Working In Ibiza: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
I’ve been travelling back and forth to the infamous party island of Ibiza for well over ten years now. Fly out from Manchester Airport and you can be sipping cocktails at your favourite beach club in just two and a half hours. Home to Pacha, O Beach Ibiza & many more party hot spots, Ibiza is everyone’s favourite Summer holiday destination. With some of the hottest music venues and DJ line ups in the world, you can easily see why thousands flock to the white isle, year on year.
My very first experience of Ibiza is a childhood memory, a family holiday to Es Cana, north of the island. I remember having so much fun and falling in love with the place all the way back when. More recently, the last three years I have been fortunate enough to call Ibiza my home. I lived there all year round, through Summer and Winter too, only flying back to spend Christmas time with my family. It was the absolute best, and also the worst time of my life. More on that later.
I get asked constantly by friends and also, complete strangers, how did I get a job in Ibiza? What do you do for work in Ibiza? Can you get me guest list? I am going to answer all of these questions and SO much more in this post. Read on if you want to discover what it is truly like to live on the crazy party island…
Working abroad is an incredible experience, one that I would highly recommend to everyone. Having the opportunity to explore new surroundings, meet new people and new cultures, learn a new language and just live at a different pace of life, are all reasons enough to break out of your comfort zone. My very first season in Ibiza is filled with some of my most treasured and favourite memories. I made friends for life that year, back in 2009.
I first worked in Ibiza in 2009 as a dancer, a PR girl and a bar maid. Yes, that’s right, my very first experience working in Ibiza was behind the bar of Linekers in San Antonio. I loved every second of it. I would work all day and party all night, sometimes for days on end.
Fast forward to 2016, I was fortunate enough to be offered an amazing job with O Beach Ibiza. I began working as their Digital & Social Media Manager in the March, and it is by far one of the best work experiences I have ever had. 6 days a week, working in the office for one of the best beach clubs in the world. I learnt so much during the two years I worked with that team. I also worked as a make-up artist, like I have for over ten years, and would do this as well as the social media. It was pretty full on, and testing at times.
When I wasn’t working I was exploring the island, visiting stunning sandy beaches (Cala Bassa, Cala d’Hort, Cala Tarida), drinking sangria and eating paella, enjoying boat days to Formentera, hiking Atlantis, falling in love…
I literally had the time of my life.
To be honest, there are not very many downsides to working in Ibiza. All I would say is to expect to work very, very hard. With all seasonal work, you are expected to work 6 sometimes 7 days a week. You quickly learn to appreciate that one day off. Places like Ushuaia and some restaurants do they not give their staff a single day off all Summer.
Finding accommodation is quite difficult, and stressful. My first year I found a beautiful apartment, but that came at a hefty price. I shared with a friend, but even then we had to pay 2500 euros between us per month. The second year I found my own place, and that was a little less expensive. Expect to pay between 900-1.2k for a really nice place of your own. Nice accommodation at a fair price is very rare, and year on year it is getting harder and harder to find a nice place to live. Make this a priority and do not leave it to the last minute, hoping to find last minute digs on arrival. There is a great app called Idealista where you can find a lot of good, reliable apartment listings.
For me, personally, the only ugly side to Ibiza was my relationship at the time. It was drama fuelled and became very toxic. The island is a very small place, so your business fast becomes well known and that was something I struggled with a lot. It was one of the main factors as to why I moved back to Manchester, to escape all of that.
There is also one obvious factor, that I wasn’t even going to acknowledge, but feel it may as well be highlighted. Drugs. I know drugs are everywhere, in every city around the world. Ibiza is obviously one place where you can very easily get caught up in that scene. Personally, I made a decision a very, very long time ago that I would NEVER try drugs. I am 30 years old and still to this day I have never touched a cigarette or tried any drugs. Some might suggest I am quite boring, but even being surrounded by it in Ibiza, I never felt it was necessary – even under peer pressure. I have no issue with anyone who chooses to take drugs, I just feel better for making a different choice. Whatever choice you make, just be careful.
How to Get a Job in Ibiza?
If you are looking to become a hostess / dancer / bar maid / PR then start applying the beginning of the season year you wish to start. So for Summer 2020, start thinking about where you would like to work as early as January 2020. O Beach Ibiza start their recruitment process in February-March. You can apply online via their website – tweeting Wayne Lineker will not guarantee you a job. There are lots of Facebook groups with a tonne of information on available jobs. It is more difficult to get an “office” type job, as most of the positions are seasonal work. I was just very, very fortunate. Most places offer recruitment days in April, just before the season starts. A full season in Ibiza runs from May to the first week of October.
Where do you live / work?
Typically, most British workers flock to San Antonio or Playa D’en Bossa. These areas are predominantly where all the popular night life is. There are much nicer places such as Santa Eularia or Ibiza Town, but it depends on where you see yourself working. Having a car is essential in Ibiza – public transport is okay, but not ideal. I drove my car over from Manchester and it was the best thing I did.
How much money do you need?
I would say save up as much as you can before going to Ibiza, as with moving to any new country. Make sure you have enough to cover your rent for a good few months, and also to live comfortably. When you look for accommodation you may even be asked for 3 months rent up front, a hefty deposit AND an agency fee. These things can happen in Spain…
What documents / requirements do you need to work in Ibiza?
Once offered a job in Ibiza, you then need to sort out a NIE and Social Security numbers. You CANNOT work in Ibiza unless you have an NIE number. To do this you need to book an appointment at the Eivissa Police station. Fill in the documents and return them as soon as possible. This process can be time consuming, so be aware of that. Once you have received your NIE you then need to collect your Social Security number. Once you have obtained both of these, you will legally be able to work in Ibiza. I accidentally got given a Spanish residency which equates to much more than an NIE, but that is an entirely different story.
If like me you are self employed, you need to get yourself an A1 form from HM Revenue – this proves to Spain you are self employed and pay your taxes in the UK. If you decide to move to Ibiza full time, then you need to begin what is called Autonomo. Unlike in England, where it is free to be self employed, you have to pay a monthly allowance to the Spanish Government. This begins at around 50 euros per month, but soon ramps up to anything around 250 euros or more – depending on your income. Being self employed in Spain can be quite complicated. Feel free to message or email me about this – it’s too long winded to explain in this post.
There are worker apartments such as Apollo or Kanya Apartments in San Antonio. You can check out the Facebook groups for these pages. Places like The Fish in San Antonio have a wall full of info for workers regarding jobs and accommodation. Idealista as mentioned above is a really good website and app – I found my last apartment on there!
How do you get free entry to clubs?
As a worker in Ibiza make the most of getting guest list and free or discounted entry to clubs. Lots of places give out worker wristbands which give you free entry to certain nights, and also discount on other nights. Don’t be too cheeky and ask the same promoter every week for free entry – as you will soon get on their nerves and they won’t want to help you out.
The key to working in Ibiza is just to HAVE FUN and GO WITH THE FLOW. Some days will be amazing and other days you will question your decision as to why you wanted to do a season, but it is all worth it. I had the best times in Ibiza. I have moved back to Manchester but will still be flying backwards and forwards throughout the season, as the place is too special for me to stay away.
Would I ever move back? Ibiza will always be partly my home. I never say never, but right now I am so content in Manchester and ready for my next world wide adventure.
They say once Ibiza has your heart, she never lets go…
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