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Is 51 years old too old to start a career as a Yacht stewardess?

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by KateAdventure, Aug 25, 2015.

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  1. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    Hi, this may sound crazy at my age, but I've started my life over just recently and I have a real desire to pursue this type of career. Is it worth taking all the training at my age?

    Thank you!
  2. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    I should add, years ago I was a flight attendant before I got married and had children. Throughout those years I have worked in the same career (30 years) in food service as a sales representative calling on large territorys. I still work for a company in that industry for the last 11 years and just recently divorced this year and would like to pursue this career change if it's a possibility still. Thought I better add that, so things make a little more sense about my inquiry.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Hi Kate, and welcome to YF. Unfortunately the answer is no it's not a career for you at this age. You'd be the crew mom, and the closest there is to that position is the chief stew who's many years your junior, worked her way up, and you'd surely butt heads with. That's not to say there's no place in the industry for you if you're pationate about boats, (maybe sales?), but I certainly wouldn't give up an 11 year job at your age except for a lateral or upward move within your field.
    Best of luck.
  4. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    Well thank you, I figured as much but thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. I'll maybe look into the sales part of the industry.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Oh my....a couple of things. First, I imagine Nycap speaks for the majority of captains, as much as I hate to say it. I definitely wouldn't give up a job for it. I'd also do a lot of reading of people like Julie Perry who has written books and has the website, workonayacht.com. You might ask her why she's writing now instead of stewing too. I've always wanted to ask her that question. The reality is there are not a lot of stews over 50 and most of the ones are chief stews and have at least 25 years experience.

    Do you really want a job vacuuming and dusting and polishing silver and cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry? That's how most start.

    If this was something you really wanted to do, I'd suggest you take everything possible at Maritime school, all the stew courses. I might even suggest massage to have some extra skills. You'd have to build a great resume of your career experience plus stew training. That would take time and money, but you'd have to stand out somehow to get a shot and then it probably wouldn't come.

    I'd go talk to a couple of agencies and ask for their honest opinion just to satisfy myself. I suspect their answer will be just as strong a "no" as Nycap's.

    One other statement. Do not make a major life change or move in the first year (or more) after divorce. Don't do it after any major life event.

    If after that year, you find you just want to do something different then find something that takes advantage of your experience. Maybe it's another sales field. Maybe a different type job in food service.

    Now totally unrelated to boating but as a business person. I'm assuming you have some benefits at this point where you are, probably insurance, perhaps and hopefully disability. I'd advise anyone over 50 to be very careful about walking away from them. It has to be for something more certain than stewing. Regardless of law (and at 51 you are part of a protected class) age discrimination is alive and well. Be very careful about what you make a change for. It might not be at all as promised and six months later you'll find yourself 52 and unemployed.
  6. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    Hi Oldboater, I knew this was maybe a little crazy and admitted that but it's something I've always wished I would have pursued years ago but couldn't because of other choices I made, like having my children which was GREAT! The work part the job did'nt phase me at all either because hard work both physical and mental never bothered me one bit, I take pride in everything I do and do my best.

    I do appreciate you taking the time to post to me and offer me the extended advise as well. I got the answer I was seeking and I trust you both that it would be a waist of time most likely for me, so I thank you. I'm obviously looking for a change and still want to search out something different from what I'm doing today because I'm actually feeling quite bored with my life now and think it's just finally that time. I was separated for a long time before the divorce too, so it's at lot longer that I've been on my own. I am financially in pretty good shape to make a change as well, so I'll keep on searching and asking questions, I'm sure I'll find an answer one day for myself, I hope! :)
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It's possible to get a job as a stewardess on yachts, but your options are going to be a lot more limited at this age. The stewardessing on a charter yacht is a job for the young, as most days are 12-17 hours of work. You might have a show on a privately owned yacht with a very easy going schedule and owners.
  8. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    Thanks Capt J, I guess it never hurts to at least try right? All anyone can say to me is "NO" or not answer me and I've lost nothing from that.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    That's all.

    One thing about wishing one had done something else. I don't know if you've seen movies or watched X-Files when they've had situations allowing re-do's. Someone would go back and live the time over and over again. Lot's of things in my life I wish had been different, yet I wouldn't change any of them because then I wouldn't be where I am now with the life I have.

    One of the problems of stew life is makes having and enjoying a family nearly impossible. You sure would have missed so much with your kids.

    You might still talk to an agent who maybe has had some ladies to do what you' have in mind.
  10. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    Oh I have no regrets about the choices that I made except for who I married lol, but that's it! I will still at least try and continue my journey of searching for something more suitable for my age as well now. I appreciate your responses to me and I'll come back to this thread when I get something figured out and let you know how I'm doing.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    If you have a passion for boats, and are financially secure, maybe you should consider being an owner rather than a worker. Maybe even go into a shared ownership program where you can enjoy a crewed yacht for several weeks each year. It's a lot more fun being the owner than the worker (although more expensive).
    Also (and I'll put on my firesuit for this) when I hear 51 and all these changes going on, you know what I'm thinking. Make sure something else doesn't push you into a foolish or self-defeating move. My wife claims I had a mid-life crisis when I was 38. I didn't feel it, but I did totally change my life (moving to So. FLorida) and career (sold my business and became a captain). Fortunately though I was young enough to pull it off and be successful. It took me years to establish myself though as I was considered old and nobody was going to give me any breaks. Another thing, when I was 50 I blinked for a second, and when my eyes opened I was turning 65. Amazing how fast those years go. This is the time to start protecting your future, not risking it. That doesn't mean there can't be all sorts of adventures ahead. Just choose wisely.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I hope the OP isn't under any impression that this board as a whole shares your views, Nycap. I'm saying it nicely. Belle is not saying it so nicely but resisting posting. No wonder we don't have more female participants.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    She's looking for a job, not to be an owner.

