7 Ways to Make the Move from Ship to Shore

9 September 2009 By Di Thompson

Have you unexpectedly found yourself in the position of having to take a land-based job – maybe for the first time in years, or ever?

With the recent wave of yachts forced to reduce crew due to the economic downturn, some captains and crew have been forced to consider moving ashore to find work. While for some, this may be a temporary measure until the global financial crisis begins to stabilize, for others it can lead to a permanent, more settled life on land.

A yachting background is well respected in any many other areas of expertise since it demands a diverse range of skills that not everyone can master. Marine Industry Human Resources Coordinator Janice Dubois, who served on yachts for more than 10 years, says, “There will always be work available for marine industry professionals who truly wish to find it. This is an industry about service of a superior standard and such standards are sought after worldwide.”

Here are seven ways to make your transition from ship to shore a smooth one.

1. Update Your CV

Add your new career objective at the top. If you are seeking permanent employment in a land-based role, be sure to make this clear on your CV, as well as verbally to your prospective new employers. If they think you are going to return to sea, they may not consider hiring you.

2. Choose Your Region

Your former crew job may dictate a good spot to settle. For chefs and engineers, a new home base in the South of France could make your search for work easy indeed. For the interior crew, you will always find beautiful homes nestled in desirable locations that are seeking housekeepers, estate managers and butlers, some with a live-in option.

3. Find a Home Base

This may be as easy as bunking in with people you know until you find a place of your own. Sharing a house with new friends or a hostel full of backpackers can be a fun break from living aboard a yacht. Who didn’t enjoy their first Fort Lauderdale and Antibes crew house experience?

4. Work Can Be Play

When it comes to seeking out a new position of employment, why not choose to do something you enjoy? Many yacht crew love watersports. If you’ve been working on deck, you may have some PWC or kayak instructing experience. All beachfront hotels and resorts have an aquatic activities department that can use your skills.

5. Use Your Network

Many captains have the right skills to take on a new role as a yacht broker. Chances are you already have friends in the business. Speak to them about opportunities in their line of work. These roles are nearly always commission-driven, though some come with a retainer. When you consider the commission earnings on the sale of a 150-foot, or larger, vessel, this might sound like an attractive option.

6. Take a Course of Study

A business or marine science degree could be a sound investment in a land-based future. If you’ve made it through your certification courses, how hard can it be?

7. Take Some Time For You

If you can afford it, take some time off to explore your future options more carefully. Like many crew who have made the move from sea to shore, you may find your shipboard career can open many land-based doors.