It's Boat Show time of year - a tough time of year to be thinking about moving ashore with all the seasonal hype and the promise of something better, happening right now. That said, does the idea of leaving your comfortable sea-based, well-paid position with your tight-knit, family-like crew scare the bejeezus out of you? Are you going on year X with the owners or repeat-charter guests where life functions like a well-oiled machine, where every day is still exciting or challenging and where you still can’t get enough of that feeling of being well-presented and respected by your peers? OK, well, these are best-case scenarios, but are you feeling, deep-down, it’s time to make that leap back to ‘normal, land-based’ life?
This can be a scary step! Especially for anyone who has been in this industry for 20-30 or more years where perhaps you’re 10-15 years away from what should be retirement. Those who attempt to return to regular life often find themselves stepping back in to yachting perhaps more than once. But sometimes, family, or that ‘call’ to stop travelling or to stop being at the beck and call of someone else is stronger than the need to stick it out in yachting.
The first thing to consider is this is a major stepping stone for someone, whether they spent 2 years in yachting or 25 years. The sea, the pay, the lifestyle… how are you going to find other work that offers so much excitement, so much variance in location/daily routine, so much turnover and such good pay. All without going anywhere and having holidays off? Planning ahead (saving money) can be the key to making this a smoother transition.
Captains and other upper-level crew have plenty of opportunities on land where their years of dedication and experience at sea can be the absolute best experience to help owners build a yacht, refit a yacht, manage an estate, large or small, etc. The key is in the wording of your resume.
After working with a long-time Captain to help move him ashore, I’ve learned a few things. First, get to know the industry in which you’re looking to move. Get to know it well. If there are recruiters involved, read job postings, get to know the wording of what they’re looking for, read websites, talk to recruiters. By listing you’re a ‘Captain’ or ‘Chief Stewardess’, I found many estate recruitment firms, for example, have no idea of the correlation between yachting and estates. A Captain would make an excellent estate manager as they often have extensive engineering knowledge including IT and understand the running of happy crew or staff and how to form a functioning household. Or a project manager to work with perhaps difficult clients who are readying to build their first yacht. They may have no idea they need a walk-around deck to prevent fenders from having to be hauled through the saloon.
The wording of your resume can prove paramount to moving forward on land. What else did you do as a Stewardess? Housekeeping! Nanny duties? Cooking? Working extensively with contractors? Concierge duties? Managing the interior crew/staff? Purser duties? How about as a Captain or Chief Mate – were you also acting as an Operations Manager? How about a Build Project Manager? Highlight this information – pull the correlating information from your resume and make it work for the land-based position for which you’re applying. Having trouble putting this information together, yourself? Hire a professional to put the appropriate information with the appropriate language in the appropriate order (that’s what we do!) Send me your resume, the job for which you’re looking to apply and I’ll return an email with a quote for readying you to move ashore. We also do yachting resumes, of course! In the usual yet successful style and with all the correct information in all the correct places Captains and Heads of Departments are used to seeing. email@example.com
Moving ashore doesn’t have to be a scary step. Plan ahead (save some money). Take a rest after a heavy season and get your ‘team’ together to help you move ashore. The more you can plan, ahead of leaving your yacht, the better. We know you’re busy but there is nothing like being prepared. You can do it!