As the 2016 summer season is ending, we give crew 8 reasons NOT to jump ship.
The season is now truly coming to an end. While many crew are now ending their seasonal contract, a great number of others, on a permanent contract, are now contemplating their next step. But are the about to step on somebody’s toe or on thin ice for no reason at all?
1. Patience is a virtue.
A while ago I received an email from a relatively young deckhand which led me to write this article. He had finally scored a job and was describing how perfect everything was on board. In fact it was so perfect that the vessel had an excellent retention rate. To my astonishment, that was exactly his problem! He figured that since everybody stayed so long it would take a very long time to grow through the ranks. So this guy wanted to tick the boxes in his record book and rush to the bridge to take the helm. I’m worried that he is steering towards a short lived success.
2.Things are fine the way they are.
Personal growth is not defined by the tangible environment that surrounds us or by the superficial perception that people have of us. (e.g. a bigger boat). So if you’ve been in the same job for more than 3 years, as unfashionable as it may seem, it doesn’t mean it is time for a change. If you think you need a new challenge then try distance learning or a new sport that’s combinable with your position. I know of a few people who have changed jobs for the sake of “progression” who wished they never did. If you have a loyal employer (also not very fashionable anymore) why don’t you start investing that relatively secure salary of yours and progress your career towards being an investor, all without changing jobs.
3. “It’s not about the money, money” (quote: Jessie J.)
Oh sorry, it is? Why don’t you have a conversation with your employer and explain him that your financial life plan requires an increase of income and that you are reluctant to move on to another yacht because of your history with him. Additionally you explain him into detail why he should be reluctant to just let you walk away and how you have created added value to his yachting experience. Don’t dream that your employer will come up with this conversation himself, that’s very rare. Some people have to overcome a certain fear to have this conversation but it could save both you and your employer a lot of hassle so be brave. Don’t have this conversation before the end of the second year. That would be a little too brave.
4. A lack of resourcefulness is worse than a lack of resources.
Financial compensation (or reward!) is not the only way to improve your contractual conditions. There are things like insurance, one of the few expenses you may have as a yachtie. Increased time off can improve your life-quality tremendously and it could even work around the owner’s schedule, a win-win. Persuading the owner to follow an itinerary that is more of interest for you than his original plan. It could entail going to places he or she hadn’t thought of or staying in a certain place for a longer period while the yacht is not being used.
5. The water is not bluer on the other side of the marina
In fact you may find the water just looks bluer because that’s all there is; water and no boats. The program or boat you are looking for may not be there! That’s why you should avoid to jump ship before you have secured a new job. Out of desperation you may end up settling for the next best thing that comes along only to realise things weren’t so bad before… So inform yourself and test the waters before jumping ship.
6. Small boats, small problems. Big boats, big problems.
I’m passionate about Pocket Superyachts so I have never fully understood why people always want to go to bigger boats. The relationship with the owners becomes more superficial. There is more paperwork. There is more crew, more personalities to deal with and not everybody is a born leader. If there isn’t more crew… well, than there is simply more work. Of course, work on bigger yachts has its advantages but as the demand increases we see more and more people stepping into that role without being equipped with the leadership skills and experience in general. That is a concern for the whole industry.
7. Because you have a premonition.
Last year I had one of my client’s crew leaving because the thought the owners were running out of money. The owner decided to check the expenses a little closer one day and had made a remark about the use of the yacht’s credit card for crew dinners that were a little “high-end”. Additionally we discussed setting up a budget plan for the sake of efficiency and future reference. Although I’ve had long constructive conversations with the crew about this they decided to never return from their annual leave. They left a perfectly good job behind without any backup plan whatsoever. After asking them why, they said they “felt” the boat was running out of money…
8. They have better internet on that other yacht.
This has happened!!! Sigh…