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Go BackWORK IN IBIZA 04 - You don't have to be mad to work in Ibiza, but you'll have loosened a few screws by the time you leave
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There are only two ways to get a regular Ibiza fix – the first, you earn enough money come on holiday here every year (that’s anything between 700 and 1,000 Euros for a week if you’re going to do it properly from Europe) or the second, you just buy that one-way ticket and work it baby.

The last year closing parties have marked the end, for many, of a long hot season working unsociable hours (August is 7 days a week for most), with poor pay, basic accommodation and dealing with the August queues, demanding tourists and clubber’s on come downs…but it’s worth it! In May each year, thousands of young people descend on Ibiza from all corners of the world in search of seasonal jobs: PR, barman, waiter, shop assistant, musician, DJ, rep, receptionist, to help finance a lifestyle that it totally unique. For some it’s their first year, but for many this is their 2nd, 3rd or even 4th year because they just can’t get enough of it (the hardcore usually stay for good!).




The Ibiza lifestyle is sunny, relaxed, liberal and sexy. That means that when you’re not working (and if you have the energy) you can do just about anything from partying in some of the best clubs on the planet (entry is usually free if you work on the island and schmooze the right people), to whiling away the hours lounging on beaches, taking day trips to Formentera, practising yoga, eating Mediterranean food, hanging with hippies, sailing catamarans and generally cruising bars your mates. Whatever you do, you’ll end up making friends for life.

So how do I get work on the island?
All the guides will tell you that the only way to get work in Ibiza is to get a flight here early May, before the season starts – and they’re right. You’ll need to bring some money with you to last anything up to a month of not working. Once you’ve surfed the websites and job boards and called your contacts you then need to start socialising and showing your face. That’s when you’ll hear about available jobs, some of which come with accommodation if you’re lucky. Speaking Spanish helps but is not essential. Here are some of the people who’ve done it all before:




Listen to veteran worker’s tips & make up your mind! Post CV on the forum at the bottom of this page...




Name: Frederico Luraghi
Age: 27
Country: Argentina, La Plata
Tour of duty no. 3
Job in 2003: Head waiter at El Olivo, Ibiza Old Town
Average hours / week: 50+
Training / experience / career: Restaurants, bar work and qualifications in business administration
How did you get work on the island?

I was working at Chiringito Es Cavallet in my first year and met the guys who run El Olivo in Old Town Ibiza.They offered me work this year and that’s where I’ve been working ever since. Easy.
Best thing about working on the island

Meeting load of great young people from all over the world
Worst thing about working on the island
August - it’s just too busy and I have to work 7 nights a week which is tough
How will you spend the winter?

Bar work in London and Australia
Will you be back?

You bet
Top tip

You have to be good at working with people







Name: Kelly Harding
Age: 26
Country: New Zealand, Auckland
Tour of duty no. 1
Job in 2003: Bar chick, Bambuddha Grove
Average hours / week: 50+
Training / experience / career: Bar work and trained as a photographer
How did you get work on the island?

My brother was working here so I came to visit him and he introduced me to someone at Bambuddha. It took a couple of weeks to it all worked out.
Best thing about working on the island

You just meet the most amazing people. Everyone comes here for the great lifestyle, sun, sea, beaches and parties. That’s a pretty good way to meet like minded people.
Worst thing about working on the island

You’ve got to put in some serious hours and you feel like you’re missing out on the action
How will you spend the winter?

Heading to London to look for work
Will you be back?

No – this is just a one off
Top tip

Get your butt over here … but bring some Pro Plus to keep you awake







Name: Florencio Cruz
Age: 23
Country: Argentina
Tour of duty no. 4
Job in 2003: Saxophonist at Savannah Bar in San Antonio, playing ambient music and improvisation. Also has work at Blues Bar, Privilege, El Divino and Pacha.
Average hours / week: 35
Training / experience / career: I have been playing the sax and piano for 7 years
How did you get work on the island?

I came over here as part of a funky band, did some free gigs in bars and was spotted by someone. It all took off from there. Then I got a regular slot playing sunsets at Savannah.
Best thing about working on the island

Ibiza is great because you can be totally anonymous. The atmosphere is relaxed and totally open-minded and in the winter you can travel, play or just stay at home.
Worst thing about working on the island?

