Mykonos life and bar work advice 2013
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Apr 26, 2013 8:09 AM Last Post By: Minamarie
Aug 8, 2012 8:44 AM
Mykonos life and bar work advice 2013Hi,
After traveling Greece this year 2012, I have decided to move to Mykonos in ?april 2013 and live there for 5 months?
I'm wanting bar work I think in main town of Chora Mykonos.
What I know so far is I will need to move there early in April and go around door to door for work.
I also have read that I will need to pay upfront for accommodation for the summer.
I am wanting to know other information or advice on moving and living in Mykonos. Opinions, recommendations, advice, and or contacts from people who have lived/living there.
Can you help?
Aug 8, 2012 9:15 AM
First of all, we need to know where you're from/what passport you hold. If your're not from the UK or EU then you should read up on the Schengen rules about visiting as well as getting a work visa for Greece.
Aug 8, 2012 3:04 PM
Aug 8, 2012 10:25 PM
Aug 9, 2012 3:13 AM
I haven't work on Mykonos, but I am Greek, I work in tourism industry ( mostly hotels as receptionist and reception manager) in Greece, and of course I know/have meet many people who work in hotels, bars etc as seasonal work..
I recently post some info on an other forum for a mother seeking opinions for her son of US origin, who plans to try and get a hostel work in Corfu. So I have modify this reply a bit and re-post it here with some changes. I think that most info is very relevant to you too.
Greece was always and still is, a very tourism oriented country, and crisis or not, visitors always face a friendly attitude and great hospitality. He will be fine communicating in English, unless he end up on a tiny village up on the mountains inhabited by 100 years' old people. Even then there is chance someone will know English or a smile and body language will do his job.
That said, I need to clarify a couple of things.
First of all, Greece is a Eurozone country. Many young people tend to believe that they can make it through on an extremely low budget, in their mind it is like sort of a South-East Asian country. Well, this is not true. You can not live by 5 euro a day, and hostels is not a popular concept in Greece. The usual cheap accommodation option is rooms to let, and those often cost at least 25 euro a night. Campings are not so common as someone would think and when there is one, it fills up quickly in season. Yes, a pita gyros or a pastry can cost a couple of euros, but no one can live decently for weeks only on that. A decent tavern meal (tap water, a Greek salad, a cheap main course) will cost around 12-15 euro. On my experience shopping from grossery/supermarkets and cooking your own meal, can cost no less than 30-50 euro a week.
Second important point is that been American, without a working visa, he can not work legaly in Greece. You mention working for a month in a hostel in Corfu, so I guess he might have arrange this in advance. Working under the table is not unheard off, it is not advisable either though. If his boss just decides he doesn't want to pay him, then your son would be able to do...absolutely nothing about it. If he is under-payed or in general what they agreed doesn't happen, ditto. Legal or not, no matter how expensive life in Greece is, wages in tourism industry were always low, and common practice is that people do not get even one day off during summer season, while they work many more hours per day that they should, with no extra payment. I work in this industry and I know what I am talking about. Note that according to the new IMF/EU laws, wages for anyone under 25 year old and no offical work experience is 510 euro "mixed". This means that after the various amounts they keep for insurance etc, you officially get around 420-450 euro in hand per month, for (supposedly) 8 hours work per day. Recently there is supposed to be a new agreement among hotel owners and hotel employees, that minimum wages are back to 2008 levels, on 750 euro/month.This doesn't happen in practice of course, and we are talking about locals that are supposed to work officially and know the ins and outs of local laws and local customs. Working illegally, salaries are even lower and working conditions poorer. It is not like you work in a hotel/hostel and you do vacation. This is work. HARD work! People working in hospitality industry are struggling to survive here!
Lastly, be aware that nowdays often employers do not offer food and accommodation as they used to. If they do, accommodation is often shabby, shared with 2-3 other people and food when available is not exactly first quality. A decent tiny apartment on an island cost no less than 250 euro/month, electricity and water bill is additional extra, and of course it is hard to rent an apartment only for a month.
In general I would say to your son to go for it, but to have a large amount as a back-up that would keep him going if work...doesn't work out! lol
A few comments/pointers:
a) 99.99% of the employers who take foreign staff do not hire legaly or provide any insure, even if you are from entitled to work in Greece legaly without a working visa/permission. It needs lots of effort to work out the paper work/deal with Greek bureaucracy, and most importantly then they'd have to pay lots of money for your insurance and be afraid that you may go find the official authorities when your agreement is not met. If you work illegal, they may force you to work lon hours, or underpay you, or whatever, and you can do nothing in practice.
b)As mentioned, wages are low. working on a bar , on night hours, wages are higher, but I know from friends that while the very popular bars on Mykonos used to pay around 80 euro/"night" (that might mean 12+ hours work from early evening till late morning!), now they may pay less than 30-50 euro/night. We talk about experience bar women, multilingual young Greek beautiful girls who had good connections on the island and PR skills. this is maybe one of the limited works that women are paid more than men lol . That might seems lots of money, but those deals usually were not coming with accommodation, and if so, of course it was shared with many other persons, and no food provided.Note that the very popular bars are often on isolated locations, so transport cost is something to consider.
