Landing a job can often feel like an uphill battle, I know this from personal experience.
This med season seems to have been an unusually busy one for junior crew. I have spoken
with numerous applicants who mentioned struggling to compete with the hundreds of other
That said, believe it or not, we have also interviewed more than a few candidates without
any prior yachting experience who have turned down job offers because the job ‘wasn’t
rotational’ or was ‘non-charter’.
In this blog, we’ll discuss why your first superyacht job is so important. It goes without
saying that you should trust your gut as to whether you feel it is a legitimate job offer or not
(no shortage of fake jobs out there) but assuming it is, let’s discuss why your first job is so
important and how it is an opportunity build towards a successful career.
- A Competitive Job Market
We literally receive hundreds of applications for a single position.
This makes the selection process difficult given the number of candidates we
need to interview and review. Employers have the luxury of choosing from a pool of
qualified candidates, and being too picky could result in you missing out on a valuable
Not only that, you can ruin your chances of future job offers depending on how you
approach your interview. What do I mean? Well I was talking with a captain today who told
me the junior crew member he was interviewing ‘counter interviewed’ him to such a degree
that it became comical. While asking questions in an interview is encouraged, taking the
approach of ‘I’m going to decide whether to grace you with my presence or not’ does not do
you any favours. Think carefully about how your questions are phrased and can come
- Building a Strong Foundation
Your first job on a yacht is often a trial by fire, you have to learn to ‘swim’ very quickly and it
allows you to build a solid foundation for your career. The skills you learn will stand you in
good stead going forward and can help you establish a strong professional background that
can be leveraged when applying for jobs on other boats in the future. You never forget your
- Learning from the Best
Regardless of your prior experience, there will invariably be crew on your boat with decades
more experience in the job than you, so be humble enough to take on this knowledge. Be
humble and learn, that’s why you are there. Yes, you can of course bring your prior
experience to bear wherever possible but tread lightly. You need to learn the way a
particular bosun, chief stew or chef wants things done on their boat. Your ability to take
direction will be noted carefully. This hands-on experience cannot be replicated in any
classroom or training program.
- Networking Opportunities
Building relationships with colleagues and superiors is vitally important. Your peers will
become your network, future collaborations, job recommendations, and hopefully friends.
Yachting is a small industry so take care to build these relationships.
- Nurturing Resilience and Adaptability
Your first job offer may not align perfectly with your long-term career goals, but it
challenges you to be adaptable and resilient. The ability to face and overcome difficult
situations, demanding charter guests etc and being able to ‘tough it out’ when the going is
less than good, will always stand you in good stead. It won’t go unnoticed!
Employers value practical experience. Your history of work experience demonstrates your
commitment, work ethic, and willingness to start at the bottom. This first experience sets
you apart from other candidates who may still be searching for their ‘perfect’ opportunity.
While I’m the first one to say that you should have aspirations, it’s also important to start
somewhere. The grass isn’t always greener somewhere else, it’s greener where you water it.
It needs time to grow!