This is an updated article from 2010.
Ok, so firstly we're aiming this at all you 20 somethings (maybe a little older, maybe a little younger) who have been telling all your friends that this is it, 2011 is going to be YOUR year. The advice below is based on many years of being on either side, and in the middle, of the thousands trying to get a job for the season in Ibiza.
******BALEARIC CLASSIC WARNING******* Press play and read on:
Do at least some planning - Visit our Summer working forum and ask the questions that are bugging you; decide where you want to be - the majority of UK workers head for San Antonio, but there are worker communities in all the major towns and resorts; if you have a particular skill or interest (skuba diving, stilt walking, etc) then find out where these places are and see if you can make an initial contact; learn at least some spanish!; be prepared to go and get an NIE number from the Police Station in Ibiza Town - many employers, though not all, will require you to have this; and remember all the practical things you really don't want to be messing about with when you arrive - do an up-to-date CV, then photocopy it lots of times, along with your passport and a current photo.
Time for a reality check. Don't wait nor expect to have a job before you arrive. Unless you're going through some kind of formal process, like being a rep, then you're having a turkish bath if you think Amnesia are going to give you a job as photographer to take pictures of beautiful girls and famous DJs. I mean after all, there are only thousands of people who want to do the same job. The same applies to nearly all work for the clubs, bars, promoters, etc, etc. In short, you have to be here!
So you've made it. Well done! You've realised that to make it happen, you need to be here. Now what? Well, we'll call this one the 'get your balls out and put them on the table' rule or the 'balls, brains and backbone rule to how have a successful life'. Nobody is going to give you a job whilst you sit on the beach all day or take advantage of as many happy hours as you can, instead you have to
a) have the balls to go to one bar after the next and ask for a job, have the balls to not miss anywhere out cos it happens to be Bar M or because there are lots of people there, have the balls to turn up at every recruitment meeting you find out about, have the balls to ask every restaurant if you can wash pots in the kitchen for a pittance
b) have the brains to make them give you the job, big balls ain't enough I'm afraid, but luckily neither are big brains a prerequisite. In fact, the bigger your brains, the more likely you'll find something and be plotting your route to Tony Montana style domination of the island. So, use your degree in economics or maybe your experience of managing people in McDonalds or maybe the fact you can drive
c) have backbone! You will be told to F*!k off, you will be sneered at by English/Spanish/German owners alike, you will feel like you're never going to find something and the comforts of home will seem more attractive than ever. Stick it out, persevere and persevere some more. I am absolutely convinced that, baring some kind of disaster, if you really, truly want to work here in Ibiza during the summer and you are prepared to do what it takes to make that happen, then the opportunities are endless and the island is your oyster.
Quick recap. You've done some planning, you've got your ass here, hauled it half way around the island, finally putting it up for sale and are now currently slaving away in pursuit of the dream. If you've made it this far, well done (!!), but you wouldn't be the first nor would you be the last to go and right royally mess it up by going on a 3 day bender after cocoon, losing your job in the process as well as spending half your savings on hierbas and a double bed at Blue Marlin. Rule Number Four is Don't be a loser and burn out in two weeks.
Never forget the reasons why you have come here. Is it to sit on a beach every day? Is it to explore the island? Is it to make new friends? Is it to party hard? Is it to earn money? Whatever your reasons, never lose focus of these and never compromise on them (within reason - i.e. don't party so hard you lose your job and are home in 3 weeks). You're likely to have the summer of your life here and meet friends who will stay with you forever,make sure you make the most of it. All or nothing.
What Jobs? - waiter, barstaff, PR for the clubs, PR for the bars, ticket sellers, pretty girl in parade, muscle beach guy in parade, dancer, performer, fire breathing act, blowing up balloons, gopher, cleaner, pot washer, distribute flyers/magazines, journalist, photographer, DJ (!), poster boy/girl, security, shop assistant, chef, masseuse, hairdresser........
Earnings? - This is really like pissing into the wind its so varied and non-conforming. In a bar, working 6/7 days a week for 10 hours, you might get as little as 700-800 euros a month. Working as a PR (flyerer) for a big club night, you might get something in the region of 100-150 euros a week, although you'll work considerably less than if you were in a bar. Generally, you can expect your hourly wage to be about 5€.
Out goings? - Do you mind sharing your living space with people you've never met before, who will probably become your best friends? Or do you want the luxury of living alone or having your own room? A one/two bedroom apartment or studio will be minimum 800 euros / month, share it so that you have your own room and its 400/month, split it again so you share a room and its a couple of hundred a month. Cost naturally dictates that many people share a room. Ask around, people are always looking for house mates. Rent is the main outgoing, but you'll need to eat of course and you can't miss We Love or Cocoon, so even if you're on the guestlist, there will be other things you need to pay for.
Perks? - Of course there are. If you work in a bar or restaurant, you can normally swing free food and drinks, or at least enough to keep your body functioning. Most bars/restaurants will be able to get you free worker passes for the clubs. That won't include Cocoon though! If you work for a club or promoter, you'll get to feel part of something, the party will feel like home and you'll soon be swanning around the VIP like you own the place. Without doubt the biggest, single perk of your experience here will be the people you meet. Expect to quickly fall in love and have done things with relative strangers that you're not even comfortable doing with your best mates back home. That's Ibiza for you!
Finally, just do it! Within the space of one season, you can go from PR on the street to PR manager in the club (and friend of the DJs and half the island). Talk to everyone you meet, be nice, don't develop a cocaine habit, respect the island, be prepared for the adventure of your life and always remember that nobody or no thing is more important than the island itself.
This post by Stivi about working in Ibiza from our forums is as valid today as it was in 2007
The Dutchman is back with his first album in seven years
New music to devour om nom nom nom nom
We are a 'go' for 2015 planning via our official party calendar!
Sven Väth returns to East London with his esteemed label, Cocoon.