The weather is finally warming up here on the Cote d’Azur and as Spring sproings into action it seems plenty of people are feeling like it’s the perfect time to spring-clean their career as well. My CV and private coaching enqiries have also been hotting up over the past week and I hear from my crew agency friends that are already starting to receive several new job orders which is a really great sign.
Another sign that the Med season is just around the corner is that the crew houses are filling up already – and my annual free talk series for new crew in Antibes is due to kick off on the 25th March, which is not long away now!
So it’s pretty clear the next few months are going to be a busy time for me, but what about you? Do you have big plans for the year ahead? Last week I asked: Why are you earning money? What is it all for? Have you thought much about your personal ambitions for this year or are just planning on slipping blissfully into summer and hoping for the best?
One of my favourite quotes is “you get what you settle for”, and this is a wonderfully appropriate reminder for yachting as it can be so easy to slide into complacency and stop pushing yourself, especially when you work long, tiring seasons and you just want to relax in the only downtime you have. Studying for more courses, applying for new positions, updating your CV and liaising with crew agents can all seem like hard work – and if your current job is pretty OK it can be so tempting to just rest back on your laurels, do ‘one more season’ and stay where you are.
But in the 16 years I’ve been working in yachting, one the thing I’ve really noticed is how fast time flies and how quickly years slip past. Because we live and work in such a bubble it’s quite easy to forget that time is actually marching on, and unless we maintain some kind of perspective about what we’re trying to achieve either inside or outside of yachting, we can easily find ourselves trapped in a kind of ‘Groundhog day’ seasonal cycle that more closely resembles a hamster wheel than a career ladder.
As I mentioned last week, for some people working in yachting is the ‘end goal’ itself; the dream career they have always wanted – but for many others it’s a stepping stone and a means to a different end. If you’re in the latter camp, just be careful you don’t spend so long dreaming that you forget to keep moving towards those dreams, as they can easily begin to fade when there is no reality to support them.
So if you want to move ahead this year, now’s the time to put some thought into what you really want to achieve. Are you looking to take a step up from your current position? Does that mean you need to step off onto another yacht, or do you simply need to gain more experience or more qualifications in your current role so you’ll be ready to move up at the end of this season? One thing’s for sure: nothing’s gonna happen unless you make it happen.
Make this season take you where you want to go, and start preparing now for the advancements you want to make in your career this year. What are your career goals for 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments box below!
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.