Five ways your yacht experience can help you transition into a private household

Job Seekers
Man carrying a tray of drinks on a yacht


A candidate who has spent time working on a superyacht may have initially been attracted to a life at sea and the idea of sailing around the world, but there may come a time when they’re ready to be based in one place. Luckily, the polished standards of working on a yacht can translate directly to a private household of an UHNWI.

If you’re worried that the transition is too much of a stretch, don’t be! The two environments are more similar than you know. You already possess the transferrable skills to take on the challenges of a shore-based role, and you’re ready to start looking for a job in a private household.

Attention to detail

If you’ve worked on a yacht, you know that the attention to detail is as significant there as it would be at a 5* hotel: only the best will do. The standard going into a private household or working as chalet staff is the same – you have to be the invisible presence, ready to jump into action as soon as your principal leaves the room. On the yachts, you will have learnt how to look out for a fingerprint smudge on a light switch, or the pillows that need fluffing on the sofa. Your eagle eye for resetting a room will be incredibly well-received once you enter a private household.

Knowing how to satisfy the principal’s expectations  

Before a new trip, your chief steward will have provided you with a briefing on the guests, including the correct way to address them. So, you know that an English gentleman and an American billionaire might have different expectations on how you, as staff, will approach them. You understand the nuances between people of different nationalities and cultures, and know why it’s important to get them right. This knowledge will act as a fantastic base for your role in a private household. In terms of technical skills, your silver service and wine service training are likely to be called upon, so do brush up on your knowledge if you believe you might be lacking in those areas.

Lyme Park estate with surrounding garden

Understanding the importance of presentation

Your appearance, as one of the yacht crew, is extremely important – and it’s equally so when working as private household or villa staff. Generally speaking, the expectation is that there should be no visible tattoos or piercings, and no unnatural coloured dies in your hair, for example. However, if you have experience working with UHNWI, you’ll know that they may also prescribe a very specific dress code. The ability to roll with the punches and deal with unusual requests will put you in good stead in a private household.

Being familiar with the hierarchal working environment

If you’re comfortable with the hierarchy on a yacht, you will definitely be at home with the staff set-up in a private household. The chief steward equivalent role, in a domestic setting, will be your house manager, and you’ll likely be working alongside housekeepers in the place of stewards/stewardesses. Knowing the hierarchy and what each station means will make you feel at home in your new shore-based environment.

Preparing for unusual hours

Working for UHNWI means that you must be prepared to work around your principal’s schedule. If you have experience on a yacht, you’ll understand these demands because you have most likely been disturbed during your rest hours once or twice! Once you accept this as part of the job, you’ll be better prepared than most.

If you’re an ex-yachtie and you’re now looking for a shore-based role, as either permanent or temporary private household staff, Tiger Private can help! Submit your details today.

Author Laura Glendenning Tiger Recruitment Team

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