Addicted to Ibiza’s Essential Guide To Working In Ibiza
OK so you have had enough of the cold harsh winters the UK and other parts of Northern Europe experience at this time of the year, you got seriously drenched throughout 2012, the wettest UK year for 100 years. So now you have decided to dry out, warm up and have 6 months of sun working in the beautiful party island of Ibiza. For those of you who are still young, working in Ibiza is one of the best things you can ever do.
Not only will you get to enjoy a beautiful island with all of its stunning bays, beautiful beaches and quiet villages, there are all those fantastic parties & clubs to enjoy as well as the chance to meet many wonderful characters from all across the world.
Unless you land at Ibiza airport with a bank account bursting at the seams with disposable income you will find most of the above impossible to do for long without some form of work. You will need to find a way to earn that all important living and spending money.
So What Jobs Are Available To Foreign Nationals?
PR work is the one job most people have heard of and is very popular with new arrivals. PR jobs involve coaxing punters into bars, restaurants and clubs by handing out flyers and offers. PR work is usually commission based and can be hard if you are not a very sociable, outgoing person without the ‘gift of the gab’. There is a small wage which is boosted by the commissions you earn. Simply putting it, the more punters you get through the doors the more you earn. The majority of newcomers look for PR work but jobs are often given to the people who worked them the previous season.
Other jobs available include working in bars and restaurants which can be very anti social hours however you can be paid to be in the action, as long as you like being in the same bar sober most nights. Night clubs hire dancers but don’t be surprised if you are not hired if you can’t dance or look the part. They are there to entice the crowds and not scare them
There might be babysitting and child minding opportunities with tourists and locals looking to have a child free night out. Again, this might not be easy to walk into if you are not good with children, have no experience or qualifications.
The world famous holiday rep is another popular job, you will need to be fully trained and often workers are sent to locations they might not choose, the hours can be long and the work hard. Dealing with people who have saved up all year for their two weeks in the sun who are getting grumpy about one thing or another can be quite stressful. For some the job and its hours can get in the way of the fun and socializing that made you decide to work in Ibiza in the first place.
Whatever the cons are for some of these jobs, the long hours, working 6 out of the 7 nights etc at least you are on Ibiza in the sun and working instead of being in a damp cramped factory in the backstreets of Manchester!
Normally the holiday season starts on the 1st of May and runs to October the 31st, however the global recession has shown signs that the season is shortening with less and less people visiting the island. The clubs open early June and close early October. To give yourself a better chance to get the best jobs before the rest of the summer job hunters arrive it is advised that you arrive on Ibiza the first week of May.
It is also recommended that you book yourself on 1 or 2 weeks holiday at the beginning of the season. Holiday companies offer great deals with cheap accommodation and flights, some costing only a few hundred pounds. Doing this means you have a base from which you can start looking for work and long term accommodation. If you were unfortunate to not find either at least you have a flight home.
I remember being sat on a bus talking to a couple of young lads who had landed in Ibiza one summer with a guitar and a pocket full of Euros, they had spent most of their money and were forced to sleep on the beach. Yes it might have been a big adventure for them but it can be scary and do you really think you will find a job when you are dirty, unable to wash with only the clothes you arrived in? If you cannot get a job and earn any money do you think you will get anywhere to live? No, of course not, so you must think it through before you go.
‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ so ask yourself what do you want? Do you want a big two week adventure living on the beach skint or 6 months of fun, meeting great people and earning money?
How to Apply for Work?
If you already know people on Ibiza then they would be your first port of call, ask them if they know of any work going. If you do not know anyone then you are going to have to rely on the old fashioned method of ‘get out there and be seen’. Spend your time visiting restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and anywhere you think they could be looking for workers. Do not get tempted by the pull of lounging around and chilling on the beach drinking beers in the sun. The longer you go without work or accommodation the more stressful your time will become when your funds start to disappear.
