How To Set Yourself Up For Success on Superyachts -- with Carrie Freeman

interviews May 21, 2018
If you’re looking at a yachting job, you may have lots of questions and concerns - how can you stand out from the crowd? What if you don’t like your coworkers? Does the work get boring after awhile? Do you need to rely on a crew agency to find a job?

We’re here today with Carrie, a 10-year veteran stewardess who now works for a yacht brokerage. She’s here to reassure you that if you take the leap and go for it, you’ll have an experience you won’t regret!


Carrie, before we dive in, tell us a little about your background and how you came to yachting.



I’m from Chicago originally and had a background in business. I had no idea that yachting was even something you could do, but I met some yachties when I was traveling in Florida, and they got me interested in the field.


I started doing some research, and then I just decided to dive in and go for it! I worked for 10 years as a stewardess, traveled a ton, and then recently made the decision to move back to a shore position working for a yacht brokerage.


Thanks, Carrie! We’re so happy to chat with you and hear your advice for those looking to break into this industry.


Carrie’s Top 5 Tips for How To Set Yourself Up for Success on Superyachts!


Have Something Special to Offer


Want to set yourself apart from the crowd of applicants to superyacht jobs? Chances are, you already have a skill that’s valuable - figure out what it is, and highlight when you’re talking about yourself and your background.

Carrie points out that onboard success comes down to making the guest experience something incredible -- leaving an impression of their trip that goes above and beyond the norm.


How can you create the best experience?


Talented artist? Can you lead watercolor classes onboard to help guests take home a memory of that beautiful Caribbean water?


Experienced nanny? Market those skills for family outings where the parents want capable, experienced help to watch their kids while they enjoy water sports and evening dinners.


Dancer? Singer? Firedancer? Karaoke master? You can add entertainment value and help the yacht’s events leave an impression.


And of course, traditional tourism and hospitality skills are valuable -- whether you’re a sommelier or a massage therapist, make sure you list all of your skills on your yachting resume.


Embrace Your Impact


Working on a yacht, your job is to make other people’s vacations spectacular. It can be a really energizing experience -- especially when you work with guests who have never taken this type of trip before.


If you’re able to look past the monotonous side of the work and realize how critical you are to ensuring this experience -- often a once-in-a-lifetime journey for families -- you’ll truly appreciate the opportunity to make someone else’s life better, all while you’re building skills and saving money yourself.


You’ll be able to bring this attitude to your daily work and provide a better onboard experience, making you a more valuable worker to the boat’s owners and managers!



Be An Active Networker


Your network is everything when it comes to yachting -- whether it’s your first job or your fifth.


When you’re just getting started, join all of the yachtie crew groups you can on social media. Many boats prefer to hire new crew members organically, relying on recommendations or networking referrals. And social media is a huge part of this process.


You never know where your next job will come from or who will think of you when they hear of a vacancy. And looking ahead, your fellow deckhands and crewmates will be captains someday! So work hard, network like crazy, and keep your reputation clean, and you’ll find that jobs will come to you.


Make Sure The Fit Is RIght


You might not love everything about your superyacht job. Whether it’s a prickly co-worker or an itinerary that’s not your favorite, something about the job might bother you. It’s hard to expect perfection, but make sure that you are choosing a position that you can live with in the long term.


Recognize the difference between non-negotiables, and the discomforts of small space living.


Avoid captains, owners, or coworkers that seem to lack transparency or integrity; having strong leadership on your yacht is one of the most critical things you can find to give yourself a good working environment.  The other important piece is respect among the crew.


Ask around, and make sure you know the reputation of the boat you’ll be joining. If you can, day working is a great way to get a feel for a crew and a boat’s vibe.  You can also pick up short-term freelance gigs if you’re not feeling certain about the fit.


Expect the Unexpected


Carrie dove into the yachting career and loved it -- but learned early on that she got seasick! She was also surprised by the long hours that were required as a solo stewardess.


Be prepared for what’s ahead of you, but realize that this job is never predictable. You’ll go exciting places, meet incredible people with fascinating stories, and start to create a wonderful story yourself.  


You’ll also meet all kinds of personalities, among your fellow crew members and the guests you support.


Carrie loved the unexpected discoveries that came along with her worldwide yacht travels; one of her favorite destinations was Turkey, which surpassed her expectations with its rugged, beautiful coastline, friendly people, and incredible landscapes.

Ready to get started? FreshYacht will help guide you all the way!

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