    Judging by her screen name she's looking for adventure and etc. You know another option for Kate would be flying to Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere, and working as a mate on the Water Taxi to get her feet wet and have a steady job working on boats, until she gets a job on a yacht.
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sorry that you took offense, but I've lived through it and it would be doing her a disservice not to at least encourage her to consider it. As I pointed out we're all (male and female) subject to a similar condition at a fairly predictable age, and we almost all deny it (even to ourselves) while it's happening. There was absolutely no offense intended.
  15. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    KateAdventure: If you are at a point in your life where you are looking to fulfill a dream, have the emotional and financial security to withstand career risks, then go for it! You just never know. The worst case is you tried and can scratch it off your list which is better than always wondering "if..." FWIW, my mother was in her 60s when she heard that Tiffany's was opening a new store and looking for applicants. As crazy as it seemed, she applied. Just so happens, they were looking for a "mature" look. My mother had been a stay at home Mom her whole life with zero sales experience. She became one of Tiffany's top salespersons and won numerous awards. While speaking personal, I started my career as a yacht broker after my divorce. Having been a former yacht owner, I had never worked a day in my life either. I love my job!! Sometimes age brings maturity, wisdom, and experience into a job and there is are employers who see the value in that.

    Good luck in whatever endeavour you seek!

    Judy
  16. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    One way into the business could be if you have enough administration skills to sell yourself as a purser. I am a little bit older than your stated age and do have a few years of experience as well as good qualifications related to the business and do see others who have experience and qualifications having trouble finding decent jobs when the only thing against them is age. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that discrimination of various kinds is not alive and well in this business.
  17. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Kate,

    Good wisdom from various ages and genders here. Keep it all in perspective. In 2003, I had this unheard of (hair-brain!) idea of starting an online magazine. At the time, the internet was relatively new to mainstream and print magazines were alive & well. Come to think of it, so was the 35mm camera!

    I got my start in publishing by losing my first fortune. In 1998, I sold my company to a Canadian aerospace & transportation manufacturer, then used the proceeds to help the NASDAQ break-thru the 5,000 threshold. It returned the favor by taking away 10 years of blood, sweat and tears. I had no business in the stock market. I'm a lousy gambler!

    I started all over post-911. I had written some technical articles over the years for several marine publications. I was inspired to write because so many of the editors knew-knot what they were talking about. I landed a job with a very respected yachting magazine and soon found out, they didn't actually go onboard or seatrial boats, they just published fluffy press releases cleverly disguised as reviews. I thought I could do better...

    Starting all over at age 43, my peers in print told me I was crazy. Now, they are looking for jobs and their past employers are looking to buy YachtForums. In retrospect, I'd be a LOT further ahead had a stayed the course of my previous career, but it's not always about money. It's about meaning, purpose and if you're lucky, fulfilling your destiny.

    I'm in my mid-fifties and like you, I'm also at a crossroads; considering yet another adventure in capitalism.

    Kate, it's never too late.
  18. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    Good morning! I sure did'nt take any offense to anyone's feedback and appreciated the honesty and reality of what I was up against. I also think I have even more against me, the lack of related experience in this type of industry but on the flip side, what I so possess is that I'm a really good sales person and have had great success because of that talent of mine. The biggest asset I can bring to the table is that I can adjust to any and all situations and to people to achieve a sale per say or in getting what I want done in the drop of a hat and it comes off naturally because I've done this for so long (some call it reading people).

    If I give up without even trying, I will probably regret it, so I will approach this like I have with anything in my life thus far, give it my best shot and see where it takes me, who knows maybe this effort will open another door I never even considered for myself.
  19. KateAdventure

    KateAdventure New Member

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    I love your story too! What an interesting life you've had. I truly believe it's about taking risks otherwise life is boring really and that's how I have been feeling about mine. I wonder if it's a coincidence that I got an email this morning with this quote of the day by Mark Twain???

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you did'nt do than by the the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sales. Explore, Dream, Discover."
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    In my 20's, and newly married, I moved cross-country to Tucson, Az. Within 2 weeks I knew it was the wrong place for me and we were back living 60 miles east of where we started. Mistake? No, a stepping stone that has lead me to a wonderful life, and one with no regrets about a path not taken. There have been many other stepping stones since that some would call mistakes, but they led me to the life I live today which is a good one with still no regrets for paths I didn't take. I took them. Some worked and some didn't. Fortunately for me I have a wife who on her own would still be living where we lived in the 70's and still be working at the same job. I'm too fast to jump, and she wouldn't jump at all on our own, but together I pull her forward and she makes me think before jumping. You have to be both people. As we get closer to retirement though we need to be more protective of ourselves. Like with investments. In your 20's you take big risks in hopes of big rewards. In our 60's we deal in more Blue Chips for a smaller return but more security. Keep your adventurous side alive, well and satisfied, but also protect yourself.

    K1W1's comment about working as a purser got me thinking. Have you considered the cruise lines? There's travel, adventure, the sea, and a lot of jobs there which may value experience and ability over youth.

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