c)Mykonos might have better salaries than other areas, but it is an expensive island too. A very close friend of mine was working during last 7 summers in the reception of one of the posher hotels in Mykonos Town. He had local connections and he managed land a tiny apartment in town with a basic kitchenette,a tiny bathroom and a bedroom for 300 euro per month, agreement starting March ending on November. He was sharing expenses with his girlfriend, he was not going out much, but he said to me that after every season, he was coming back home with nearly no money left. If you need say 30-50 euro/week for supermarket on other places, on Mykonos that might be nearly double that-at least this is what he said to me. This year he decided not to go back to Mykonos for work.
d) I am not extremely familiar with Mykonos, so you may want to seek first hand experience from other members, but I have worked many years on the islands and other locations, including full seasons on Paros, Naxos and a few weeks on Santorini, so I think I might have a saying on how things work . My advice is to go, but have sufficient amount of money to support your self if things don't work out as expected . It was always a bet to do what you try to do, bus given the current unemployment and general turmoil here. conditions are not exactly ideal!
Have fun and let us know how it goes!
Aug 9, 2012 3:55 AM
While I'm not thinking of trying to work in Greece, your advice is excellent and I think the details you provided about the realities of working there will be a benefit not just to the OP but to anyone who is considering the work.
thanks for posting it...
Aug 9, 2012 10:01 AM
6Thank you so much for that information!
I am aware of the very low pay as I'm not interested in making money. It's just for the experience.
You said I should keep some extra cash with me which I always do, however I am only keen on relocating if I'm going to break even. If I cannot make enough money for living day to day it's probably not worth it. So that's why I'm trying to get my hands on the best job/accommodation suggestions sooner rather than later.
Do alot of your contacts live day to day with the money they earn or do they need to use savings?
Aug 9, 2012 1:39 PM
7Up to 2-3 years ago they could get by with their payment. Last couple of years, my friends who would like to go out every now and then, maybe occasionally hire a car , do an occasional excursion or activity, they had to use savings too. My friends who managed with their payments were either people who were really spending next to nothing, either people who had wages above the average. Of course people who were more familiar with Mykonos were able to know better the ins and outs, where to shop or eat for cheap rates, had local network so easier to land bargains or have a free drink every now and then etc. Life was very different for new comers.
Aug 10, 2012 12:28 AM
Aug 10, 2012 3:43 AM
9I might be wrong, but I think the majority of business in Greece will pay by a "day" salary or a "weekly" salary or a "monthly" salary. It is rather unusual to be payed by the hour. As explained a day of work might actually be a long 10-12 night hours or whatever. it is wise to clarify on those matters and try to make clear how many hours you are fine to work per day. Most employees will say that it depends on how busy it is of course, bars can stay open as long as they wish, there is no obligatory closing time like eg it used to be with pubs in UK or something. The problem is that you have no much flexibility to require high wages. When you have a job and your employer sees you work fine, then you might ask some more money... but just showing up out of the blue among many people who do the same, it is them having the advantage, not you. I would try to make absolutely sure accommodation is provided, if possible some food too, or some cooking facilities. I think around 25 euro/day is an acceptable minimum if accommodation is provided. Not ideal, but given the situation, it is not extremely low as it might was 3 years ago.
I think you could do more with that amount of money on a less pricey island though. If you may consider other places, I think that for example Ios, Skiathos or some of the less party islands might be better value for money on daily costs.
Aug 10, 2012 5:22 AM
Aug 10, 2012 1:37 PM
11Those jobs are hard to arrange in advance if you have no local connections. So I am not sure how you may do it before you go.
Accommodation is a huge "money-eater", so it is important to ensure this part. I would do some homework and try to get cheap accommodation for a few days when arriving. I would then really try to find a job that offers accommodation. If not, then it is easier to look for some place for summer season on the spot on April, you'll be there so you'll be sure how it looks like and when it's located, and more importantly you;ll talk with owner face to face. I do not think that if you plan to arrive so early in the season, arranging accommodation for the whole summer in advance is a good idea. Simply because if you do not like it or you find as job offering accommodation anyway, it will be complicated then.
Aug 11, 2012 9:31 AM
Mar 18, 2013 9:59 AM
I have another question if you can help.
Will I be leaving it too late if I head over to mykonos for summer bar work 2013 in mid may. Should I be aiming to be there early May or even in April?
What is the best time?
Also most bars open of an evening. So when people say you need to go 'door to door' do they mean doing this in the evening when the bars are open? Or are they infact open during the day time too?
Thanks, any help would be great.
Mar 18, 2013 10:22 AM
14Although there may be some jobs still available in May (people quit, change their minds, don't like the job, etc.) you'll have a much better chance to find one going door to door if you go in April before all hiring for the season has been completed. But have you explored the possibility of going through a job placement business? I don't know which ones are out there but I know they exist. I have friends in Greece who own hotels who use them every year to help fill their staff needs.
It's going to be difficult for you to find accommodations you can afford by yourself, especially on Mykonos where the cost of rooms is high. Finding a job that comes with a room would be ideal if you can make it happen but you should probably expect to share a small apartment with at least one other person.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$325.31 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$20.64 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$18.51 per night