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How hard, or easy, is it for a new stew to find work?
haleyd79
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010 4:36 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


Since I'll be moving in September, I'm just curious as to how likely it is for a new stew to find work... someone with no previous yacht experience? I read job postings and they always say "at least 1 season experience required". Is this where day work comes in to play for us newbies?

thanks!


bobmo
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:02 PM
Joined: 30/06/2010
Posts: 4


Newbie, If you have a pleasant personality, are well kept and can speak without swearing your in. Don't kid yourself either, it's no vacation, quite hard work. Typical stew hours can be from 7am to 11pm. Another plus is to be legal to seek work in the US, you said moving , I assume to Fort Lauderdale. Good luck.
haleyd79
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 4:37 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


Thanks! I feel pretty confident that I am all of the things you mentioned so hopefully it won't be months before I find work... that's my fear!
simongb-N2
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 4:52 PM
Joined: 21/06/2008
Posts: 17


So you want to work as a stewardess on a yacht? I have a few questions. Why do you want to work in this industry, what is your motivation, your goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years ? Then what experience do you have, what skills etc. Not on yachts but in general ? Day work maybe, but again what experience do you have.

You post the question but to get a worth while answer other than "sure come on down" you need to post a bit more info. The industry as any other at the moment is in some poor weather, there was a crew shortage back in 08', now more of a job shortage. That said if you are serious about working in the industry then now is the right time. You have to start somewhere.

Where and how ? Well again if you posted a bit more info then you may get some useful advice. There is a lot of good about this industry but like everything else, some bad. So be careful and knowledgeable, ask lots of questions and know where you want to go in your career. This industry is about to get an overhaul within the next two years, so if you are in for the long haul, get with it. MCL 2006

Let's hope you do not get any cynical replies.
Good luck and safe seas.

14Freedom
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:23 PM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155


Hey All,
Here's the cynical reply...Haley, you have posted the same question over and over. As the Nike ad says, JUST DO IT.
If you are insecure about the move, THEN DO NOT DO IT.
The risk is in being older and saying "I should have..."

ATB-
The Slacker

haleyd79
Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 6:25 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


ugh, YOU AGAIN! Thanks, but this is the FIRST time I've asked this question "slacker" and it's a legitimate question. Thank God the people I met in February when I completed my STCW '95 were all incredibly nice, because if I had "met" you first I would be a little worried about what the rest of the people in the industry are like. Yes, I would be worried based off of one jerk on a message board. Thanks for picking on me for no reason all the time! It's much appreciated.

OH and I AM moving... in September... as I've said. I just want to be 100% prepared (or as prepared as possible) before I go and I see NOTHING wrong with that... do you? So if you don't like the questions that I am asking, don't read them... and most importanly don't respond to them! Thanks!


haleyd79
Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 6:39 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


simongb-N2 wrote:
So you want to work as a stewardess on a yacht? I have a few questions. Why do you want to work in this industry, what is your motivation, your goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years ? Then what experience do you have, what skills etc. Not on yachts but in general ? Day work maybe, but again what experience do you have.

You post the question but to get a worth while answer other than "sure come on down" you need to post a bit more info. The industry as any other at the moment is in some poor weather, there was a crew shortage back in 08', now more of a job shortage. That said if you are serious about working in the industry then now is the right time. You have to start somewhere.

Where and how ? Well again if you posted a bit more info then you may get some useful advice. There is a lot of good about this industry but like everything else, some bad. So be careful and knowledgeable, ask lots of questions and know where you want to go in your career. This industry is about to get an overhaul within the next two years, so if you are in for the long haul, get with it. MCL 2006

Let's hope you do not get any cynical replies.
Good luck and safe seas.


Thank you! After I posted the question I thought to myself  "well that was awful vague of me" but I posted it from work and then went home; when I'm home I can't edit posts or anything for some reason so I just left it as is.

I'm going down to Fort Lauderdale in September so that answers the where! I have worked customer service, hospitality and I'm the office manager and human resources coordinator at my current job. I was an executive assistant for 4 years at my job prior to this one. I've never been a waitress or bartender but that doesn't mean I can't do either and that I'm not willing to learn. I worked for 2 years for a house cleaning company. I've worked in the airline industry. I really have a lot of experience with a lot of different things... I can slip you my CV if you would like to see more detail. LOL!  Also, I plan to take a silver service class as soon as I get to Ft. Lauderdale.

