Starting out in the industry is tough. I understand that as it took me almost 6 months to get my first permanent job after months of day work in the South of France. This was over 4 years ago, and things have only got more competitive since!
I am always more than happy to give advice to new crew looking to break into the industry, but I do always point out that ultimately your first job will usually come from your own hard work rather than relying on an agency to find you your first job. This could be through networking, dock walking or day work and to do all of these you need to be out there doing it for yourself! Heading to Antibes or Palma just before the season starts is the best way to achieve this.
I have spoken to candidates in the past who can’t understand why they haven’t got a job after months of applying for jobs on job boards and websites whilst sat at home in the UK waiting for boats to call them and offer them their dream job. This just isn’t realistic!
Thousands of green crew relocate to the South of France or Palma every year chasing their first job so why would you get a job whilst sat on your sofa at home? If you are serious about joining the industry then you need to be planning on heading out to the SOF or Palma ready to dock walk, network and day work.
Ultimately day work will strengthen your CV as well as creating networking options and maybe even land you your first position. Treat every opportunity as a trial!
Be realistic that things don’t happen overnight. It takes time. When it comes to getting your first job ask yourself how long is a piece of string? Some people land a job within a week other’s can take up to a few months before landing their first job.
Ultimately you should be open to all options. Any experience is better than no experience. If it isn’t the job you were hoping for, I would suggest sucking it up and getting a solid season under your belt with a good reference to come away with. Once you have your first season things become a lot easier and you can be slightly pickier on your next role.
Aim to head out at the end of March/early April. Events such as Monaco GP & Cannes film festival are great opportunities to pick up day work before and after the events!
Prepare yourself as best as you can before heading over to Europe: –
- Save as much money as you can to ensure you are able to financially support yourself for as long as possible and to give you the best chance of securing a job and not coming home broke and empty handed.
- Strengthen your CV with transferable skills such as watersports or trade experience which you can pick up at home before heading out to SOF/Palma.
- Network before leaving. Leverage from contacts you may have or friends already in the industry
- Have accommodation booked so you can arrive, get settled and get dock walking as quick as possible.
- Register with Agencies – Don’t just turn up expecting someone to see you if you haven’t even registered.
- Pack lightly with suitable clothes – White polo, Chinos, shorts, boat shoes etc
Wishing you the best of luck with your job search, I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and to point you in the right direction to secure your first job.