So how can you make this happen? There are essentially four main ways of securing work.
This I found the most nerve wracking aspect of looking for work and it basically involves walking the docks and approaching the yacht’s crew. The aim is to achieve any or all of the following; to leave a CV, to secure some day-work, secure a permanent position and/or to make the crew/captain aware of you and your availability for work. The good news is that most crew have experienced this daunting process so understand how intimidating it can be and are therefore more than happy to help. It does get much easier with time, practice and experience. Ensure you are looking presentable, approach with a smile and be polite and courteous. It is surprising how far a smile goes to making a good impression to crew, and how the effect of a recommendation from a crew member can mark your CV above numerous others. It is often worth asking to speak to more senior staff about possible opportunities; this could be the 1st or 2nd Officer for deck crew or the Purser or Chief Stew for interior crew, the Head Chef for potential chefs/cooks and the Chief Engineer for Engineering. It is probably best not to request the Captain, they are busy people and to be disturbed for a dock walker will only go against you.
READ ABOUT MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE DOCK WALKING CLICK HERE
Crew agencies are basically recruitment agents that place crew on suitable yachts. Some say they are not useful for those new to the industry, but the are having an increasingly strong presence now. I certainly found them very helpful and they can provide a great opportunity for potential work. There is a list of the crew agencies in the useful links section of the website and in my book.
Most, if not all agencies, now use online systems requiring you to register online with them to create your “crew profile” to include your name, contact details, photo and CV. They may ask what you are looking for with regards work and your plans. Registering can be time consuming so it is best to register with them before leaving. Once abroad it is advisable to meet the agents. Remember they meet numerous people in the same situation so you need to make a good impression. They are looking for someone who is reliable, smart, cheerful and committed. Turning up hung-over, non-shaven and looking dishevelled will certainly make the wrong impression.
You should aim to make contact with your agent at least once a week to let them know what you have been doing, and meet face to face. I kept in touch with all my agents, but had two I favoured and called in to see personally, phoned, or as a last resort emailed on my progress. I also logged onto their website most days as with most of the agencies online systems each time you log on it shows you are still looking for work. The nearer you are to the top of their list shows you are an active member looking for work.
This is a very social industry and meeting people is a good way of finding work and making new contacts. This may include staying in a crew house or meeting people in a bar. Remember this is a relatively small industry so try to make a good impression with all you meet and take the opportunity to socialise with as many crew as possible. Beware not to look too much of an alcoholic as this can have a negative effect as it did for some I lived with. Popular bars in Antibes often full with crew during the summer are The Hop Store, The Blue Lady and The Drinkers Club.
It is also worth asking friends at home if they know anyone in the industry as this can be a good link and may provide an opportunity. It is surprising where an opportunity may present itself. Keep social, use any contacts you may have and look to meet new people.
This is often the end result of any of the previous three options and is a way into a job. Most yachts will start you working on a daily basis offering around 100-120 euros a day. This is how most people looking for work fund their search while gaining valuable experience for their CV. Day working often involves the less glamorous jobs; to include cleaning engine rooms, storage tanks and cleaning outside.
This is an excellent opportunity to sell yourself and make a good impression, so it is advisable to work hard and be polite. Often there may be the chance of a permanent position though the yacht may not inform you until they are happy with you and your work ethos.
Ben Proctor, creator of this website has also written a comprehensive book
"Work on a Super Yacht: The Beginners Guide"
'An essential read for anyone thinking of getting a job on a super yacht'
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