The music in Ibiza has become too commercial. That’s worrying.
How will you spend the winter

Working on a new CD in Barcelona
Will you be back?

I’ll always be coming back but to work again I’m not sure
Top tip
Ring round and drop in to as many places as possible when you get here.







Name: Tom Gray
Age: 21
Country: Spain, Ibiza
Tour of duty no. 5
Job in 2003: Barman, Bambuddha
Average hours / week: 50 + hours Training / experience / career: Bar work and international law (in German!)
How did you get work on the island?

I was born here and grew up on the island so I know enough people to land work. The important thing for me is to be close to home so Bambuddha works fine. I just hoon home on my scooter. (I’m usually pretty wired by then!)
Best thing about working on the island

Getting to know the underground party scene, meeting locals and island regulars and going to private parties on Formentera via speedboat. I also have some great mates here.
Worst thing about working on the island

It’s easy to burn yourself out on the island when you’re working and trying to fit in the parties. You always think you’re missing out and it’s difficult to make the work hours work with party time.
How will you spend the winter?

University in UK
Will you be back?

Yes
Top tip
Come to Ibiza for the unique lifestyle but don’t expect to earn much money.







Name: Julio Romero
Age: 32 Country:Cuba
Tour of duty no. 3
Job in 2003: Head Barman at Soap Café in Ibiza Town, Go Go dancer (Julio is also an international porn star!)
Average hours / week: 50 + Training / experience / career:Lot of bar experience in Barcelona & Madrid but trained as a doctor
How did you get work on the island?

I had friends and contacts here and made sure I was dancing at the best clubs. I met my boyfriend here too (on gaydar!). He owns one of the best small bars on the island, Soap Café, and asked me to start making serious cocktails so I did. I work 7 nights a week then I go and do my dance shift on the podiums at Pacha. Not a bad way to earn a living.
Best thing about working on the island I’ve made some great friends here, I am constantly meeting people and I get to do a working holiday in one of the best places in the world. Oh and I get to go to Chiringay beach and top up my tan everyday!
Worst thing about working on the island

August just because it’s exhausting
How will you spend the winter?

Travelling wherever I like
Will you be back?

I live here!
Top tip

Come to the Soap Café







Name: Dieter Cartwright
Age:25
Country:Australia, Sydney
Tour of duty no. 1
Job in 2003: Cocktail Bartender at Savannah in San Antonio
Average hours / week: 50 +
Training / experience / career: Senior bartender in London including the Met Bar and Fringe bar in Sydney
How did you get work on the island?

I arrived on 23 May, went round with a mate, dropped into loads of bars in Ibiza town where I wanted to work, found nothing and headed to San Antonio where I eventually got work at running a cocktail bar at Savannah, on Sunset Strip.
Best thing about working on the island

Good vibe and great clubs
Worst thing about working on the island

Shit pay, professionals are undervalued, you are working with people who don’t really care about their jobs and you work so dam hard that you miss all the good nights out.
How will you spend the winter?

Consulting for the Met Bar in London
Will you be back?

No
Top tip

Don’t do a bar job 7 nights a week, 6pm to 3am – you’ll be wondering what you came to the island for.







Name: Kellie Thomas
Age: 32
Country: UK, London
Tour of duty no. 1
Job in 2003: Professional Cook Average hours / week: 30 hours Training / experience / career: Chef and own catering company in London – Saffron Catering. Private jobs at events like the Monaco Grand Prix.
How did you get work on the island?

I was totally fed up with London. I decided to go to Ibiza, called all my friends before leaving, got hold of their Ibiza contacts and met up with them as soon as I got on the island. I then started marketing myself and picked up work looking after film directors, VIPs, and the international jet set, cooking for parties, families, special events.
Best thing about working on the island

Ibiza oozes sex appeal. Everyone is up for it 24/7 and you can choose whether to chill or get on the merry go round whenever you like.
Worst thing about working on the island

It’s seriously hot, you definitely need a car and preferably a second liver!
How will you spend the winter?

On the island chilling and hanging with the locals

Will you be back?

Yes definitely – this place is just too good.
Tip
top
Expect to work hard. That isn’t easy in 40 C heat.







Name: Felipe Santos
Age:29
Country:Brazil, Rio
Tour of duty no. 3
Job in 2003: Shop assistant and go-go dancer
Average hours / week: 50 +
Training / experience / career: Acting and dancing
How did you get work on the island?

