Laying some ground rules before going to sea
So, the captain has offered you the job. In your euphoria, don’t forget to ensure that you check all the details of your offer before focusing your sight on the new horizon.
First and foremost, check your salary. Is the offer in line to your current experience, qualifications and expectations? If you haven’t done so already, do some research. A crew agent will have the knowledge and insight to be able to give you the right advice. You could also ask any close contacts who work in the same industry.
Secondly, consider the power of the perks on offer. What kind of perks are they? Perks should have a monetary value, such as stock options, paid long weekends, a per diem for meals, a return long distance flight home, or payment in lieu of lost vacation time. Perks are not the necessity of travelling by taxi or private jet to the owners’ house, which is just part of the job.
Thirdly, don’t undervalue yourself. Believe in yourself but know your limits. If the job that they are offering is attractive, but will overwhelm you, then be honest. Carefully consider the job requirements and ask yourself questions, such as ‘will you be motivated?’ or ‘will you be able to cope with the workload?’
Also, you should negotiate your pay rise and bonus structure from the very beginning. How often will you have a pay review? What pay rise can be expected? How often will you be given a bonus? Do you have KPIs (key performance indicators) to reach each quarter? Always ensure that you keep a record on what you’ve done, as well as taking the time to let the captain or owner know your extra achievements or fulfilled tasks.
Last but not least, make sure any agreement is in ink. Even if it seems like a handshake would do, the situation could change and it is important to have a detailed contract in place. Where a contract mentions ‘duties onboard or wherever the owner deems necessary’, ensure that this is made more specific. For example, you wouldn’t want to end up cooking for 50 guests at one of their remote palaces, and all their staff. If they question your request to be more precise about their contract, then have some examples to hand and explain that you simply want peace of mind.
The article was contributed by Antibes crew agency, YPI Crew.