Just say no

One of the most frustrating things we experience as a crew agent (and for the yacht that is hiring) is a candidate making positive noises all the way through the recruitment process and then when the offer comes through saying no.

It goes without saying that crew are allowed to say no. The role has to be right, but there are some situations where this is less than ideal and could have been totally avoided if the candidate had just been honest with us from the beginning.

Work out what it is you want.

At the start of your search, you should have a fairly defined idea of what sort of role you are looking for and the details surrounding it. For example, let’s say that you tell me you want a Chief Officer job on a yacht that is 50m to 70m, open to itinerary, open to private or charter with at least two months off a year and paying 6000 euros a month. It also has to be a well run, happy yacht.

We then find you the perfect role to interview for.

I then call you to brief you on a 57m Chief role paying 6k euros on a well run, happy single season private boat with 60 days leave. The boat has a good reputation, is a good build and a great Captain. You say sounds amazing, put me forward.

And then you say no??

You interview twice and everyone is very happy with how everything has gone and the Captain offers you the job. And you say no…. but why I ask, the role ticked all of your boxes?

Acceptable reasons to turn the role down:

  • The yacht offered 5000 euros not the 6000 I was looking for
  • Only 45 days leave
  • A new owner just bought the boat and there are going to be changes to how it is run
  • The itinerary has changed it is going to be dual season and I want single as I have a partner / family in Palma

Unacceptable reasons for turning the yacht down:

  • I really wanted 7k a month
  • I’m only interested in busy charter
  • I really want rotation
  • I wanted something over 60m
  • I want to work with my partner

Well why didn’t you say that at the beginning of the process when we discussed what you were looking for?!?!?

Hopefully, you can see the difference between those two lists. List one is the boat moving the goalposts from what has been originally discussed. List two is you moving the goalposts from what was originally discussed. Neither is good. When you move the goalposts you damage your credibility with the crew agent and you damage your reputation with the yacht in question and the senior crew onboard. I guarantee your paths will cross again in the future so you should try and avoid this situation at all costs.

Just say no

At the start of your search know what you are looking for and specify that! Just say no when the agency briefs you on the role if the boat doesn’t tick your important boxes ( very, very few boats tick every box). Saying yes to every role you get called about and applying to every job you see online is a waste of your time, my time and most importantly the yachts time which is often precious.

It’s ok to change your mind

Fast forward two months and you haven’t secured that elusive 65m back to back charter yacht paying you amazing money. We will completely understand you adjusting your search parameters now and being more flexible than you were previously. We will continue to put you forward for jobs if you are a good candidate.

So, in conclusion, say no at the start of the process, not at the end. Be honest with yourself (do I really want to work on a 57m?) and the crew agent. It will make everyone’s lives easier and strengthen your reputation within the industry which is only a good thing.

As always, thoughts on this are much appreciated so whether you agree or disagree it would be great to hear your opinions. For all those job hunting, best of luck!

From 2006 to 2007 Tim was lucky enough to spend two years as a deckhand on MY Sai Ram and MY Leander, two excellent charter yachts. Quay Crew was formed in 2013 and is proving to be a great success: Tim covers the deck department predominantly working on Captain and Officer roles.

+44 (0) 7760 202610 | +33 7810 12245 | tim@quaycrew.com

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