Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that there is a
use for networking in the yachting industry. In fact, if you’re able to work
the room in the right way, it can open doors and provide a step up on that
career ladder. When it comes to getting your next job, finding and recruiting
talented new crew or picking up some helpful career advice, knowing the right
people and being known by the right people can make a huge difference.
“I certainly never want to be considered a schmooze,
but I must confess that there is a certain amount of schmoozing involved,
especially at boat shows, parties, broker days and anytime you’re surrounded by
other yachting professionals,” says one captain who would prefer to remain
nameless. “I get cards from everyone and then at the end of the day I make a
little note on the back to remind me who they are. I’m lucky, I have a good
memory for names and faces!”
Anyone can be the life of the party, but there is a big difference in making an
impression that people will want to remember and one that people would like to
forget. Here are the top five tips for networking the right way.
drunk! This can
be a tough one as it’s hard at these events, which often are parties where booze freely flows, to stick to
one or two drinks – especially when everyone else has hard three or four…or
more. But being the only one in the room who remembers the evening is better than being the
only one in the room everyone else remembers because you fell off your stool
and were carried out. A bit of Dutch courage is understandable, but there is no
need to be bouncing off the walls because people will notice.
“I would put a large, black mark against the name of
anyone who I had seen wasted at a work thing,” says Chief Stewardess
Amanda. “They wouldn’t be getting a job with me any time soon.”
Networking is all about good first impressions. While you might not need to don your glad rags – unless of course it is the kind of event that requires
full-on evening dress – make sure you are dressed appropriately.
Fancy dress is another issue in the yachting industry,
as everyone likes a theme party. But be aware – don’t dress too risqué or you
may get phone calls for the wrong reasons.
Don’t be too
pushy. Although you want to put yourself out there, don’t
be too forceful. Common courtesy applies. Don’t jump into other people’s
conversations and be polite.
Be prepared. Make
sure you’re able to give people the information they need as soon as they ask
for it. Have business cards printed with your name, telephone number and email
address. You might consider including your job title, qualifications and a photo
as well, just to help people put a face to a name. Business cards are a much
better option at networking events than a CV.
“If I’m out and
about, I keep the business cards that I am given by interesting people,”
says Capt. John. “But if I’m handed a CV, it tends to be left on a table somewhere.
It’s just impractical to be carrying lots of paper around.”
fear of rejection. Some people will like you, some won’t, that is
just the way life is. Don’t be afraid to approach someone because you are
worried that you might be knocked back. It will happen, but sometimes it won’t
and you never know which contact is really worth making.
Get out there and make yourself known. Be confident
but never cocky, make an impression, make it a good one, and in the words of
President Roosevelt, “Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.” But
maybe leave the big stick at home.
Keep Your CV on Top