At what point do you start giving up on the dream of joining the yachting industry? After only two weeks of being here, some people have said they’re giving themselves another two and then calling it a day and heading home. Others have and will wait for months on end before their dream job (or any job) is offered to them.
I can’t begin to explain how much luck is involved when it comes to finding your first job. Right place, right time. What a cliché. But it’s never been truer. I arrived in Antibes almost ten days before some of my friends did. I didn’t dock walk every day of those ten but from what I did do I found nothing. No interviews, no leads. Nada.
On day ten I found myself sitting twiddling my thumbs in the Cannes police station because a French guy who had taken a liking to me and felt he could help me network, ran a red light. I phoned my friend to pass the time and find out how her first day of dock walking was going. ‘Well’, she said. ‘I got a job’. I wanted to rip Tomas’s head off and my own for that matter for wasting my time in a police station instead of finding a job. But it wasn’t anyone’s fault, she had just been standing at the right place when the time was right. 8 days of day work = 800 euro. Good for the wallet and the experience. Another fellow Saffa decided she wanted to use her first week in France to have fun and explore. She went to Paris with her sexy man friend, came back and accepted a job offer. Don’t think she even knows what the port looks like.
Others are not so lucky. I’ve spoken to a number of people who are about ready to pack up and head home with no job or money after months and months of trying. At that moment, when at their most desperate, something comes along. Someone pointed out a spot in the port where he’d spent the night under a car. The next morning he found a captain looking for an engineer to day work. When you’ve got nothing left to lose… claim it. For a couple hours he polished the engine till it looked better than new until he eventually had to confess that he was incapable of doing much else to it. The captain gave him a couple weeks work.
As if finding your first yacht job isn’t difficult enough……
Things I have learnt about the industry while trying to become a part of it:
- You may very well be faced with a lot of in-your-face-prostitution
- If you thought you had hospitality experience (like I did), you still don’t know what it’s like to squeaky clean a shower after every single shower someone takes. That and ironing sheets on the bed. 5 Star service baby!
- Living on a boat is like being on an un-aired big brother show. Cameras almost everywhere.
- You might have to work 20 hour days. This includes waiting for guests to finish partying until and then clean it up.
- Cruising the Med and then working so hard that you may not see more than the port.
- More money per month than a degree-holding 20 something year old (from South Africa) could imagine
- Possibly rubbing shoulders with famous people. Whoever knows me well understands this is a big perk.
- Eating chef cooked meals everyday
- Becoming part of an industry and a world that most people know nothing about. Our World is 3 quarters water right? Cant say you’ve seen the ‘World’ if you’ve missed out the oceans!
***I’ve only been here three weeks. What I’ve seen and done is nothing compared to some people. I mean, I did have to paraphrase a lot to make this vaguely interesting. Hang in there for some original stuff!
You also just get to have an awesome time in general….once you get over stressing about a job.