Name: Sol Brooks
Yacht: M/Y Ramble on Rose
Years in current position: 7 months
Years in industry: 4
Previous vessels: M/Y Hanikon, M/Y Martha Ann
The final position I aspire to be in the yachting industry is a captain, one who has pushed his limits and is versatile in the types of vessels he can manage. I would like to be experienced enough to secure a job that would allow me to maintain an efficient balance between yachting and a personal life.
If I weren’t on a yacht, I would probably be finishing up university with a degree in aeronautical technologies and pilot studies, following my other passion of being a pilot. I plan on putting some income aside so that I can achieve that recreationally.
The toughest part of the job is keeping your head clear and mindset positive. It’s harder for some than others, but as long as you maintain a positive and clear mental state, then you can tackle any job to your full extent and without unnecessary risk.
My advice for those looking to get started is to be organized. Job hunting is probably the only time in the industry when you have the least amount of responsibility, so do it right. Systematically work through your agencies, have your cover letter on standby, and keep your CV up to date. But also be social and speak to people — it wouldn’t be the first time someone has landed themselves an interview while at the bar.
I personally believe that I should always be looking to better myself, so I constantly strive to learn new skills that I have an interest in or pick up new qualifications that allow me to go further in the industry. More frequently, positions are appearing with specialist skill requirements, so if you have an interest in something, dedicate some time to pursue it.
The most important thing I’ve learned is don’t take life too seriously. It’s a complex job with new issues arising every day, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Otherwise, it’ll run you down mentally and physically. Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that it’s just a job.
My biggest achievement has been the personal development that this industry has allowed me to accomplish in such a short period of time. I believe I have come a long way from the inexperienced 18 year old I was when I first began.
I began in the yachting hub of Antibes, trying my hardest to find daywork and stand out from the rest while also making new lifelong friends. I’m thankful for the advice I was given by my family members who are also in the industry. However, I never truly knew what to expect until I landed my first job.
Best deck tip: Always turn up early — that way, you’re never late.
This column originally ran in the October 2020 issue of Dockwalk.