I don't know exactly what to expect when I move, but that's why I'm here, asking questions... as many as I need to ask to feel comfortable before September comes along. Sorry if that bothers some people.

 


rodsteel
Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 6:56 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


haleyd79 wrote:
"...I have worked customer service, hospitality and I'm the office manager and human resources coordinator at my current job. I was an executive assistant for 4 years at my job prior to this one. I've never been a waitress or bartender but that doesn't mean I can't do either and that I'm not willing to learn. I worked for 2 years for a house cleaning company. I've worked in the airline industry..."


Haley,

 

With that kind of CV, you might want to consider applying for a Purser position on one of the larger yachts (I remember seeing several openings posted on some of the job boards).

 

Rod

 


haleyd79
Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 7:20 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


Really? I hadn't even considered that. I thought I read in Julie Perry's book that the Purser positions are generally given to the Captain's wives. Maybe I'm wrong though.


rodsteel
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 6:29 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Haley,

 

Not all captains have wives ;o))

 

Job Seekers Int., S.L. VAT ES-B57414948 Palma de Mallorca, Spain Telephone +34 649 69 57 68 info@jobseekersint.com, www.jobseekersint.com

Purser, female

Ref. No.: Y93

Boat: 80m M/Y

Itinerary: worldwide, currently in the Med

Salary: in US Dollars, equivalent to 6000 Euros

Starting date: asap

Requirements: STCW95, ENG1

Others: experienced as a purser and be willing to help out in the interior

http://www.jobseekersint.com/yachting.pdf

 


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:19 AM
Rod, I don't know any boat that would hire a Purser who hasn't even worked on a boat before. Regardless of whether the purser is the Captain's wife or not, a purser usually has several years of experience working her way through the ranks before reaching such a high level. To suggest that Haley could possibly step straight into a Purser's position with no experience in the industry is akin to telling a newbie deckie with some surfing and dinghy experience that he can be a Captain straight away. Check out the link from Lux Yachts with the Purser description: http://www.luxyachts.com/Crew/jobdescription/Purser.aspx And Haley, I've seen some of your previous posts in addition to this one and I must say your defensive attitude and insistence on getting the last word in will not win you many friends in this industry, especially not as a newbie. You'll be much better off just shutting your mouth and letting the cynical remarks bounce off you than sniping back. Otherwise that can be seen as "difficult to work with" or "drama", neither of which will make it easy for a new stew to find work. I think Abe Lincoln said it best: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." My best advice is to nod, smile, and say "Sure thing, not a problem". Forget the sarcastic replies, don't get caught up in the drama, and you might find it easier. Good luck...
junior
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 11:58 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Ya' the typical response from anonymous posters is just shut your mouth. As you can see on Dockwalk ....superyachting is a weird world. Many times when your young its best to reject all the egos, protocol, vacume cleaner dilplomas , toilet paper folding tickets and do your first job on a 20 meter or so sailing yacht that is all about fun. All around me are young people being modestly paid as crew to zip around on sailing yachts. Great fun, great first job and a great way to understand what its all about.
rodsteel
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 9:58 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Anonymous wrote:
Rod, ...To suggest that Haley could possibly step straight into a Purser's position with no experience in the industry is akin to telling a newbie deckie with some surfing and dinghy experience that he can be a Captain straight away. Check out the link from Lux Yachts with the Purser description:...

 

Dear Anon,

 

I see very few items on these two lists that a competent executive assistant, office manager and human resources administrator could not handle. Most of the knowledge and skills listed are not yachting-specific.

 

Job Responsibilities 
 
* All operations of the interior department
* Interior inventory
* Interior purchasing and provisioning
* Accounting for the entire Yacht
* Liaising with guests and all crew
* Orchestrating guest activities
* Assisting Captain with ships paperwork
 
Job Skills Required  
 
* <Chief Stewardess> experience
* Superior communications, organization, diplomacy and delegation
* Financial management
* Advanced computer skills
* Vast knowledge of wines, service and housekeeping
* Knowledge of restaurants and activities in cruising areas

 

Regards,

 

