody else does!
Making the most of your time
you have a good job, a nice Apartment now it’s time to just enjoy the experience! Just a few more tips for getting the most out of your summer. It is important to stay safe, avoid prostitutes like the plague, I don’t care how pissed you are lads there is no excuse all they will do is rob your phone wallet and keys, quad bikes and mopeds are not recommended, have an accident and you will be looking at some serious consequences physically and financially, walking alone at night is generally safe but as you would back in the UK try avoid doing this and stick to well lit areas. Once you have a job you can apply for a workers card, this is very very useful! With this card you can get big discounts on drinks from most bars and food bills from most restaurants making life a lot cheaper, the card is done by MCP and normally costs around €20 (worth every cent). During your time off there i recomend you make the most of it, there are workers parties every night (and some days) stage shows to see such as pirates and come fly with me, live acts at mallorca rocks and in various MCP clubs, BCM and the square in the day you go to the katmandu fun house, water parks, go karting, there really is so much to do. For those of you who are interested in financial gain, you can make some serious money working in Magaluf, a lot of seasonal workers work very hard during the summer and then spend the winter either skiing, in the far east, travelling or in the canary islands, sound nice doesn’t it? Most employers will allow you to work 7 days a week plus during high season there are many events you can sell tickets during the hours you are not at work (check with your manager first!) whatever you decide to do, enjoy your experience.
By Tom Andrews
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