News

Unconventional Ways Crew Find Work

13 January 2009By Matt Brown

Getting a job on a megayacht typically involves three main methods:

1) Walking the docks
2) Networking with people you know in the industry
3) Job hunting through crew recruitment agencies

The current industry paradigm is that crew recruitment agents are the best way to find a new position. However, in a recent Dockwalk.com survey of nearly 800 crew, only 24% found their last job through a crew agent.

So what are the unconventional methods some crew are using to seek out that all-important next position?

1. Online Classifieds

A growing number of crew are turning to online classifieds, job boards and forums. Sites like Anglo Info and Craig’s List are growing in popularity with each passing season. These central listings sites, which feature free online classified advertisements, enable you to “virtually” meet with potential employers. The challenge, of course, is finding the right site in the vast web of cyberspace. But with so many people focused on finding work in the megayacht industry, it won’t take long to find one that resonates with you.

2. Social Media Sites
A growing number of yachting companies and associated parties are venturing onto online community sites like our very own Dockwalk.com and Facebook to promote their products and services. Jobs can be posted here, and fellow yachties can share their hot tips and advice. It’s no surprise then that more and more crew are looking to social media sites to gain employment.

3. Cyber CV/Resumes
Aggressive online marketing of your maritime skills does not stop there, however. Yachties are now posting their CVs on online directory sites designed specifically for crew looking to gain employment.

In the past few months, I’ve also taken a number of business cards from dock walkers that provide a link to their own personal website where you can download their CV or resumé and view other reference information. This is a very smart way to ensure captains can access the latest version of your CV.

4. Random Events and Chance Meetings
Some crew simply strike gold in the most unexpected places. Here are a couple of recent examples:

A first-season stewardess was hitchhiking back from the last Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show as she couldn’t afford the cab fare to the crew house where she was staying. A plumber happened to be driving by and offered her a ride, which she accepted. He mentioned that he had to stop by at a yacht in the Fort Lauderdale Marine Center, but said he could drop her off after his appointment. After explaining her situation to the plumber, he insisted on introducing her to the captain of the yacht. She was interviewed that same day and the following morning was offered the job.

After coming up empty in his job hunt in the French Riviera last season, a deckhand decided to take a break and go surfing in Malta. It turned out that M/Y Huntress was docked in the main port, so he went by on the off chance of striking it lucky. The yacht, as he expected, was fully crewed, but he was invited out with the crew that evening. The following morning, one of the crew never pitched up at work and was consequently fired. As a result, the deckhand was offered the position.

It’s ironic to think that all of this came down to the fact that he decided to go surfing!

A Student of Possibility
Whether you’re an experienced crewmember or a “newbie”, staying flexible and open to exploring other avenues for new positions will always work to your advantage—you never know where or how that next position will present itself to you.