The Art of Networking

When it comes the yachting industry, you are only as good your reputation and most recent recommendation. This is why you need to be mindful of how you present yourself. Whether you’re dock walking or socialising at the local watering hole; treat every public appearance as a chance to acquire employment. To succeed in this field you must, amongst other things, perfect the art of networking.


The tricky thing about the yachting industry is that you cannot get ahead on skill alone. Captains are looking to hire likeable crew; candidates who can easily interact with passengers without being either too awkward or too familiar. If you find your personality is on one side of the extreme you needn’t dismay. Networking is something you can master as well as you would any other skill. There are a few things to bear in mind:


Be a go-getter


You can’t expect employment opportunities and job offers to fall into your lap.You’re certainly going to have to work for them. The most successful yacht professionals are the ones who have explored all the possible avenues in their job search. Not only have they signed up to sites like Crew HQ, but they go dock walking, attend yacht crew mixers and events, hang out in popular pubs and bars.

Networking can’t and won’t happen if you choose to sit on the couch at home.

Socialise with people in the industry, make connections and contacts that you can use in the future. Talk to fellow yachties and ask industry veterans for advice. It is very easy to make the close-knit nature of the yachting community work for you.


Show interest


People tend to like being listened to more than they like to listen themselves. A sure way to get into someone’s good graces is to be interested in them and what they find important. Get people talking about what they enjoy and they will respond to you easier. Look people in the eyes when they are talking, but don’t stare blankly. Nod at appropriate moments and smile genuinely. There is nothing more charming than a broad smile and kind eyes so actually enjoy yourself when socialising with other because any feelings of nerves or insincerity will be read immediately and people will shut you out.


TIP: a sure way of remembering someone’s name when they’ve told you is by repeating it 4 or 5 times in the interaction you have. Not only will it be pleasantly noted by the person but you will definitely remember it if you ever meet again.



Sell yourself

Yacht workers provide a service; to create a memorable experience for passengers through delivering effortless, first class care. You are your asset, your skill-set, experience and accomplishments are going to be your best selling point. Don’t be afraid to brag.


We are so used to operating in a society where being validated and accepted by others is the norm that when it comes time to talking ourselves up we stumble. You entered the yachting industry because you’re keen to work, don’t mind getting your hands dirty, and you are willing to go over and above the call of duty; celebrate that. You can’t convince others of your potential and worth if you don’t believe it yourself.



Be memorable


There’s no need to pierce your face in 14 different places to make sure people remember you. You might consider wearing an eye-catching accessory, prepare a hilarious anecdote, or even show off a quirky skill; but make sure to leave people with a lasting memory of you. Often times crew looking to hire will run through their memory reel of interesting, likeable acquaintances before they look through resumes. If the Deckhand recalls you wearing a red flower barrette, the Chief Stew might remember your name. Viola, you land yourself an interview.


I repeat, because this cannot be stressed enough; there is no need to be outrageous or attention seeking when it comes to being memorable. Less is more, better a whisper than a roar.


Mind your language


As charming as the saying is, swearing like a sailor is far from it. Hiring crew are always looking for reasons to disqualify candidates from the crew seeking process. They are overwhelmed by the number of applicants that finding a reason to axe someone from the list is too welcomed.

Don’t make it easy for them.


A curse word will definitely slip out here and there, and we don’t expect you to be a saint when unwinding with mates after a hard day’s work. Punctuating all your sentences with a swear word or using them as adjectives, however, might mean a potential employer loses faith in your ability to restrain yourself around passengers and that would be a shame.


Your body language has the potential to be as damaging as the words that come out your mouth. Be sure to keep your body language open and receptive. Men will be threatened by stances that are overtly dominant or territorial while women tend to mirror body language so if your hands are crossed along your chest, they too will close themselves off in a similar fashion. Respect people’s personal space, be sensitive to peers who might not want to talk to you by not insisting on carrying on with the conversation. This is easily done by being mindful of how you are presenting yourself and how it is being received.


Lastly, don’t look at networking as a manner of manipulating people in order to get what you want. You’re forming bonds and making relationships with people you will be interacting with throughout your career. Consider them friends, you will help them when you can and they will come to your aid if you need them. Once you look at it like that sincerity and your genuine self will shine through. Treat people like pawns and you’ll be iced out of the industry faster than you can say, “Winter Season.”