Temping out the summer...
By the time August rolls around, Antibes is a different kind of place. Gone are the long lines in front of crew agencies and the hordes of dock walkers everywhere you turn. The crowd in the bars is a bit thinner and you can actually book a room in the good crew houses.
Maybe you found a job early on, and it didn’t work out for some reason. Maybe you arrived early and have been doing everything you are supposed to do, but nothing permanent has panned out. You have had a good bit of daywork, made some decent contacts, but here it is full-on summer time, and you don’t have a job.
If you attended one of our free crew talks earlier on, you probably remember the Crew Coach rattling off some pretty scary statistics about just how few jobs are actually out there. Timing and luck aren’t everything, but they do play a role, and unfortunately there is not a perfect gig available for everyone who deserves one. It’s an unpredictable industry where the simple whim of an owner can mean a job or no job.
The good news is that your repeat temp work has kept your wallet flush enough to pay your bills and keep you here. You have stopped putting every single day of experience on your CV because it was just getting too busy. You know a few Captains pretty well now who have passed on your details to their friends, and you have at least a few days of work every week. You are thinking that at this rate you can probably hold out until September. And you are probably right.
This time of year a crew agent’s job changes dramatically. Our pool of candidates suddenly becomes very small…most crew have found positions by now, but many also have given up and gone home. Though demand is smaller for sure, we still have a constant stream of positions coming through. Many are last minute emergencies to cover the stewardess who has broken her ankle or the deckie who didn’t show up for work. Family emergencies, personality conflicts, changes of heart…all of these factors can cause a yacht to be looking for crew mid-season. These are the calls we are getting, and usually they need someone fast.
This is where you should check in and realize your value! Remember that crew agent you met back in May? Stop in and say hi. Let them know that you are still around and that your CV (which used to outline your excellent hospitality and wake boarding skills) is now nicely filled out with repeat daywork on yachts from 25 to 65 meters and several Captain references. There aren’t many people around at the moment, and though you might have been one of the “green” guys early on, now you might have just enough experience to get someone out of a jam.
And trust me, your favorite crew agent will be thankful to know you are available.