Pick up these work habits for a successful Superyacht career!
This article appears particularly apt as so many crew are shooting themselves in the foot at the moment and getting sacked in their first few weeks on board. Crew take note!
These are just some ideas and habits its worth forming at work which will make you stand out from the crowd. They cost nothing and are relatively easy to implement. It just takes a bit of discipline and effort.
If your working day starts at 8am be in the crew mess at 7.45 and make yourself a coffee and be on deck or in the interior ready to go at 7.55. Not making your coffee at 8.01 and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes.
I understand one of the pleasures of no guests or owners around is not shaving. However you should still make sure it is a trimmed beard, your hair is done and you’ve showered. Daily, if not twice a day. Sounds obvious the showering bit? Apparently not. I hear stories all the time of smelly crew who don’t shower. There is no excuse for it.
Clean and tidy.
No one wants to tidy up after you. So all communal areas should be free from your clutter and bits and pieces. Also make an effort to keep your cabin clean. For multiple reasons, not least out of respect for your cabin mate.
Help others! At all times. Just because you finished at 5 on the dot don’t finish for the day. Go and help your colleague finish his task, help tidy the work area and put things away back in various lockers. Share ideas and knowledge and make other people’s life’s easier. This helps you build trust with each other too.
Simple. Treat others with respect. Don’t mock, belittle or be sarcastic with your colleagues. If they are letting the side down with their performance let a senior member of crew deal with it. Basically treat others as you want to be treated. And don’t forget, no one likes a bully….
Work hard. Very simple and obvious. Too many crew are last on deck, first into the crew mess at lunch and last back to their work station. Constantly on their phones and nowhere to be seen when there is hard work to be done or a horrible job to do. Don’t be that person. Put in a good shift and work to a good intensity. Especially if you are working to a deadline.
Being that positive, happy go lucky presence in a department is an amazing quality to have. It will make you popular on board and valued by your superiors. Equally being that miserable, whining pain will get you sacked quick. So if you are about open your mouth to say something negative don’t….
Listen to your superiors. If they want something done a certain way. Don’t question, don’t ignore and don’t do it another way. More often than not they have the bigger picture in mind and know things you don’t. So just get on with it.
Help other departments.
Pretty obvious. If you have some down time and another department is struggling help them. whether it is putting out fenders or washing glasses just do it. Also be considerate of the other departments. Eg Don’t hold onto all your laundry for days and then give it to the interior.
Take a deep breath.
Sometimes someone will do something which pisses you off. Don’t instantly react or shout or scream. Take a moment, and act like a responsible adult. If you are having an issue with someone have a discrete word with them away from other crew and try and sort it out. Again the key thing to remember here is like adults. Sometimes you have to be the bigger person and suck things up for the greater good.
Don’t get involved.
There will often be things going on that have nothing to do with you. In different departments or with other people in your dept. That probably don’t affect your life in the slightest. Or only marginally. So don’t get involved, don’t offer up your unnecessary opinion on the subject in the crew mess. Don’t stir the pot, don’t gossip, don’t take sides if it involves petty, mundane BS.
Know what your job involves on the yacht and take ownership of what are your responsibilities. Not complicated, you just need to take personal pride in your work and your standards.
If the bins are full in the crew mess empty them even if it isn’t your specific job. Do things that need to be done. Don’t always wait for someone to tell you to do something. Use your brain assuming you have one. Not to be confused with ignoring your superiors orders as you ‘know better’.
Always be looking to learn. Develop new skills on board. Assist with something you’re not familiar with. Being coachable and developing yourself will also make you a lot more likely to be promoted internally.
Don’t spend too much time on personal calls, e-mails, whatsapp etc. Don’t constantly be on Facebook during the day. In fact your phone shouldn’t even be with you on deck, it should be in your cabin and checked on breaks. For the majority of crew you don’t need a phone with you constantly.
All of this sounds obvious. Have a quick think and see if you ticked all these boxes today. Most can’t. If you are missing things out then print this off and put it up in your cabin. Reflect on this list a couple of times a week and modify your behaviour accordingly. Not everyone can be a superstar who is brilliant at all aspects of their job. But… do the above and you will be a genuine asset who gets a good reference.
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.
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