When The Season Ends – Stay Or Go?

It’s a common conception that in today’s day and age we must honor what makes us feel most happy and free at an emotional level. That we should always work toward fulfilling the parts of ourselves that don’t feel just that - fulfilled. We see inspirational quotes on social media that powerfully remind us to “quit that job” if we feel passionless about it, or “discover what makes you happiest in life” and do just that. But what does complying to these powerful statements eventually do to our careers on an honorary aspect if followed with such vigor?

If you’re more of a free-spirited person, which many Yachties tend to be, you may feel compelled to follow your heart over head when standing at a crossroad after a busy and demanding season, one where you’ve grown exhausted from the hectic schedule. Do you stay onboard or do you find another job that has different aspects, which might liven up your energy and, for lack of a less airy term, soul?

Some crew may be tempted by that grass-is-greener syndrome that, we, humans tend to naturally gravitate to, especially when life and our routines get stale.

However strongly charged you may feel to propel through the motions and throw caution to the wind when searching for more happiness and the potential for new work, there are some considerations to…err…consider in order not to neglect how jumping ship could affect your Yachting career:

  1. How Long Have You Been Onboard? Some crew find themself exhausted after one season and think, “well, I’m ready for a break.” And that’s entirely fair. This industry does not tread lightly on the side of workload. However, if you’re considering leaving your boat in search of something “better” (that ol’ elusive and proverbial word), kindly take a look at how long you’ve spent onboard first before taking that leap. If it’s less than six months or a full season, keep in mind how this will look on your CV when applying for work. If you’ve been employed less than a full year even, also think about how Captains and Chiefs will view your commitment level when they will notice your dates of employment. Not to mention any potential backlash from the agents who have to negotiate your worth in workmanship when trying to place you in an admirable position.
  2. Is This A Lateral Move? If you’ve already landed a position on another vessel or are thinking about kicking up your search, sit back and think diligently about whether this move is to level up because you truly feel ready to step into a higher ranking, or whether you’re simply moving from one role to the exact same role, except in a new environment. Weigh your pros and cons by making a list. Draw two columns and honestly answer each, pros and cons, of this new job or what leaving your current boat would bring about.
  3. Are You Leaving Before The Season Has Officially Ended? All too often, crew find other opportunities before the commitment to their current job has reached stable grounds for an amicable dismissal of the signed upon contract. Meaning, the season may not be entirely over with yet and guest trip(s) may still be on the horizon, leaving the leadership team in distress to fill the void if you depart. Before even beginning your search for another endeavor, it’s important to fully complete your contractual agreement of being part of the team onboard and complete the full season. Sometimes exceptions can be made and leaders will understand if moving ship is for the greater good of your career. Yet if this is not the case for you, it’s best to think twice before making any major decisions and risk not receiving a valuable reference.
  4. Have You Done This Before? Ohhhhh repeated patterns…how you love to rear your head and confuse the heart. Our human behaviors derived from the subconscious and even conscious minds are such fickle actions to manage. But they do surface – and resurface – from time to time, especially when the going gets tough or emotions are at play. So ask yourself this: “Have I left jobs before when I felt challenged or scared or even just bored?” If you notice that you’ve made a habit of changing jobs, or made a home out of never committing to one for a long period of time, then considering how this pattern overall affects your Yachting career. Do you think you’ll be viewed as a strong or desirable candidate for future jobs when you may not have committed too often? Would a Chief actually want you on their hardworking team when your CV screams out “red flag,” as if the odds that you’ll likely bailout at some point on the horizon are high? Think about how you want to be seen within the industry. It’s smaller than you may think and your name does carry more weight than you might know.

Remember, your CV is a storyline, a telling tale into the life of You. It illustrates what your future employer can unravel about you before they’ve even been blessed by your energy and enthusiasm in-person. Bring some life into this story by making it a brief insight into just who you are exactly; be the person who honors their word and demonstrates enjoying their chosen line of work.

At the end of the day, all crew must consider their happiness, yes. But it may not be the happiest of adventures out there when you’re bopping down the job-searching road and your CV doesn’t quite hold up to the integrity you claim to uphold when professing so during your interviews. That integrity being, longevity.

Written by:Dianne Verga
August 5, 2020