Where are you working at the moment? or what was your last yachting position? I have my own business, The Crew Coach, helping luxury yacht crew worldwide develop successful careers and achieve their lifetime ambitions.
Where do you come from? Melbourne, Australia.
How long have you worked on yachts? In total I worked aboard for about 4-5 years, but I have worked in the yachting industry for 14 years.
How did you get into yachting? I was travelling as young Aussies do – I lived in London for two years, and had done a couple of winter ski seasons in the French Alps. I heard about yachting and it sounded like a great way to continue travelling while being paid for it, so I came down to Antibes to try and find work for the summer. The rest, as they say, is history!
What did you like/dislike about your last job? My last yachting job was really enjoyable as I was crew chef on a 55m yacht and I loved cooking and looking after the crew. It was a really lovely job, but ultimately I became frustrated at not being in control of my life – i.e. being at the beck and call of other people and not being able to plan weekends or time with my boyfriend. I’m quite a homebody and I missed being home and having a normal life – I think I decided it was simply time to become shore based!
What are your biggest accomplishments? Changing career direction completely, starting my own business and achieving the qualifications I needed to become a successful coach. I live and breathe personal development so this is a never ending process for me – the list of courses I want to do and books I want to read is endless!
Can you work under pressure? I don’t really know any other way to work – unless I’m under pressure I tend to be a bit de-motivated so now I am my own boss I constantly set goals and deadlines for myself to keep my momentum up.
What is the most difficult situation you have faced? On-board one of the most classic situations was discovering the captain had polished off all the guest wine apart from one bottle – which turned out to be corked after I had shown it to the guests! Luckily I had taken it back to the galley to open it so they didn’t know – I had to serve them cheap crew wine decanted into a carafe and hope they wouldn’t notice the difference – they didn’t say anything so I think I got away with it!
What are your pet hates? Selfish people, anyone being inconsiderate, judgemental or disrespectful of others.
Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job? As a junior stew, being treated unfairly by a Chief Stewardess who was on an ego-maniacal power trip and constantly played her team members off against each other. In hindsight looking back I now feel very sorry for her as she was clearly deeply unhappy, but at the time this whole episode made me very angry.
What do you do in your spare time? I love cooking and making things for the house – I’m really into interior design and spend a lot of time on Pinterest daydreaming about design and craft ideas.
What makes you laugh? My husband (he’s a total goof ball), being silly and finding the humour in everything. Kids always make me laugh because they just tell it like it is and I love the way they see things. I like to laugh a lot and don’t take myself too seriously!
What would you like to be doing five years from now? Helping as many crew as possible to find their calling, really tap into the best life has to offer and pinpoint exactly how yachting can help them live life to the fullest and get where they want to go.
Where do like to shop? I tend to mostly shop online as it’s much easier to find things I like and there is usually a bigger range. I love the anticipation of receiving a parcel in the post, and then when it arrives it’s like opening a present!
Can you recommend a service or product that may be helpful to other Stewardesses? At the risk of sounding like a shameless plug, stewardesses looking to make the most of their careers might find my own services useful – I am currently creating a whole range of online coaching courses which are self study programs that people can do in their own time, to reflect on what they want to get out of life and their careers, and formulate a clear strategy for making their greatest dreams and ambitions a reality, or work through any problems or difficulties they might currently be facing.
Have you met any famous people and what were your thoughts? Yes, I’ve met quite a few over the years. I once went to a party at the Hotel du Cap during the film festival in Cannes where the room was literally wall-to-wall A-list stars. It was absolutely unbelievable. I chatted to so many of them and actually hung out with Uma Thurman and Jennifer Aniston in the queue for the toilets – we were joking and laughing like old mates within a few minutes, it was so surreal. I guess it’s a cliché but my main thought really was that they were so normal, and it kind of brought home to me how anyone can make anything of their lives, and become everything they want to be – all it takes is a lot of self belief!
