This is only a short blog but it’s about a subject which I think is very important. Occasionally I work with some of Quay Crew’s consultants and we go through CVs of junior and green crew to try and spot some talent (which is increasingly hard) and one thing consistently jumps out me. The sheer number of crew entering the industry who don’t seem to have ever had a proper job. For the purposes of this, the definition of ‘proper’ job is full time work which you have held down for more than a couple of months. Even worse, some seem to have gone huge chunks of their late teenage and early adult years without even securing or holding down a part time job.
How is this possible? I had my first part time job at 14 years old washing dishes. I worked full time during my school holidays from the age of 16 in factories. I had my first permanent, full time job at 18 when I left school. Yet I see CVs of people who are 21, 22 who can only show a couple of months of part time work experience, often years ago. None of my early work experience was in any way relevant to yachting. But it showed I had a work ethic and had some life experience. Too many crew enteringyachting have neither.
If you are 18 and just leaving school then some of you reading this probably think that it’s acceptable to have not had a job. It isn’t. It means you either had no get up and go, no desire or ambition to work or you didn’t need to work as your parents have funded you. Either option isn’t good. Yachting is an incredibly hard industry where you can be working for months on end, long hours without a day off. Never having had a full time job instantly tells me you are woefully underprepared for it and will be average at best. Never had a part time job? Yachting definitely isn’t the industry for you. Plus you have no life experience and are too young. Go out and get a full time job for a year in something related, which ideally involves physical work and come back to yachting.
If you are 20 plus and still struggling to show work experience on your CV then I think you need to have a good think about why this is and address those issues promptly.
All things being equal I would choose a green member of crew who had worked at McDonald's for the last 3 years over someone who hasn’t ever really had a proper job but has a degree in something entirely unrelated to yachting and has grown up driving jet skis and boats.
For me life experience is invaluable to be a success on working on a yacht. If you have never been exposed to any hardship in your life then yachting can be an unforgiving environment. At the risk of sounding very old the younger generation are lacking in resilience. Without getting too deep, this is down to a few things, the education system, parents etc but one of the issues is not having had a rubbish job. If you haven’t been working on a building site at 7am on a freezing January morning, or in a factory doing mind numbing work for minimum wage then you can lack appreciation for what you have. If you’ve never had it bad, how do you know when you have it good?
I’m sure some of you reading this will be incandescent with rage at my sweeping generalisations. As always there are anomalies and there are situations which have meant people have been unable to get jobs. Or their Mum worked two jobs and made a lot of sacrifices to support them through university to increase their chances of getting a great degree. So my apologies if I have upset anyone whose circumstances are unique. But for the majority of the crew for whom the above applies, what I say is true.
So for those of you who are reading this and thinking about entering yachting after you leave school or university, do yourself a favour and get a job now. Ideally in high end hospitality (not a pub), on the water, or involving hard, physical labour. Good luck!
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