Beyond the sea: How to find a job after yachting

Beyond the sea: How to find a job after yachting 

By Georgia Tindale 

Thanks to our network of over 89,000 professionals who are currently using our platform, at Yotspot, we are very much aware of the fast-paced nature of the job market. 

Although some will, of course, enter yachting as a life-long profession, there are many who will look to move from a crew role across to a shore-based position, whether in the industry or outside of it – a transition which can initially seem to be a daunting one. 

Here, we catch up again with Gemma Hulbert, Sophie Wells and Rachael Avara. All former chief stews, and now Company Founder and Online Trainers respectively, they are just some of the expert team behind ‘The Yacht Stew’ which is one of the world’s largest global communities of superyacht stews. Gemma, Sophie and Rachael share their top tips for getting ahead once you’ve decided to move on from an onboard role. 

First off, what can you do with a yachting hospitality background?

Sophie Wells:
It is amazing to see all the different avenues with stewardesses have gone into, as there are so many transferable skills that you gain from yachting. It is not just in hospitality – people are setting up their own floristry businesses for example. Or you can become more involved in the industry on the more corporate side of things, perhaps in recruitment or account management. 

There are so many land-based jobs you can do – you bring so much of that knowledge you have gained about different individuals from different backgrounds, and that is worth a lot. This knowledge can push you forward and help you get a really good, high-paying and well-respected land-based job. It’s definitely a career starter. 

How do prospective employers outside of yachting respond to you?

Rachael Avara:
Everyone that I have spoken to that isn’t familiar with the industry are always so impressed by it when I tell them that I am a former stew, so we are obviously doing something right! We are getting a lot of skills out of it too – big ones are time management and efficiency. 

When you’re working on a boat, there is a lot to get done quickly, but it has to be done to an incredibly high standard and a beautifully presented manner. This approach transfers across to anything else you might do in life. 

What are some of the other attributes found in those who have come from yachting? 

Gemma Hulbert:
In my experience, former yachties are incredibly resourceful, as you often find yourself in a country you’ve never been before, having to supply XYZ to your guests with no communication prior to that! You also become very resilient, as you are used to working away from your friends and family – we don’t have that codependency and need to be home all the time or surround ourselves with familiarity. This makes us very adaptable too I think!

Also, with all of the stews I speak to, their work ethic is absolutely off the charts. When you’re on board, you wake up and go straight to work – and then you work and go to sleep again, and that’s normal. This means people are very driven and so excel in roles such as client relations in a large bank, hotel management or running their own businesses. 

Of course, sometimes it’s good to be able to take a step back from work and not feel guilty, and it also makes you feel grateful for any other job where you are given more time off! This feels totally amazing. 

Finally, you mentioned people starting their own businesses after leaving a crew role. What are your top tips for entrepreneurs in this situation? 

Rachael Avara: I was in this situation, as I knew that I wanted to set up my own event planning firm – now ROAM Home + Events – so I knew I would need to invest back into myself. 

Instead of splurging on the Louis Vuitton bag with my charter tip, I would use it on really beautifully styled shoots or marketing material. I anything that I could to build my side hustle while I was getting all of these tips, because I knew that it wasn’t ging to last. 

That is another important point to end on actually – it is worth bearing in mind that if you come into the industry very young, at the age of 18 or something and it’s all you’ve ever known, you need to have an understanding that yachting money is not real-life money. You can’t be expecting to make 20 grand per month in a regular job, but the payoff is, they probably won’t expect you to work quite so many hours! 

To find out more about the exciting range of roles offered within the yachting industry, visit our Yotspot jobs listings here.