How to Survive being fired abroad

So you’ve packed up your life, bid farewell to friends, family and everyone in between and taken that relatively big jump to taking a break from what you call home and getting a job abroad. Whether this be teaching English in a deprived country, working in a hotel on some paradisaical beach setting, or – like I was – working in a kitchen in the middle of an Alpine ski resort, you never really expect find yourself two months in and semi-stranded in a foreign place, jobless, homeless and almost penniless…

The Sache - Tignes

But it happens. As I found out a few days ago with a rather abrupt end to my employment with a chalet company in France, working abroad can sometimes take a turn for the worst, and can be a pretty scary experience. I fully expected to be working with the same company for the entire ski season, and my dismissal came – understandably – as a bit of a blow. One minute I’m baking cakes for the weeks impending guests, and the next my ski pass, skis and lovely chef clothes (…) have been taken off me and I have one night to find a new place to say – whaaaaaaaaaaat?!

It’s a difficult situation, but one that – like anything in life – needs to be dealt with in the most positive way possible, and with a decent dose of perspective. Okay, so it’s very inconvenient that I had to leave my accommodation and the room with my crazy roommate that I loved dearly all within 24 hours of dismissal, but is it the end of the world? Well, no. Due to some incredibly sound friends around the resort, I managed to bag a spare bed in an apartment up the road for a few days, giving me enough time to figure out what I was going to do.


Anybody in this situation has two options: wallow in self pity and accept that it’s home time, or start looking for a new job. I’m not ready to return to the UK. I want to ski for the next two months and finish the season like I intended, so after an hour or so of the former, I shook it off and fully embraced the latter.

Three days into the job hunt and there’s a couple of things in the pipe line, but nothing solid as yet. I feel like I’m on a coffee tour of the area, spending my time trekking around different resorts with a fistful of CV’s in tow and bumming around in coffee shops with wifi, furiously sending emails to anybody I can find. But again, is this the end of the world? No. I like coffee quite a lot. I also like walking around the places that, until now, I’ve only seen from the chair lifts. Although I’ll enjoy having the security of a job a whole lot more, it’s nothing to cry about.

It does make me sick with jealousy seeing people on the slopes whilst sitting in my converse and other distinctly non-ski attire on the pedestrian lift heading towards hours of job hunting, but everything will turn out for the best in the end. It will, it will, it will.

Val D'Isere