The crew houses on the French Riviera are still heaving with hopefuls, all competing for the same few jobs at the end of the Mediterranean summer. Some have a season or two under their belt and many are completely new to yachting. So how do you decide when to stop job hunting in the Med and what are your other choices?
Unfortunately there is no simple answer to that question, because every individual is in a unique position. Take stock of your current situation and consider:
how much money you have (i.e. how long you can hold out)
whether you can afford (or want) to job hunt in Fort Lauderdale or the Caribbean
how much yachting experience you have, direct or transferable
your nationality and visas
Let’s start with your goals and needs. Do you want to make a serious career out of yachting or are you simply looking to make some fast money, travel and have fun? A professional might be prepared to invest more time, energy and money into job hunting than an inexperienced person who has less chance of being employed at this time of year – and perseverance is the name of the game.
Jobs will not go to those who are half-hearted at this end of the Med season – serious contenders are proactively doing everything they can. Being honest with yourself about your current situation and motivation levels might help you weigh up the pros and cons of the following options:
If you are lacking actual onboard experience, consider saving money and improving your chances this winter by going home and building on your transferable skills and qualifications. Deck crew could pursue yacht deliveries or yard work such as painting and varnishing, while interior crew need top level hospitality hotel or restaurant service experience. You can then come back in Spring when there will be more jobs available for entry level crew and your additional relevant skills will help you stand out from the crowd.
If you have enough money to hold out while others give up, you could stay, continue dockwalking, dayworking, networking and building relationships with the crew agents and hope to be one of the lucky ones chosen from the dwindling pool of available candidates.
Find out about every yacht that’s crossing to the US or Caribbean and try to get a delivery aboard: arriving with your name on a crew list can make entry much easier and give you good experience to go on your CV, but you’ll need to have your ear to the ground to hear about these opportunities as they are very rare.
If your visa situation and cash flow allows it, you could go to Fort Lauderdale for the lead up to the yacht show there and take your chances to get work for the Caribbean season. Bear in mind if you don’t have a B1/B2 visa you will be up against plenty of people who either do already, or are American and therefore don't need one.
If you have enough cash, good experience, the right attitude and good inside industry advice you could fly straight to Antigua a week or two before the charter show in early December and you might be lucky enough to pick up daywork which could lead to a permanent position. Remember you’ll be competing with all the delivery crew who have done the crossing and have the added advantage of this experience on their CVs.
For every option you consider, make two lists:
- What will happen if I do?
- What will happen if I don't?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- What’s the best that could happen?
What are you willing to compromise for the chance to achieve your goals? What will it cost you and what can you afford, or not afford to lose… and what will it cost you if you don’t take the chance?
Good luck to all of you and remember: it is not so important what you decide to do; the most important thing is that you commit to a decision and then give it your best shot. Whatever happens, you will gain important and useful life experience so enjoy it, go for it, and make the best of every situation you find yourself in. Positivity, motivation and action are the keys to making your goals a reality, and enjoying yourself along the way!
See original post here.
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.