It is a good idea to arrive with a stack of mini CVs, they do not need to be your full education or working history like traditional CVs are, but something that has your picture on it, contact details, your strengths and skills etc and anything a potential employer would find useful to know. I remember seeing a guy walk into a small juice bar in Ibiza Town and hand over one of his CVs and thought what a great idea; he won’t be long without work. To future employers he looked seriously keen. Remember, staff turnover can be high so re visit the places you tried and keep in contact with people. Something will soon come up, just because there wasn’t a job available on the Monday doesn’t mean that there isn’t one the following week.
Many of these workers look for work to fund their partying as I am sure you intend to, but they take it too far, often turning up to work late, hung over or never at all. Not many employers will put up with that for long. Bars and restaurants need reliable workers and not idiots; they cannot and will not damage their businesses by keeping useless workers, they will soon be removed and new opportunities can open up to you daily.
Qualifications are not essential; most jobs that are available to foreign nationals usually require good personal and social skills with some experience an advantage. Being able to speak a second language would give you bonus points over others but again it isn’t essential. A lot of employers offer short trials to see if you can do the work and more importantly to see if you are reliable and trust worthy. It is important that you work hard and do your absolute best during that time, but you already knew that. For most jobs if you are polite, hardworking and able to communicate well with people you should not have any issues.
How Much Will You Be Paid and What Are The Working Conditions?
The average monthly wage is around 1000 Euros which doesn’t include tips. Remember the hours can be long with some jobs requiring you to work 7 days a week which can steal a fair bit of your partying time. We recommend that you have some funds saved up ready for when you land in Ibiza to help you through the summer, at least you can pay the rent and buy food should you lose your job or not find work.
Where To Live
At the beginning of the summer season there will be many apartments available for workers to rent, the best way to find these is to ask around, ask bar and restaurant owners, other workers and even ask in shops. Remember there are websites like AddictedToIbiza.com where you can check for available apartments. Workers from Britain generally head to the Ship Inn which is a British bar and makeshift ex pat community job center in the West End. You will find many jobs and apartments posted there, you don’t have to British to take a look either and they won’t check your passport
We say you should take a look around at least 4 apartments before choosing one, the quality of apartments do vary and you could later be kicking yourself if you take the first thing you find. A 2 bedroom apartment usually costs around 1000 Euros a month and will require a deposit upfront. Sharing with friends will bring the cost down and the company will make your stay a lot more fun.
As I said before, book a cheap hotel or apartment for a couple of weeks while you are looking for work and a place to stay. Many hotels offer very low and affordable priced rooms.
What Are The Benefits Of Working In Ibiza?
I don’t think there is enough space on this page to list all of the benefits to working in Ibiza, I am sure you already know many of them. Ibiza offers great weather, it enjoys an average 2732 hours of sunshine with summer temperatures hitting 30 degrees C in August, compared to Great Britain which has roughly 1339 hours of sunshine a year and top temperatures in August hitting 21 degrees C.
There are many bars to enjoy and meet people in from relaxed beach front bars to pumping pre club bars, there are the world famous clubs where you can dance the night away to the world’s greatest DJ’s and bands. As a worker you might receive passes that give free entry to many clubs and bars with discounted drinks. Many restaurants and bars do special prices for workers. Working the summer on Ibiza will be the best thing you have ever done.
Anyone working on Ibiza must have an NIE number; all employers have to ensure that their staff have one. This means that you are registered to work on the island. To register you need to take your passport, photos and relevant forms to the local police station. You can get the forms and information you need to fill out from the great people at the Ship Inn.
You should have your E111 card sorted before you land on Ibiza, as a European citizen this entitles you to emergency treatment at a Spanish hospital if you need it. You will need private medical insurance for other medical issues and most clinics on Ibiza are privately run and will not treat you if you do not have insurance. Quality travel insurance would also cover you if your belongings becoming lost or stolen.
Final Word. Get yourself to Ibiza and work the summer, have a plan, be prepared, do it right and you will have a fantastic summer.