Updated: May 31
Yachting can sort of feel like purgatory. Let me explain what I mean, in one sense you are in this fantasy world, away from everyone, traveling by sea. But yachting is a hard industry to do for a long time. Yes, you make killer money, you make great connections, you experience other cultures, some people even meet their partners, or get picked for Below Deck, but then it becomes too much. You have to check-in with the boat to tell them your every move, you have to share a small room and sleep on a bunk bed and there is a lot of time to think when you're doing laundry. I used to contemplate of what has yet to come, the next move, the direction I wanted my career and I realized I really wanted to establish a career for myself on land. It would mean better hours, sleeping in my own bed every night, basically having real freedom.
Taking a Chance
Most Yachties who decide to transition to a career on land usually make adjacent moves within the hospitality industry and yachting gives them the time to figure out their next step. It's easy to become accustomed to the amenities that yacht charters provided, but applying your skills in a new trade is exhilarating and having a life on land is worth it. If you're not sure how to make the move think about businesses that support the yachting world— try and integrate your passion into the field that also gives you time to enjoy your life.
There is a main difference that you must remember to factor in when it comes to working on land— now you will have living expenses (that didn't exist while you were living aboard a yacht). I'm talking everyday necessities like an apartment, transportation, insurance, and groceries. You must have interviewing clothes, the lay of the land and an idea of how you are going to acclimate to the new components a career off-sea brings.
For me, I was able to segue into Estate Management, which other Yachties also gravitate toward. The way it happened was after I finished with the Caribbean travel season and returned home for Christmas one year, the thought of going back on a yacht made me feel exhausted. So in the interim, I applied to an Assistant Estate Management role and started out as a Temp with a monthly salary. I was lucky enough to already own a car, and I found a room to rent.
The temp position allowed me to move up in the ranks and ultimately be hired full-time. I learned as much as I could. Similar to a boat, learning about each house presented new challenges. The are nuances of managing a home that are vastly different than yachting requirements. With each home comes a family and I discovered how best to serve each owner, what to keep a lookout for along with their habits, preferences and expectations. There are new systems to learn like security, irrigation, pool pumps, outdoor lighting, but a new set of circumstances brings a new set of skills.
There are other avenues besides Estate Management, of course. I know of Stewardesses who transitioned into event planning, the fashion industry and even opened their own business, which supports the yachting world so they still use connections they established. I know of Stews who went into yacht brokerage, yacht sales and even exterior property management/ landscape and maintenance. Bottom line, wherever your path leads you, take the skills you learned from yachting (like paying close attention to detail, anticipating problems and adapting quickly) and apply the same principles in your next career. People will notice (especially if you do it with style) and it will set you a part from the rest.
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