Rod


Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 5:16 PM
Rod, you and I must be reading a different list because I see plenty on there that is quite specific to yachts. For someone who has no clue about the inner workings of yacht, has no hospitality or restaurant background, or extensive knowledge of various cruising grounds worldwide, a purser position is completely out of the question. And one of the first prerequisites stated on there was previous experience as a Chief Stewardess. This is the type of industry where everyone has to start at the bottom of the totem pole and work their way up. Even Bill Gates would have to start out as the lowly deckhand before moving up. It's just a fact. Unless your name is Martha Stewart. So please stop putting ideas into Haley's head. She would get laughed down the dock if she put in for a purser's position with no experience, and I would hate for that to happen.
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 9:09 PM
It's true she would, then she would be known by other stews as the girl who tried to get a pursers job without any experience and make it even harder on her to find something. Loose the ego for the sake of being right and think of Hayley's future.
rodsteel
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:24 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Anonymous wrote:
It's true she would, then she would be known by other stews as the girl who tried to get a pursers job without any experience and make it even harder on her to find something. Loose the ego for the sake of being right and think of Hayley's future.

 

Anon's

 

Interesting set of "blinders"

 

Every industry has its "proprietary" set of knowledge and skills. However, there is also a set "common" to all industries (especially when it comes to the knowledge and skills required for expert customer service and personnel management ).

 

The proprietary set can usually be acquired in a very short time-frame by an experienced individual. Whereas the common set usually requires an appropriate aptitude, personality and attitude to become an expert and takes years to perfect.

 

Any Captains (or recruiters) out there that recognize the "true" value (and vocational independence) of "non-yachting" experience, knowledge and skills?

 

 

Rod

 


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 3:48 AM
Blinders ? 70% of people in this industry have Higher Education....AND PREVIOUS YACHT EXPERIENCE, this girl probably doesn't even know if she gets sea sick yet. SO why would I hire her over someone who has both sets of skills. It is not blinders, it is Economics, supply and demand. And when the demand is low and the supply is high, I get get to choose from a greater more qualified resource pool. Now, break it down even further. How many of the Yacht's out there actually hire a purser? And how many yachts and how many chief stews and how many junior stews are out there? ??? Her chances are better to get a job on a professional athletics team. Don't offer false hope is all we are saying. It could affect her chances to actually get an entry level position like everybody else. Now, having said that, when she finds a job she will probably climb the ladder very quickly, from the bottom rung first. We are all wrong sometimes and constantly learning and meeting people smarter than ourselves...that is the beauty of anonymous posting, you don't put your reputation on the line every time you open your mouth.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 3:50 AM
Why don't you give her a job then Rod ? What are you running.
rodsteel
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 5:46 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Anonymous wrote:
Why don't you give her a job then Rod ? What are you running.


 

Anon,

 

Interesting assumption.  - at this time, I manage a small group of validation systems and servers in a test lab for a large chip manufacturer

 

 

Rod

 

P.S.  - other Anon - I understand "supply and demand" and "best fit for the position" - however, since I started following Docktalk, I had been getting the impression (maybe incorrectly) - that there is more demand than supply and a lack of competent personnel in certain sectors of the industry  - by the way, what good is an anonymous reputation?

 

P.P.S.  - FWIW, I think I've made my point - I'm done...


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 6:45 PM
You are correct, you did make your point and mine, You work in a factory, make assumptions about an industry that has left you behind and your reputation is such that no one will take you serious anymore. I, on the other hand live to fight another day. Cheers and thanks for the debate. Going to pick on Yachtone a little more on the next forum topic.
rodsteel
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 9:46 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Anonymous wrote:
You are correct, you did make your point and mine, You work in a factory, make assumptions about an industry that has left you behind and your reputation is such that no one will take you serious anymore. I, on the other hand live to fight another day. Cheers and thanks for the debate. Going to pick on Yachtone a little more on the next forum topic.


 

Anon,

 

I see my poor choice of words may have caused another interesting assumption

 

Rod

 


haleyd79
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 11:09 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


No worries, he didn't give me any false hope. I've read enough and talked to enough people to know that working from the bottom up is the way it goes in this industry... and most every other. To be honest, I would never apply for a position as a purser having no knowledge of how a yacht runs (administratively speaking that is). I'm just learning and I'm very excited to learn everything about the process! Becoming a stew is what I want to do and I can't wait to get started!!!!
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 4:39 PM
Hayley, did you read the snakes and ladders blog posted on the home page of this site ? Bit of insight there as well.
haleyd79
Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 8:35 PM
Joined: 16/04/2010
Posts: 23


No, I didn't. But I'll do that right now. Thanks!!
Henning
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 1:21 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


rodsteel wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
It's true she would, then she would be known by other stews as the girl who tried to get a pursers job without any experience and make it even harder on her to find something. Loose the ego for the sake of being right and think of Hayley's future.

