Club Med Punta Cana, All photos: Ed Yourdon

A year ago, my husband and I stayed at a Club Med in Japan. It wasn’t our usual kind of trip as we prefer independent travel, and we worried the resort would offer no more than an impersonal tourist experience.

WITH RESORTS IN OVER 40 countries, Club Med maintains a workforce of people of 80 different nationalities. The result is a dynamic energetic community, resembling what you’d find in a good backpacker hostel. Over dinner, in the bar, on the beach, we befriended hosts from France, Malaysia, Germany, Australia, and Sri Lanka. We ended up having a fantastic time, and it was mostly due to the Club Med staff.

Jobs

Club Med has a range of work positions for people with diverse backgrounds. A quick glance at the recruitment site indicated a need for art instructors, finance managers, electricians, sommeliers, bakers, salsa dance instructors, nature recreation specialists, and many more.

In addition, Club Med is the kind of resort where employees take on different roles. You might be a desk clerk in the morning, a yoga instructor in the afternoon, and a backup dancer in the nightly show. In fact, Club Med offers training in many skill areas for people wanting to develop new areas of expertise. So, if you’ve ever fantasized about becoming a costume designer or scuba instructor, this may be your chance to get the ball rolling.

Lifestyle

Fixed work contracts are 6 months long, and they are renewable. You don’t select your initial country assignment; rather it is assigned based on your skills and background.

But over time given changing personnel needs in other resorts, you can switch locations. That could mean living at a tropical resort in Turks and Caicos half the year, and a ski lodge in France the other half. Of course, there are restrictions based on legal requirements for your nationality, but with resorts in 40 countries including places like Turkey, Egypt, and Maldives, there are many possibilities.

The typical work schedule, depending on your specific job title is 6 days on and one day off. However, you may have time before and after contract periods to travel your host region freely.

Benefits

You live in provided accommodations in a shared room, and eat the same cuisine as the guests. Apart from basic personal needs, there are few expenses.

Working abroad in Latin America, Europe, or Asia, you have a chance to develop a range of foreign language skills.

Best of all, you meet people from around the world and build a network of international friends. As you move about, you meet up with old pals in new resort locations. Club Med maintains an online employee network so you can easily keep in touch.

Drawbacks

Like all jobs, there are potential negatives too. The hospitality industry is heavy on socializing, which may not fit well with some personality types or temperaments.

Work schedules can be rigorous. Some days may be long, starting early in the morning and going until every last guest is finished doing the electric slide way past midnight.

In addition, there is a prescribed dress code, which could be a problem if you just don’t feel like wearing blue (or whatever color) on a given day.

Finally, given the salary and your particular duties, working at Club Med may not pad your bank account or develop into a long-term career.

However, the way I see it, for a few years of living abroad, making friends, learning a new language, and having a range of unique experiences, the few downsides aren’t such a serious price to pay.

Check out the Club Med Planet , an online forum where interested parties can ask questions about employment and seasoned workers discuss their own experiences with the company.

Application guidelines

1. Recruitment periods generally go from September to June.
2. Visit the Club Med jobs website and find out your eligibility based on your country of origin. Club Med encourages people who speak more than one language to apply.
3. Browse the list of job openings and submit an application online. You may also be asked to supply an application packet with resume, CV, copies of certificates and degrees, and letters of reference.
4. After a preliminary screening, you will be contacted for a telephone interview.
5. If you pass the phone interview stage, you’ll be invited to a recruitment day. From there, you may well be on your way to the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic or Turkey or any of the other resort locations worldwide.

Community Connection

For more jobs travel jobs, check out Matador’s run down of Travel and Adventure Jobs.

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