Have you ever been fired or left a job on bad terms? Almost everyone has had some kind of employment disaster where things didn’t work out and they were forced to leave under a bit of a cloud. As if it isn’t bad enough that this often kicks a bit of a dent in our ego, we then have the problem of answering awkward questions about it from potential new employers or crew agents.
If this has happened to you, the most important thing to remember is no matter how nasty your previous employer was, you must never paint them in a negative light. There unfortunately is just no way to do this without it reflecting badly on you, even if you think you were completely innocent or unfairly treated.
The best way to manage this is to present the situation from a neutral perspective, keeping as much emotion and opinion out of it as possible.
Here are a few great examples of reasons you can give for leaving that present you in a positive light:
- There was no scope for progression on the previous yacht.
- You’ve heard great things about this yacht and saw that a position was available.
- You think moving into this position would be a good career move for you and allow you to develop more of your key strengths.
If you don’t want to raise a red flag in your interviewer’s mind, make sure you steer clear of mentioning anything like this:
- I wasn’t happy in my old job
- I had some disagreements with my manager / other crew
- I didn’t like the owner
- My contract wasn’t renewed
And finally, just to really bring my point home, here are some downright dreadful reasons I’ve heard over the years, that are tantamount to committing interview suicide – promise me you’ll never come out with one of these!
- I was getting bored and thought this might be more interesting
- My manager/owner was an idiot
- We were working too hard and I didn’t like it
- You pay more money
The key to moving on positively from a past bad experience is to focus on what you can learn from it and what you will take onboard for the future. Chalk it up to experience and personal growth and you will unconsciously communicate this positivity to your next employer so you won’t have to answer too many awkward questions before they are satisfied that you are a sound and reliable prospective employee.
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.