SKI BUM V PROPER JOB
Office, train commute, smart suit? Or mountains, chairlift commute, baggy pants? It's a hard choice for some seasonaires - but a no-brainer for others. Seasonaire, Oli Walker makes an executive decision.So is it to be an office view of the mountains - or a view of an office across the street? The mountains are calling but so are friends and family to tell him to take a proper job. Which is it to be?
I’ve had numerous conversations lately about my career prospects and what I’m going to do with my life - so many conversations, in fact,, that I’m now just going through the motions and repeating myself.
I want to get a proper job but at the same time I don’t want to be a miserable pile of poop for the rest of my life. Early starts, the daily commute and the daily grind, sitting in some grey building on my executive swivel chair, staring endlessly at spreadsheets and checklists I know nothing about and care little for whilst I spend my afternoons blagging my way through business meetings with other pretentious idiots who don’t want to be there just as much as me. Why choose that life? I know it’ll only make me bored and miserable.
Yes, I am generalising. Some people earning top dollar, love the hustle and bustle of city life, the office banter and girls in tight skirts, lunch meetings and business golf days. Not me. It’s repetitive and monotonous. Where’s the fun in that?
Living close to London, nearly all my friends have been sucked into this monstrous lifestyle
Two, three, four years ago they didn’t envisage themselves being there, so how have they winded up in suits and ties? Pressure. They’re simply doing what is expected of them. It’s in the family. Their friends are doing it. They earn good money.
Growing up they want to be a Power Ranger or an astronaut or a professional footballer. But no, as expected they’ve given up their dreams (albeit rather outrageous ones) and succumbed to the city-boy lifestyle. Thousands in train fare, blank stares as they order their morning coffee, grey walls and a claustrophobic atmosphere but as far as they’re concerned, they’re living the dream.
The daily commute
No they’re not. They’re kidding themselves a lot of the time. Some of my best friends have ended up in jobs they know nothing about, for companies they’d never heard of, working for a man they’ve never met.
Why are people following their wallets instead of their hearts?
Why do people give up on their passions so easily? You can earn a living from your passions if you try hard.That’s the route I’ve decided to take, and it’s the route I believe in.
Going to university, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted. I did an English degree because it’s one of the broadest topics available. It doesn’t pin me down to a certain career path. It gave me time to figure out what it was I wanted from life and four years later I’ve hit the nail on the head: Winter sports.
Just as my friends have been sucked into the city lifestyle, I’ve been sucked into what I call the ‘Seasonaire Trap’. I’ve licked the lid of life and I liked what I tasted. There’s only one difference between my lifestyle choice and that of my city-boy friends – I have a passion for what I do. I have a passion for winter sports, for the mountains, for skiing, for boarding, for writing about it. I’ve taken the executive decision to work to live.
Live to work or work to live
The seasonaire trap is vicious. People spend five months riding every day, working occasionally and getting smashed on a Wednesday. It’s an addictive lifestyle and it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing a season for their gap yah’ shenanigans, or post-university activities. Once you’ve sampled the delights, it’s tough to turn your back on it. Yes it’s only seasonal, but remember – it’s always winter somewhere.
Parents might not be best-pleased that their beautiful baby has grown up to be a ski-bum, but it’s your life, not theirs. If you’re pressured into taking a job you hate that pays well then you’re only going to be unhappy, living for the weekend. Happiness is short-lived if there’s no passion.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life
The key word here is choose. We all have that choice to make. Choosing a job you love is about following your passions and believing that you have the guts and determination to make it.
I worked a winter season as a waiter in a hotel and in doing so, it opened my eyes to the potential of combining work with passion. I met people who had started their own companies out there and were living the happiest life ever. They combined a good, solid business venture with getting to ride the mountain each week. One guy loved to brew his own beer back here in England. He also loved skiing. So now he brews beer out in the mountains and sells it on to all the local bars and, as a result, the bars have the pleasure of a local beer on tap and Johnny gets to shred all season long.
Find me a happier man and I’ll eat my left testicle
I’ve had city interviews, I even bought a brand new suit and as a result, I’ve had some very appealing job offers that would earn me double, triple, quadruple the amount of wedge in the next few years than the choice I have made. But I’m not here to make tons of money – I’m here to live and be happy. Our generation is expected to work until we are 70. I’m 23 and, I don’t know about youk but I’m not too keen on slaving away doing something I hate for the next 47 years. Death of a Salesman, anyone?
Dressing to impress
People who follow their passions are a dying breed.
Too many people are being sucked in to the cycle of suit and tie desk jobs. Look at the bigger picture. You’re lining your wallet now but you’re stuck in an endless cycle of wet Tuesday mornings on train platforms, seeing the same faces day-in, day-out, spilling coffee on files and for what? So you can enjoy your passions maybe once or twice a year when you book your ski trip away?
Since discovering my love for the mountains I’ve dedicated my time and effort to involving myself with as many like-minded people as possible. I work as a ski technician in my local shop. I’ve done an internship at a well-known snowboard magazine. I attend ski and snowboard events. I’m part of the Style Altitude gang and I’m soon to take up photography and possibly head to the mountains to learn the tricks of the trade. I’ve developed some of my own business ventures encompassing winter sports and all because I’m following my passions. It has enveloped me and only made my focus and determination that much stronger because I believe in what I’m doing will make me happy, not because it will make my parents happy, or my friends.
You’ve got to be selfish in this day and age.
Another hard day at the office
Children have dreams for when they grow up. They are ludicrous and insane and almost completely out of the question. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams outright, even the smaller ones. I want to work in the ski and snowboard industry whether it earns me millions or just enough to cover my living costs. I’m here to be happy and get the most out of my short time on this planet and I suggest more people make that decision too.