I made some friends out in Brazil who worked for Amnesia.They helped me to get work dancing at Pacha, Amnesia and Space. I then got more work doing the same thing for gay parties, La Troya, Gorgeous and White Party. As a dancer you also have to do the street parades to promote the nights. That’s when it gets tiring because everyone wants tickets for free.
Best thing about working on the island

The place is just full of sexy people from all over the world and I get to work flexible hours
Worst thing about working on the island

For people with talent and skills there is little respect and professionalism. Pay is low and everything is pretty disorganised but you just have to muck in.
How will you spend the winter?

Travel around Europe and back to Brazil to see my family
Will you be back?

Yes of course
Top tip

Come to Ibiza for the lifestyle and have realistic expectations – nothing this good comes without a bit of sweat and toil 







Name: Martina Kemp
Age: 24
Country: Germany, Düsseldorf
Tour of duty no. 4
Job in 2003: Shop assistant at Decadence, clothes designer, graphic designer
Average hours / week: 50 +
Training / experience / career: Works in Fashion and makes her own clothes
How did you get work on the island?

I heard about the wild parties in Ibiza and wanted to stay in for more than just a holiday. I met the shop manager and became good friends. He then got me involved in different aspects of the business.
Best thing about working on the island

It’s a unique place where everyone is free to do whatever they want and look however they want. There are no rules in Ibiza – that’s pretty amazing.
Worst thing about working on the island

It’s hard work here and you begin to get over it a bit – too much of a good thing, too many parties and too many drugs. People aren’t as happy on the island as they used to be when I first came here – that’s a shame. It may be because some of us have just done too many seasons.
How will you spend the winter?

Back home to study and work
Will you be back?
Unlikely – I’m exhausted
Top tip

Ignore the hype – once you’ve worked here a bit you’ll see through it all







Name: Cesare Reyes
Age: 27
Country: USA, Miami (Puerto Rican & Columbian)
Tour of duty no. 1
Job in 2003: PR for Pin Up, Privilege (Manumission) and Space (Matinee), model and yoga instructor at a gym and for private clients
Average hours / week: 30 +
Training / experience / career: Business management and modelling
How did you get work on the island?

I came here four years ago to do a swimwear fashion shoot on Formentera and fell in love with the place. When I got here I just started networking and visited gyms to provide yoga lessons.
Best thing about working on the island?

It’s like working in another world. Everyone is in a good mood, happy and easy going. I love August the most because the place is packed.
Worst thing about working on the island

When you’re working on the island you end up missing some of the best parties.
How will you spend the winter

Yoga and travelling – Amsterdam, Paris, London, Amsterdam
Will you be back?

Yes – it’s like a drug
Top tip

Make your contacts early on in the season







Name: Neil Soni
Age: 24
Country: UK, London (Ladbroke Grove)
Tour of duty no. 3
Job in 2003: Photographer for Privilege covering Manumission on Monday’s, street and beach parades and the Space after party Average hours / week: 10
Training / experience / career: Photographer’s Assistant in music, fashion, documentary
How did you get work on the island?

I came here on holiday in 1997 for a week, had a great time and wanted to come back. My first year I flyered for Ministry of Sound when I made friends with a costume designer for Manumission who got me an introduction.
Best thing about working on the island

The lifestyle, working just one day a week, going to the beach nearly every day with friends and little stress.
Worst thing about working on the island

August when there are just too many people and everyone is stressed out and short tempered
How will you spend the winter?

Freelance photographic work in London
Will you be back?

Maybe
Top tip

Get here early May







The serious bit



 Most travel guides have a section on getting work in Ibiza. Read it before you buy your ticket.
There is always casual work on the island but bear in mind that this is illegal and the pay is poor. It’s a risk you take. And remember, if you have no employment rights it can suck when you lose your job unexpectedly or are not getting paid regularly.
If you’re from the EU you can stay in Spain by taking your ID card with you (passport for British workers). you need a NIE number which you get from the Policia National on Avgda de la Pau in Ibiza town on arrival (tel: 971 305 313).
If you’re from the US, Canada, Australia or NZ visa requirements change constantly so check up. In general you do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
Best tip is to contact the Spanish embassies or consulate in your country first.




Words by Louis de Rohan