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Charlotte McDonald

Charlotte McDonald

Before deciding to give the yachting industry a go, Charlie was working as a sales adviser in Harrods, London. She tells her story here.

I was in a dead-end job, nothing exciting ever happened and every day was the same. Doing the horrid tube journey into central London every day was enough for me to want to make a change in my life… so I did! I found the yachting industry and  decided to give it a shot..

Research

My boyfriend and I did months of research, finding out where we needed to be, how we could get there, what qualifications we needed and most importantly how much money we needed.

After we got all that info sorted we eventually came across the Flying Fish website and browsed what they had to offer etc, and decided to book the STCW Basic Safety Training course and a one week Competent Crew course.

Life at sea

Although I knew I wanted to work as a Stewardess I thought the Competent Crew course would be a great opportunity to see how life at sea would be and to learn some basic skills for work on deck too.

A few months later, I booked myself on to the Superyacht Interior Crew course. It was such a great decision as it really gives you a goodl taster of what your daily tasks will include and what the industry will be like.

I personally found it fantastic as I had never worked as a housekeeper before so I thoroughly enjoyed it - and loved hearing stories from instructor Gemma about her experiences.

Antibes

After we had completed the courses myself and my boyfriend decided to go back to London for the rest of the year to work and save up money ready for the med season. The following March we packed up our lives and moved out to Antibes in March.  It was one of the most nerve wracking things I've ever done just gambling everything in hope of finding a job.

At first I thought I'd made a huge mistake. I was hearing of lots of other girls around me getting work and I was not so it is worrying but you do have to just keep the confidence up there and carry on.

Seasonal roles

It was difficult for me and my boyfriend at first as we really wanted a job together and hated the idea of being apart. Once the reality set in that we were not going to get on the same yacht, we just kept looking towards the bigger picture and decided to look for seasonal roles separately.

Thankfully having made this decision after almost five weeks of dock walking our feet off, we both landed a six month seasonal job in the same week.   We were so so happy that we could finally get stuck in!

Confidence is the key

The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone wanting to join the industry (single or couple) is be confident, as confidence is the key. And you have to WANT to do it.   If you are half hearted about it, it will not happen. And always keep smiling and make friends… the more people you know the more jobs you hear about!

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