How to deal with personal challenges while working on a yacht.

Some tips for reaching your goals with Alison Rentoul, founder of The Crew Coach

Yachting presents a unique set of advantages and pressures, both personally and professionally.  It offers spectacular opportunities: travel, money, adventure and great friendships, but it also comes with a degree of personal sacrifice: restriction of freedom and isolation from friends and family back home.

As everyone knows, working long hours in close quarters can lead to personality clashes, while romantic relationships can also come under a great deal of stress. Living with people at sea requires a shared sense of responsibility and a lot of compromise- but on the bright side, this closeness under stressful conditions can also forge very strong bonds between people.

After a few years in yachting many crew may feel that life back home is moving on without them, due to missing weddings, birthdays and watching nieces and nephews and friends’ children grow up. They can also begin to feel like their everyday life is not under their control. This can cause anxiety to build up and can begin to lead to burnout if people are not careful.

In addition to this, many yacht crew haven’t thought much about their life after yachting, and therefore struggle to make the transition ashore. Some people try and fail, and end up going back to boats reluctantly, which is far from ideal. Generally this happens if they haven’t planned sufficiently, or perhaps haven’t worked out how to make their yachting skills transferrable to a successful career ashore.

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So how can you deal with the challenge of planning your yachting career and beyond?

To get some great tips about this topic, I sat down with Alison Rentoul owner of the Crew Coach to set up some guidelines to avoid some of these personal challenges when working in yachting.

First of all, Alison pointed out the importance of figuring out what your goals are.

  1. Choose a maximum of 8 areas to work on, such as career, health & wellbeing, finances, relationships, social life, personal development etc.
  2. While brainstorming about your goals and dreams, you should write them down. Think about what you want to ‘do’, ‘be’ and ‘have’ in each area and describe everything as it would be if everything was a 10 out of 10 in that area.
  3. Once you have identified what you want in these key areas, it’s time to work out where you are now on the journey towards this, and what you need to do to get there. Break it down into manageable steps.
  4. Next, make an action plan. Nothing will happen if you don’t start doing things that will take you closer to your goals.
  5. Set deadlines for yourself! Pick a time every day: whether it’s the morning before work, your lunch break or the hour before bed, set aside time when you can organize your objectives and determine what still needs to be accomplished.

Making sure that you know what you want from yachting, and being aware of how yachting is helping you fulfil your life ambitions will help reduce the stress of the personal sacrifices you are making. As long as you know what you are gaining in return, these sacrifices can feel like they are worth it and you can fully enjoy the benefits of your yachting career.

And last but not least, Alison says besides planning for the future, don’t forget to enjoy each day as it comes – be in the present and enjoy each day to the maximum in order to live a rich and fulfilled life.

If you want to read more articles full of career building hints and tips, and a wide range of ideas and issues affecting professional yacht crew, please visit Alison’s blog articles.