It is of course no surprise, that there are a huge number of couples within the yachting industry both looking for work and already in positions onboard.
Each department at Quay Crew is regularly contacted to help crew find the perfect couples job but is there really such a thing?
The answer, I believe, is yes, occasionally. Providing you’re realistic with your expectations and you are both clear on what your idea of perfect is.
Before you begin your job search, I think its vital that you have a very honest conversation with each other. Here are just a few things you might want to consider.
As a couple what are your long-term goals? This is a really important one. Having worked on three different yachts with my now wife, it always helped keep us focused when we joined a boat, knowing it was moving us towards our ultimate goals and not always short-term gain.
What are your career goals as individuals? Is one of you more career focused than the other? Do you have aspirations you are not ready to give up? Be honest now!! You’ll regret it in the long term if you’re not being upfront with each other.
Would there be any situation where you would be prepared to work apart on separate yachts? Although for some, this is not ideal – it is worth thinking about. You never know, you might be berthed next to each other, have a winter in the same shipyard or find rotational positions on a similar pattern!
What is your ideal boat? Is it the same answer for both of you? It’s worth making a list of the things that are MUSTS. It might highlight if you’re both on the same path or it may make it evident that you have very different aspirations!
What are you both willing to compromise on? As every couple knows – compromise is king! Be realistic, weigh up options and think things through. Know the things you will or won’t compromise on. Salary? Job title? Leave? Itinerary? Private vs charter? The list goes on and on, but make sure you both agree on what is important.
Are you facing challenges already? Honestly assess yourselves as an employer would. Have you done this role before? Do you have the right tickets / experience? Are either of your nationalities a challenge for attaining visas, work permits or insurances? Do you lack longevity in previous roles? Are the roles you’re looking for harder to attain/ come up less often? Have you only been together a few months? Both work in the same department? Have you been a relationship a year but in reality only spent 6 weeks together? Never worked together?
If you are answering yes to some of those questions then finding that couple role together is going to be tough. Regardless of how great you think you are or how much you love each other.
What do you want vs what do you need? By now you are starting to realise what you both want, but what do you actually need? What financial responsibilities do you have, as a couple and as individuals?
Are you doing everything you can? Are you both pulling your weight in the search? Are you linked on yotspot, agency websites etc? (Be careful, how aggressively you advertise your couples search if you are at all considering working apart.) Do you have any references as a couple already?
If you’re already working as a couple, are you being the best couple you can be on board? For example… Not airing dirty laundry in public. Not making life harder for other people missing loved ones, with your public displays of affection. Not letting your relationship affect work based decisions. Are you still maintaining good relationships with the other crew members and not just being your own little clique?
These are not the only questions you’ll need to ask yourselves, but they are a good start. We already know that finding the ideal job as an individual is hard enough and searching as a couple you are adding restrictions. When you start adding these restrictions into your search you are casting an increasingly smaller net, which means you have to be that much more certain of what you both want and what the united goal is!
My Director Tim has written this last paragraph as this is something he feels passionately about. The harsh reality is that there aren’t anywhere near enough roles for couples on good yachts to go around. So, you will need to make some compromises. If your relationship is relatively new then just concentrate on getting a great job on a great yacht. If your relationship is meant to be then it will work itself out. If it isn’t then it won’t. Over my 7 years of running Quay Crew I have spoken to hundreds of couples and an awful, awful lot of them don’t work out long term. Too many crew make terrible career decisions which will affect them for years to come because of an infatuation with someone they barely know.
I would have a check list:
Have we been together over a year?
How much time have we actually spent together?
How well do I actually know my other half? Would we win at a game of Mr & Mrs?!
Have we lived together in any capacity?
Good luck with your job search.