Seven Habits of Highly Successful Crew

30 April 2008 By Kelly Sanford

Want to stand out in a sea of professional crew? Here are some quick tips to improve your performance, your personality, and your professionalism while enjoying and growing in your crew career.

Choose Wisely – Before you take a job, have a clear idea of your priorities and how realistic they are. If the thought of six consecutive 80-plus-hour work weeks makes your knees buckle, then you will not be happy on a busy charter boat no matter what it pays.

Be prepared to ask questions. Insist on meeting the rest of the crew. Make sure you are given a detailed job description, so there are no surprises on your new job.

Don’t assume that just because a close friend thinks a job will be right for you that it will be. You must evaluate every option for yourself.

Once you accept a job, be prepared to do the job you were hired to do. Gunning for another crewmember’s job or shopping around for a better offer will have an adverse impact on your performance.

Take Pride in Your Work –Whatever your job description is, take ownership of those responsibilities. Always try to do your job better than you did the week before, and show a genuine interest in being the best at what you do.

Once you feel you have mastered your job, seek to raise your game. The key is to do your job at a level where your efforts are noticed.

Be Reliable and Loyal – Professionalism and reliability go hand in hand. If the captain says the on-deck time is 7 a.m., then that means you’d better be finished with your coffee and breakfast and ready to work before that time.

Be consistent with your work ethic. Everyone will make mistakes. The key is not to let your mistakes or waning motivation consume you. No one expects you to be perfect, but you will be expected to learn from your mistakes.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Minor details should not become major issues. Working long hours and living in close quarters can magnify the most miniscule of problems and make even the simplest request seem totally unreasonable. You must learn to keep a rational and positive perspective.

Be Discreet and Professional – Keep your personal problems out of the boat’s business. A desirable crewmember will not let personal problems or habits affect the rest of the crew or the guests. Drug use, drinking problems and cigarette dependency have no place among desirable crew. Keep your love life, your financial woes, your family dramas, car problems, and crew rivalries to yourself.

As for boat business, keep that private. No matter what happens on the boat, it should stay there, especially if you are not directly involved.

Take an Interest in Your Clientele – The better you know your clients, the more effective you will be in seeing to their needs. The first and most fundamental goal is to learn names. Write them down if you have to, but learn them. This is the first step in developing a sense of familiarity with anyone. Then learn to recognize what they enjoy. Connect with your clients.

Become Indispensable – Make the owner feel like life is easier, better, and more fulfilling when you are around. Be entertaining. Be informative. Be very good at saying “yes.” Remember always: Yachting should be fun, and so should you.