What do you enjoy most about your job? Inspiring people – seeing them light up with the excitement and hope of new possibilities and removing the blockages and fears that have been holding them back. It’s just wonderful watching them go forth and begin making things happen that they previously never believed were possible.
Any advice for “ newbie’s” in the industry? I think the main thing is to concentrate on building and keeping a really strong reputation for being a hard and honest worker with impeccable integrity, discretion and the highest possible standards. Your reputation is your passport to success in the industry – use it to leverage your position and achieve your greater goals in life.
Tell us about the Crew Coach: I provide private individual coaching by Skype, telephone or in-person for crew of all positions and at all stages of their yachting career, to help them achieve their highest personal career and life ambitions. I am also creating a series of self study courses online which will enable crew to work on their personal and professional development in their own time. The first of these has already gone live – Creating a CV that sells – which includes everything you need to know and do to create a really powerful and professional yachting CV that will have you put forward for much better positions.
I also work in association with industry brokerage and management companies to provide on-board coaching for yacht crew teams, developing stronger cohesion and communication and enhancing the overall performance excellence and operational success of their fleets.
Tel: +33 493 581 408
What specific training was required to obtain this job? I graduated with a distinction in Personal Performance Coaching from The Coaching Academy in the UK after doing a 2 year diploma – and have coached hundreds of crew over the past three years, which in itself is fantastic training. I continue to develop my skills and coaching toolkit with a wealth of reading and courses that enable me to provide my clients with all the latest personal development techniques to help them bring out their absolute best and begin achieving their goals as quickly as possible.
Can you tell me some vocabulary or terminology specific to your job? Personal development – confidence – self belief – focus – vision – clarity – goals – direction – strategy – action planning – taking steps – make it happen!
What type of reading (Industry related) do you do on a daily basis? I am on Facebook quite a bit because my yachting network is pretty large and I learn a lot about the ‘word on the street’ in the industry there. I also check industry websites and read industry magazines – I have a big list of industry resources on my website as I fully recommend people do this if they want to stay abreast of what’s happening in yachting. I also write a column on leadership in The Crew Report which has recently transformed into a personal development magazine for yacht crew – something I’m very excited about!
If you could go back and change something related to your education or your life as a student what would you change or what would you do differently?I love this question as it’s one I often ask clients – and if you’d asked me this five years ago I might have had a different answer as I had lots of regrets back then and was feeling very lost. But these days I look at life much more philosophically and, having turned my life and career around completely, I can honestly say that absolutely everything I’ve ever done has led me to this point and I wouldn’t change a single thing as all that experience has truly made me who I am today.
What inspires you? People who are passionate about helping others realize they can have a beautiful life – people who recognise how amazing life really is and want to share that awe, wonder, peace and simplicity with the world.
What are the pros and cons of running your own company? The cons are never being 100% sure what you’ll be doing from one day to the next – the pros are that every day is an adventure! I never know what the next phone call or email will bring, and the opportunities just seem to keep on growing and expanding. It’s a very exhilarating roller coaster ride!
Overall, I find that within yachting there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of the general happiness and personal satisfaction of the people working in the industry. I have found many crew are unhappy and often somewhat lost – they feel stuck and frustrated with their current situation but don’t know what to do or how to make changes. These people can be quite bad influences on the people around them and those in leadership positions pass on negativity to their teams which just perpetuates the problem. I’m on a personal quest to help eradicate this from the industry – by helping individuals realize they can discover and reach their full potential and teaching them how to pass this kind of positive thinking and can-do attitude onto their teams I believe we can turn yachting into a fantastically rewarding career for all those who choose it. I’m also working at a corporate level with the management companies to help them find ways of making crew life easier to bear, by introducing better working practices that create a more professional and positive overall career environment. Ultimately this benefits the entire industry as we need to stop wasting resources on training new people who come in and then leave after having bad experiences. The longer we can keep people in the industry and the more we can retain the collective knowledge, experience and skills of those who can become effective leaders, the better for everyone!