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How to Get a Winter Seasonal Job in Lapland

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Catriona Kendall
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Firstly, I want to say thank you for reading this article, and secondly I want to say that Lapland will be one of the most magical places you will ever visit if you do decide to do so!

I have just completed a winter season in Lapland working as a Safaris Admin. The resort I was working for was right on the border between Finland and Sweden so I could get a chance to experience both countries (who doesn't like to country hop?!).

For those of you who don’t know, Lapland is spread over 4 countries; Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia and is home to the Sámi people.

The Sámi people have their own very unique culture and enjoying the nature of their homeland has always played an important role in their way of life, as well as their tradition of reindeer herding.

The whole process started in September 2019 when I started looking for a job for the winter season. I used various season job websites and applied to work in Lapland through Best Ski Jobs.

Although this article is directed towards finding a job as a Safaris Admin, there are a variety of other jobs available in Lapland for the winter season.

What is a Safaris Admin?

My job as Safaris Admin was to essentially co-create the guest’s itineraries and tour programme with my manager. In addition to coordinating the guest’s schedules, I coordinated the Safaris team which was made up of outdoor instructors and drivers to ensure the guest’s tours run smoothly.

The most challenging part of my job was arranging and communicating all the changes to the guests programme throughout their stay. There was no formal training for this job position but you get time to learn about the company/products/systems in your first 2 weeks. This is because the first guest’s don’t arrive until the end of November and you arrive at the start of the month.

Therefore, this makes it an intense job, especially at the start!

A pink sunrise in Lapland with snowcovered trees
Daily views from the winter season in Lapland

Requirements to be a Safaris Admin

  • Fluent in English 
  • Confident with Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook
  • Good Communicator 
  • Strong Organisational skills

**only accepts EU, UK citizens. Company will most likely not sponsor a visa for seasonal work, EU/UK people can work there visa free**

How do you apply for the job?

Originally I applied to work for Transun (UK tour operator that specialises in Lapland holidays) as a Holiday Rep. After Transun contacted me via email I arranged a Skype interview with one of the recruitment managers who worked onsite in Finland.

The recruitment process was very straightforward, after the application was sent through you get promptly invited to a Skype interview and will know within a few days if you are successful.

The only thing you have to remember is that your interview will be in FINNISH TIME but that is clearly stated in all the prior emails.

Personally, the recruitment process was slightly different for me as I actually ended up working for the resort itself (Davvi Arctic) instead of the UK tour operator (Transun), as I preferred the role of Safaris Admin instead. The other role was discussed with me during my interview as the manager suggested I might also be suited to the admin role due to my experience and career ambitions.

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What's staff life like behind the scenes?

On the 7th Novermber 2019 I flew to Northern Sweden into a little airport called Kiruna which was the nearest commercial airport to the resort.

In regards to travel expenses, you purchase your own flight there and back but get refunded at the end if you finish your contract up to a total of 240 euros.

Once you get into the airport (no matter what time it is - I arrived at midnight) there will be a resort driver that has a sign with the company logo and your name on it so you know where to go for your transfer to the resort. This is one of the strangest experiences as you will drive 2 hours and not be able to see anything but snow out the window.

When you arrive you will most likely have a few other new staff members in the transfer with you. I was lucky and had a few brand new staff members as well as a couple of guys who had worked at the resort last year, so we were able to have a really good chit chat about what to expect!

Depending on what time of day you arrive at the resort obviously decides your welcome arrangements. As I arrived in the early hours of the morning I got a little note from my manager welcoming me to Lapland that detailed the plan for my first day and got dropped off in my staff accommodation.

A woman wearing a swimsuit and towel standing outside in the snow in Lapland
After a few months of this winter, you might even start to get use to the cold!

 

The accommodation is basic but it’s okay. They are supposed to be renovating it for next season. There is a girls accommodation, boys accommodation and a mixed accommodation. You don’t really get a choice in what accommodation you are in, it depends more on where you work.

Like I said, the resort spans over the Finnish/ Swedish border and we have a hotel on both sides. You do need to be aware that you may be sharing a room with up to 4 other people and there are very limited cooking facilities (small hob and a toaster at maximum ). However, the company did say that they were looking into upgrading the staff accommodation for the next winter season.

In addition, if you work for Davvi Arctic your accommodation, heating, food costs all come out of your wages (300 euros per month).

In terms of meals, you get 3 meals provided by the company per day and it is not common to get fresh fruit and veg due to the location. This may be tricky if you are on a strict diet/vegan etc. 

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What are the pros & cons to working for Davvi Artic?

Pros:

  • Davvi Arctic is a great company to work for if you want an adventure of a lifetime and a chance to meet some really cool people. As the location of the resort is so remote you end up making very close bonds with the people that you are working with!
  • In addition, in your spare time (2 days off per week is standard unless it’s particularly busy) you get to explore the beautiful environment that is Lapland and join in on the excursions.
  • Staff will have the opportunity to join in on the Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Husky and Snowmobile excursions at least once during their season. 
A woman at a Finnish resort looking up to the sky to see green aurora, or Nothern Lights.
The natural beauty is of course one of the biggest perks!

Cons:

  • The negative aspects of working for the company is that the accommodation is cramped (may change for next season though)
  • You do not get a choice in when you eat your meals
  • The tax is very high as you are in Finland.
  • Of course, if you don’t like the cold or being in a quiet area this job is not for you!

To be perfectly honest, I came to Finland straight from a season in Ibiza which is the COMPLETE opposite of what you should expect of Lapland. All there is within walking distance of the resort is a garage/cafe, one little supermarket, gym and one bar that is open only on a Friday! 

How can you better prepare for a winter season in Lapland?

In hindsight, I wish I was a little more prepared in certain areas before I started my season in Lapland.

For instance, I wish that I bought better quality winter clothes. I had never even been on a ski holiday before moving to Lapland so it was really difficult for me to anticipate what I needed. So I ended up buying a snowgear set from Mountain Warehouse which came with a ski jacket, ski trousers, gloves and jacket. It was okay considering I worked in the office mostly which obviously didn’t qualify me for getting proper outdoor gear from the company.

However, when I went on the excursions I was always too cold as my gear wasn’t thick enough. Definitely invest in good quality gloves, thermals and buffs!

I also brought way too many clothes out with me….including high heels….you will NEVER wear heels. 

I think that if you are adventurous and sociable you should definitely have a fun season in Lapland with Davvi Arctic! 

xx,
Catriona

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