I am so excited to have found this forum today. I have read back through the previous posts and already feel armed with lots of valid and helpful information. I still have a few questions though which I'm hoping somebody can clarify further.
Firstly, a bit about me
I am 31 years old and have been working primarily as a Personal Assistant at senior level for 12 years. Prior to that, I was a silver service waitress for 2 years in the hotel industry. For 8 months, I ran a 12 bedroom boutique B&B in the UK for a friend of mine (which involved every task from the weekly banking to cleaning the toilets!) but unfortunately he sold the business so I turned back to my previous role as PA.
I had a child very young and, despite always working full-time, my career has had to take a back seat due to my being a single parent. I always knew that I wanted to travel the world, work hard and climb that ladder and that I just needed to be patient for a while. Well my son turns 16 next month, is very independent and has expressed a wish to move into a houseshare with his two best friends before they all start college in September. And as heartwrenching as that is, it also means I am that much closer to climbing that first step of my ladder
A dear friend of mine got into the world of yachting by 'flip-flopping' as a chalet host for the ski season and as a stewardess on yachts. After two seasons, she realised this was the life for her, trained as a chef and has since had a very successful and long career. She came off yachts a couple of years ago to begin her family but does hope to return to it when she can.
Listening to her stories - the good and the bad - I know that this is what I want to do. As a PA, it is natural for me to play a supporting role and strive to make the life of my employer/s as easy as possible. It is a job I do very well and am dedicated to. I often find in the roles I am placed in that, due to my organisational skills and 'neat freak' attitude, I am asked to take charge of more junior members of staff and manage/oversee the smooth running of the office generally. I feel that these strengths would serve me well as a Junior Stewardess initially and would help me towards attaining Chief Stewardess in time. Similarly, I believe that my experience within the hotel industry and my high personal standards in providing customer service would lend well to this position.
I am an educated, presentable and hard working individual. Being a young mum and single parent, I am not afraid of sacrificing sleep or weekends. I am also well travelled (specifically Europe and the Caribbean) with a passion to see more.
If you have read all of that (and thank you if you have!), my questions now are:-
- Would you recommend this as a good career choice for someone with my background?
- I need to save up to take the qualifications required, but once I have them, where do I start? I have heard people talking about "dock walking" in Antibes, however, I would prefer to have a job lined up rather than "winging it" as I will obviously need to put things in place back home for my son before I disappear for months on end.
- Is it typical to keep swapping yachts or do crew tend to stay with one Capt and/or Owner?
- How much can you realistically earn at entry level?
- What do you find yourself spending your money on?
- How long can you be onboard without touching dry land at any one time? Just out of curiosity.
- What is your best 'career memory' to date? And in contrast, what has been your worst experience?
- What is the typical age of crew? One of the reasons I was turned off the airline industry was due to the extremely young crew. It makes sense to me that if you are spending so much time with your crewmates, it would be nice to make lasting friendships and being 31, I'm not sure I want to be surrounded by 18/19 year olds. No offense!
- Lastly, does anyone have any contacts?
("if you don't ask, you don't get" as my mother always says)
Thank you so much if you have read this far! Your answers/advice are much appreciated and I look forward to becoming a knowledgeable contributor to this forum.