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How to decide between two superyacht job offers

Glen Campbell
November 29, 2021

Superyacht job offers are like buses - there are usually two at once. But there is an art to deciding which one is right for you...

As you may have read in one of our other recent blogs, superyacht job offers are being handed out and snapped up super quick by crew.

Clients who are taking too long to make a concrete offer or carry out interviews are losing great people. In such a candidate-led market, this puts the ball firmly in your court and as a result, it’s not unlikely you will get more than one offer if you’re aggressively applying (and if you’re good, of course).

The question is, which superyacht job is best for you?

Whilst this isn’t true of all crew agencies, we genuinely recommend to our candidates that they take the offer that suits their priorities – whether that be salary, rotation, location or yacht type - even if it’s not a job we are working on.

The fact is, the better service we give you now, the better relationship we build for the future when you’re moving on again or recruiting crew yourself. Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I regularly get candidates becoming clients and coming back to me with crew requirements.

But, to be able to work in your best interests, you have to be completely open and honest with us and listen to our advice in return.

Only recently, we had one candidate who had been made an offer with an excellent package. It aligned completely with what he wanted to achieve in terms of getting exposure to be able to step up into a senior role in the medium term. The culture was right and the salary was highly competitive. Despite knowing the salary upfront, the candidate pushed for more at offer stage and was not willing to budge.

The alternative offer on the table might have bagged him a few thousand more a year in the short-term, but will certainly be less beneficial to his long term career goals – meaning he’d actually be earning less eventually.  

Did he make the right decision? Time will tell.  

So how do you decide between two great superyacht job offers on the table?

You don’t know what you don’t know

Before you even start your search for the right superyacht job, be clear in your own mind exactly what you are looking for. List your role priorities in order from the absolute must to the things you might be willing to compromise on.

If you had to choose, would you rather have four months off or earn a minimum of €7,000 per month? Do you prioritise time with your family or the ability to pay off your mortgage? Are you motivated to move because you want to earn more money, get a better rotation, switch from private to charter or vice versa, step up to a bigger yacht or a more senior role? Perhaps you’re most interested in training opportunities and reaching targets on your Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Think about the stage you are at in both your career and life as well. If you’re single with no ties, do you really need a rotational role? Because, for example, as a Chief Officer with aspirations to become a Captain, a full-time role will generally make this significantly easier, with more opportunities to be Relief Captain, on the insurance and do crossings etc.

Be 100% honest

By this, we don’t just mean with yourself, but also with us. As a recruiter, we don’t want to put you forward for superyacht jobs that you’ll later pull out of. Or that you’ll regret six or 12 months down the line. That doesn’t look good for us or for you.

If we know exactly what you want and need and you’re an amazing fit for the role, we might be able to negotiate on your behalf before interview stage so that the yacht also knows what they need to offer you if they want to proceed.

And if your priorities change, that’s fine too, but you have to tell us. Don’t start the process as “flexible” and then move the goalposts in the final stages. It leaves a sour taste whatever the outcome.

Have realistic expectations

We’re all for helping you realise your worth, but you also need to be mindful of the competition and if what you’re asking for is too much.

You may have to compromise on leave to get better pay or downsize the yacht you go for to step up into a senior role.

And don’t worry, we aren’t talking about taking jobs based on pipe dreams and dangling carrots (we can spot them a mile off). If a role is offering a little less leave and lower salary than you were hoping for, but can offer you accelerated progression and that’s your priority, think long and hard.

Reputation matters

The yacht, the program and the set up are (for the most part) common knowledge. You can usually find someone in the industry, that knows someone, that worked with someone, that worked on that yacht. So on the face of it, a great package might seem appealing, but when it’s on a not so great yacht, perhaps with low standards onboard, high crew turnover or a toxic culture, how long will you realistically be happy in the role?

This works the other way too. Many recruitment agencies, Captains, HODs and owner reps will have been around longer than you and have their ear to the ground when it comes to personal reputations. You are well within your rights to turn down a role, but do it professionally, not the day you are supposed to be flying and two weeks after you accepted the role initially.

If in doubt about any of the superyacht job offers on the table, honesty is the best policy.

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