 

Anon's

 

Interesting set of "blinders"

 

Every industry has its "proprietary" set of knowledge and skills. However, there is also a set "common" to all industries (especially when it comes to the knowledge and skills required for expert customer service and personnel management ).

 

The proprietary set can usually be acquired in a very short time-frame by an experienced individual. Whereas the common set usually requires an appropriate aptitude, personality and attitude to become an expert and takes years to perfect.

 

Any Captains (or recruiters) out there that recognize the "true" value (and vocational independence) of "non-yachting" experience, knowledge and skills?

 

 

Rod

 

I don't discount non yachting experience, but there is considerable proprietary experience required when you get on boats. Just buying sheets for a boat can be an adventure as the fitted sheets may have to be custom made because of odd shaped mattresses, that is just one example of scores of things. The proprietary list is actually long enough that for a bright individual, it would take 2 seasons as a working stew to get it figured out to the point of doing the pursers job well on a boat that would carry a purser.

Henning
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 1:42 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


rodsteel wrote:
I understand "supply and demand" and "best fit for the position" - however, since I started following Docktalk, I had been getting the impression (maybe incorrectly) - that there is more demand than supply and a lack of competent personnel in certain sectors of the industry  

Correct, you have incorrectly formed your impression because you only see a very lopsided perverted view of the industry from this site. There is no shortage of competent people in the industry to fill good positions. It's the crappy positions that are tough to fill with competent people because competent people won't take them. Just because it's a big expensive boat doesn't mean the job won't suck, actually, it's more likely to suck.

In my 20+ years in the aviation and maritime sectors, I have noticed some interesting parallels. First off, there is always an "Impending crew shortage right around the corner!!!" These notices are always brought to you by those who make their living off of training people to meet their "Glamorous New Career". There is nothing "glamorous" about either career. In over 20 years I have never seen a shortage of qualified personnel and unfilled jobs in either industry regardless of how crappy the pay and how substandard the quality of life issues were, and if you think yachting can be bad, you should check out what the right front seat of a regional airliner pays and what their quality of life is like.

Most of the good jobs are filled before the vacancy comes up. I have never seen a crew agent get a "good job" listing because a good berth doesn't require an agent to fill it. New people will probably have to go through a couple of crap jobs before they get a good one, and they'll get a good one because they'll be seen doing their crap job and doing it with a positive attitude. The people on the boat next door that you talk to know you have a crap job, and if they see you consistently doing your job with a good attitude, that's how you get invited over to the good jobs. Most of the good jobs are filled by good crew who when they know they are going to leave will try to help find their replacement.

rodsteel
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 9:29 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Henning,

 

 

Thanks for the positive (and useful) feedback.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Rod

 

P.S. Just one nit, though. Wouldn't previous pursers provide a list of "sources" via the yacht's books?

 


Henning
Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2:51 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


rodsteel wrote:

P.S. Just one nit, though. Wouldn't previous pursers provide a list of "sources" via the yacht's books?

 

Maybe, but maybe not. Might be operating in a new area, might be a new build, the "book" might be hers and all the receipts and accounting have already gone to the office. Some boats keep excellent records, some keep none. Thing is the purser has to be able to just step in and do it regardless of record or area of operations. It's not a new hire position. It's not impossible to learn, but it definitely takes some experience and even better when that experience come under the tutelage of someone who knows the job well.

Haya
Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 11:29 AM
Joined: 02/04/2010
Posts: 19


Henning wrote:

Most of the good jobs are filled before the vacancy comes up. I have never seen a crew agent get a "good job" listing because a good berth doesn't require an agent to fill it. New people will probably have to go through a couple of crap jobs before they get a good one, and they'll get a good one because they'll be seen doing their crap job and doing it with a positive attitude. The people on the boat next door that you talk to know you have a crap job, and if they see you consistently doing your job with a good attitude, that's how you get invited over to the good jobs. Most of the good jobs are filled by good crew who when they know they are going to leave will try to help find their replacement.


I tip my hat to you, Sir.

 
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