Why do people come to Tirol to work? Is it hard to get here? Are Ossis (East-Germans) made fun of? Anika Hohloch talks about the people and the work in the Tirolean tourism industry.
Mogasi: How did you get the idea to go from East Germany to working in Tirol in the Stubaital?
Anika: I have been interested in hospitality since I was in school. I did all my internships in hotels in Thüringen but to get a good education I had to go somewhere else. Tirol is very well known in our area for having a strong hospitality industry.
“Tiroleans are open, hospitable and very generous.” Anika
Mogasi: When you think back to your first few weeks, what things did you find most difficult and what did you like right from the beginning?
Anika: The hardest thing for me was the dialect; for the first three months I could barely understand a word. I really liked the friendliness and how I was accepted.
Mogasi: Apart from the higher mountains, what are the differences between your home and Stubai/Tirol?
Anika: Tiroleans are open, hospitable and very generous. In the course of the years, I’ve noticed that there are many envious people who do not like the business. People from Thüring are more like ‘strangers’ and perhaps not as open, therefore, the cohesion in Tirolean regions and hotels is much stronger because of this.
Mogasi: What kind of jobs have you had here in Tirol?
Anika: After my apprenticeship I worked briefly in a hotel. Then I tried different things. I worked in an office in Innsbruck, but shortly after I opened a small cafe. Later came the bar. Lastly, I was a sales representative but am happy to now be back working in hospitality. In addition to these jobs I would always help out in different bars and restaurants.
Mogasi: What are your favourite jobs in tourism? Which do you not like at all?
Anika: My current job is my favourite. All other jobs I wouldn’t want to do (anymore).
Mogasi: How did you get your job in Neustift?
Anika: I got my apprentice position thanks to an acquaintance. As soon as you’re here, job offerings will just fly in.
“Less and less people want to work on weekends, holidays with shift or part time work.” Anika
Mogasi: Many companies complain that it is hard to find staff. Why do you think that is?
Anika: Well, it would be easier to ask who does not complain. It is getting really hard to find good, motivated employees. On the one hand, it is due to the working hours. Less and less people want to work on weekends, holidays and with shift or part time work. On the other hand, the hotels themselves are responsible as employees have been taken advantage of for years. There were countless overtime hours and free days removed for too little money. This makes this line of work very unattractive.
Mogasi: Here and there jokes are made about “Ossis”, which ones can you no longer bare to hear?
Anika: Good question – I can’t really think of any at the moment. In my friend / family circle it’s kind of been forgotten that I’m German. But when jokes are made then its generally about the “Deitschn“.
Mogasi: Do the Tirolean tourism companies also advertise their jobs in Germany?
Anika: Yes, always at the employment office. I don’t believe they advertise on any other platforms.
Mogasi: How do you know if your potential employer is good?
Anika: I have never really thought about that before. If it is not a good fit, then you look for something else.
Mogasi: How should someone dress for a job interview?
Anika: That depends on what position you are applying for. A chef doesn’t necessarily need to wear a suit but a F&B manager or receptionist should.
Mogasi: Is seasonal work financially worthwhile for you or others?
Anika: I have never had a seasonal job. So far I have always had a long-term position. Whether it pays for others is hard to say.
Mogasi: What are your normal working hours like?
Anika: I work 5 days per week until 17:30. I have Sunday and Mondays off.
Mogasi: Work-Life-Balance is a frequently used term, is this achievable in the tourism industry?
Anika: With a normal 6 day seasonal position, it’s definitely not that easy. Work is the main focus. Little time remains for anything else. With my work schedule it works very well.
Mogasi: How were you accepted by the people of Stubaital and the rest of Tirol?
Anika: From the beginning I was very well accepted by the people both in Stubai and Tirol and was able to integrate quickly. If you are hardworking and friendly, it won’t be hard for you here.
Mogasi: People work where others go on holiday. Do you also go skiing / snowboarding / cross country skiing / sledding? If so, where?
Anika Hohloch from Tanna in Thüringen is 27 years old. She lives in Neustift in Stubaital and has been working in Tirol for 11 years. Currently she is the manager’s assistant in the 4-star Hotel Kindl in Neustift in Stubaital.