Those of us who've been in yachting for a while can often feel a bit sorry for some of the new crew arriving and are glad we're not back in their shoes. They have such a steep learning curve ahead of them and it's very tempting to think we are so much more worldly and wise... but perhaps there are a few things we can actually learn from them too.
The first thing that comes to mind is their passion. They are so in love with yachting that it's a lifestyle and career they'll go to the ends of the earth to pursue.
The've gone to great lengths to get here, and are willing to put in the long hours and hard work just to see their dream become a reality. But when you’ve been in yachting a while that passion can sometimes fade. We start to become immune to our surroundings and begin taking our situation for granted. So that's the first thing we can learn from the newbies, remember why yachting became your first love. What were your hopes and aspirations when you first joined the industry? Reconnecting with these can give you renewed energy and help you rediscover your sense of purpose.
Another admirable attribute of newbies is their eagerness to learn. Sometimes we think we’ve been there, done it, and got all the t-shirts... and we do things the way they've always been done, without questioning why. The truth is no matter how much you know, there is always room to improve or innovate and try doing things differently.
Many of us industry old timers get annoyed when a newbie asks why something is done a certain way, and we might even bark at them "Don't ask, just do it!" Understanding the meaning behind the method is both motivating and beneficial, and thinking about this can even invite the question: "Is there a better way to do it?", to which the answer might even be "yes".
Often newcomers are so keen to make a good impression they’re eager to help anyone out with anything, even if it isn’t their job. Do you still do that? And if not, when did you stop? Even if you are a leader, it shouldn’t be beneath you to help a colleague with their work. An effective leader leads through example and service, not just by barking orders.
If you’ve been in yachting a while you probably have a close group of friends and colleagues you hang out with, but do you ever step out of that comfort zone and make the effort to connect with other people in the industry? When you're new to yachting you have no choice but to make new friends and I always encourage newbies to get to know as many people in the industry as possible, because successful networking is so essential in building a successful career. Crew who invest time and energy in making valuable connections in yachting often find it easier to get better positions, and are even headhunted for great jobs, while those around them struggle to get interviews.
Lastly, new crew are usually so thankful for the opportunity of joining a yacht that they exude gratitude and appreciation for the amazing opportunity in front of them. They are respectful to their fellow crew and are on their best behaviour. If more people continued on in that way most yachts would be a far more pleasant place to work! Ask yourself before doing or saying something "Would I do/say this if it was my first day on the job?" If the answer is no, don't do it!
Have you learnt something from a new crew member lately? If so add your comments below and share the lesson with the rest of us!Alison Rentoul is ex yacht crew with 15 years of yachting experience, and a professionally trained personal development coach working with crew worldwide, helping them realise their highest potential at every level. See www.thecrewcoach.com for more information.
Alison Rentoul is ex yacht crew with 15 years of yachting experience, and a professionally trained personal development coach working with crew worldwide, helping them realise their highest potential at every level. See www.thecrewcoach.com for more information.