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Should I stay, or should I go?

Q: Alex, Stewardess, 27:

“I’ve only been in yachting for 3 years but I’m already beginning to feel like I’ve had enough. To be honest I’m actually really disappointed with the whole industry. I came into this thinking I’d be working with super professional people with really high standards in everything they do. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case! I have met so many incredibly badly behaved people in yachting, not just the crew but many of the brokers and managers as well. It seems like everyone just does whatever they want, regardless of the rules – and owners and guests use their power to exploit people and get their own way like spoilt brats. Most of the Captains and senior crew I’ve met have never had any leadership training and have no idea how to treat people properly, let alone motivate them or get the best out of them. It’s really sad but I just think this industry is so shallow and seems to attract so many unpleasant people. Have I just been really unlucky or should I get out now while I still have some morals and standards left!”

A: The Crew Coach:

Hi Alex,

My goodness you’ve had a pretty bad run of things so far by the sounds of it. Sadly, you’re not alone, I do often get emails like this and it’s very upsetting to know that there are still so many unprofessional people working in yachting and giving the industry a bad name. I’d really like to reassure you that there definitely are some absolutely wonderful people working in this industry – many of them are my clients! – and they really do care about the same things you do. Unfortunately though, it sounds like you might find yachting is a pretty poor match for your core values and you may need to begin thinking about where to go from here.

I’ve written many times before about our internal values system, and how important it is to live and work in an industry or role that is in alignment with your core values. When you find yourself in a situation that conflicts with these, not only will it make you feel uncomfortable and unhappy, but over time it can even begin to really eat away at your health and wellbeing.

You really only have two options here. Either stick it out and try to find a new role where you carefully select a Captain and crew that are more of a match for your expectations (by the way I think your expectations are perfectly reasonable and it’s definitely a shame that you haven’t yet found a yacht that matches them). This could take a little while but it’s not completely impossible! In addition to this you could help be part of the solution by becoming a great Chief Stewardess who does combine the highest standards of professionalism, leadership and people management.

The other option, as you suggest, is to leave the industry and go in pursuit of higher standards in another part of the luxury hospitality industry, if that’s where your heart lies. Your training and credentials in coming from the superyacht world will stand you in great stead here, as many people outside our industry will believe (as you did) that it really does mean perfectionism.

The only real way to make that decision is to make a list of your highest values in life and at work (the things that matter most to you), for example:

Fairness
Appreciation
Respect
Recognition
Perfection
Kindness
There are hundreds more of course, these are just a few common ones that might be coming into play – and give each one a score out of 10 where 10 means that value is being deeply fulfilled. Do this for 3 different scenarios:

Your current role
A yacht where everything was the way you want it to be
A luxury hospitality role outside yachting (or a different job if you have one in mind)
Looking at the scores will give you a great insight into which role is going to have your values most fulfilled, and therefore which will make you happiest.

Regardless of the option that comes out top, you might find it helpful to join our Career & Leadership Mastermind program – which comprises a select group of exceptional people who you can network with, bounce ideas off and help to design your best possible career and life path with. You might have seen I’ve written to you about this recently so if you haven’t already, click the link below and pop in your details, and we will send you an email with some further information.

The Crew Coach – Career & Leadership Mastermind Program: https://rv191.infusionsoft.com/app/form/clm-interested