It’s that time of year in the Med when restaurants shut up shop, the weather gets cooler and boats go into hibernation over the winter.
If your seasonal position has come to an end, now is a great time to reflect on how far you’ve come and plan what you want to achieve next. When you have time at your disposal, it’s always a good idea to expand your knowledge base and up-skill in your area of interest.
Yachting is a competitive industry. If you want to keep ahead and secure the position you want next season, you need to think of ways to continuously expand your knowledge and skills. Maybe this means doing a cooking course or working at a silver service restaurant. Maybe it’s working in the shipyard or studying for your next exams. Whatever you choose to do over your downtime, make it count.
Here are a few simple tips to give you a few downtime ideas:
1. Research trends:
If you work in the interior, read up on the latest trends in food, décor and popular culture. Create a scrapbook, folder or Pinterest page of ideas that you could use next season. If you work in the engineering department or exterior, read up on the latest in boat design, navigation systems or other industry trends. There are countless books, magazines and websites to delve into – feed your curiosity and hunger for new ideas!
2. Get relevant work experience:
If you’re going to be land-based over the winter, consider finding a job that will develop transferable skills. Hospitality positions such as upmarket restaurants, hotels and wedding venues are a good bet as are supplementary industries beauty/massage, fitness, interior design or the building trades. These will help you when you return looking for yachting work at the start of next season, so why not earn money and learn new skills at the same time.
3. Do more courses:
The end of a season is the perfect time to invest your hard earned money in gaining additional yachting qualifications. Find out what courses and certificates are out there and which ones are worth doing and ask around to make sure you find out what previous students thought of a certain training provider before committing your money.
The more knowledge you acquire and the more skills you learn, the more marketable you will be at the start of the new season. Don’t put yourself in a position where you take off a whole season and have nothing to show for it. Impress crew agents and your potential employers by using your time off to further your position in yachting.
What are your plans over the off season? Please share in the comments below.