Why work for a ski holiday company like Erna Low?
If you're reading this little muse, it's possible you might be dreaming about the mountains....
I know one of the key reasons I joined Erna Low was the determination to have a career that encompassed selling something I loved, and even if I was not sliding down a ski slope every day but sitting in a London office battling with a computer that refuses to behave, at least I was in an environment that was related to something I was passionate about. As a young graduate I came straight to Erna Low - headed up by the eponymous character of Miss Low herself.
So, for what reasons would you want to join a ski holiday team like Erna Low?
Passion about skiing or snowboarding and all things mountain related
Selling and talking about what you love and being reminded of it every day you go to work. Every year I am proud that we have so many returning clients - some have been with us since they were children, and now it's their children or grandchildren heading up their family group! That's what it's like when you have a company that is over 80 years old....
Opportunity to travel
Ok, let's face it, our London jobs are very firmly nailed to the office, but there are good opportunities to travel. We enjoy going on educational trips, and we usually organise an end of ski weekend where we just lock up the office and along with our sister company Erna Low Property, head out to the Alps to party. The year before last we ended up joining the end of season ski party of the staff from the famous Folie Douce restaurant. How lucky was that! Some of us were not back in time for breakfast.
Working in a fun and lively office with like-minded people
We are based in a pretty buzzing mews full of character. In 2015 we asked renowned ski painter, Jonny Midnight, to paint one of our mews walls as a ski scene - we wanted to bring our own ski landscape to sultry South Kensington! Every day I walk past the ski mural and am amazed at how many people are taking photos - it's even been included in the Chelsea and Kensington outside Art exhibition - and bizarrely, it's been designated as a Pokestop. We are privileged to have Hyde Park just a few minutes away and the buzzing cafes and pubs of Kensington and Chelsea neighbouring us. You will probably find some of our team hanging out on the corner of Bute Street at the Zetland pub after work, beer in hand....
This is one of the most important points to me. I may be the longest standing team member at Erna Low, but many of our select team have been here over 10 years and longer. Sharon Parish who heads up our accounts, and who has been a lynchpin of our company, has been here second longest to me - and that is an epic 25 years! Jane Bolton has just celebrated her 20th anniversary. We are also particularly excited that in the last few years there have been at least two Erna Low weddings. Colleagues who have met and fallen in love whilst working with us and then moved on to have fabulous family lives together – what’s not to love about that!
Perks of the job
We have a benefits package for our team, including the possibility to sign up to the local French Institute after work and learn French - or improve whatever French you already know. Or get yourself a bike and cycle through Kensington and Chelsea using our cycle to work scheme! This year we closed the office for a day and the whole office participated in a Master Class for Digital Marketing. We want every member of our team to be versed in what we are trying to achieve in a market that is constantly evolving and challenging.
Being a small team, we have to adapt to do shift work - but the shifts are usually organized by our lovely Sales Manager Richard Crowley, in a way that suits what time you might want to take off at weekends. Not being a corporate company, we can always be flexible for staff if we need to be. Maybe you have a wedding or a party that clashes with a shift - changing a rota to suit personal needs is something that we are always happy to try to do.
Do you have an idea of a particular area of the ski market you would like to develop or are you keen on self-development?
We are always keen to listen to new ideas - especially from members of our own team who might have an expertise in a particular field. Erna Low Property was founded on a very simple idea. It came from the fact that we realised quite a few of our regular clients had decided to buy a ski property. So we thought we were in the perfect position to help them with this and set up our own ski estate agency with all the licences, and now we have a thriving ski property company alongside our travel business.
We are proud of our intern programme that we participate with in partnership with Bournemouth University. Every year we have a student who joins us from the Travel and Tourism department. We also take on French students as and when we have space. It's great to see the 'new blood' come up through the industry. Our latest student, James Dixon, is already thinking of finishing his studies and heading straight off for a ski season the year after.
Are you a pet friendly person?
We certainly are - every now and again we 'babysit' dogs and cats of staff that for some reason need to come in and join us! We even had a duck living in our roof for a while - we were very sad to see it leave us one day for a new home!
Jobs don't come up very often, because let's face it; we are a small boutique team. But we care very much about everyone who joins us. So keep an eye on our 'jobs page' and see if there is anything you would like to apply for!
By CEO of Erna Low Travel & Erna low Property, Joanna