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Crew Compass: Invest in yourself – it’s as simple as the click of a button

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Crew Compass: by Lauren Loudon

I’ve recently written about having a side hustle while in yachting and what a challenge it is to find the time for everything when days only have 24 hours in them, and we are often working far too many of those. That, however, is not to say that we cannot make time for our other ventures.

As a chef, I have a deep passion for food. I fell into cooking after a long battle with minor health issues that ultimately were diagnosed as food intolerances, but have grown far beyond just cooking food for myself that will sit well with my body’s requirements.

I’ve taken the time lately to develop on that and have signed up for a nutrition course to complement my cooking, better understand the food intolerances I deal with and learn more on the topic from a professional. There are several things that go hand in hand with cooking, and I took the opportunity to dive deeper into something that really interests me. The course is a webinar just twice a week, lasting an hour at a time and continuing  for 16 weeks.

The beauty of this particular course is that I have the ability to schedule and reschedule the classes for whenever suits me. While I don’t have guests on board right now, the evenings suit me best, but once I start cooking for guests again regularly – and of course my time zone changes – I can dedicate an hour in the middle of the day to learning and self-development.

This is just one example, and one that is quite specific to my personal wishes, but I have seen so many different courses that could come in handy. I actually spoke to somebody who is doing a photography course through a similar program in order to provide an extra service to charter guests.

Our careers on board are ever evolving. We never stop learning and growing as individuals and crew members alike, but there are so many other ways that we can expand our knowledge outside of the profession as well – and many link in perfectly. 

For example, if you love yoga and practice regularly, why not take a course to become an instructor and offer that on your CV next time you’re looking for a job? Or perhaps it’s taking a dive certification to the next level. The options are endless.

While our jobs are often exciting, in our industry it’s easy to become comfortable where we are because it’s what we know best. Sometimes investing a little time in ourselves and into something new we are passionate about can open doors we didn’t know we wanted to walk through, or perhaps even existed.

With a new year underway, it’s an important time to step back a moment and focus on what really makes us happy. There are so many small changes that can be made to alter our course, revive our happiness or enhance our wellbeing. And facilitating these advances in our personal lives can be as simple as a click of a button.

Perhaps yachting isn’t a long-term goal for you, in which case putting in some effort to learn and grow on the side is an important thing to be doing, or at least to be aware of. The reality is it really could be anything. A friend of mine wants to stay within hospitality, but doesn’t want to live on yachts her whole life, so she is looking into events management courses. Another is taking a wedding planning course online. And my husband began painting to teach himself something new in his downtime.

This new year is about us. You and I. It’s our time to shine, our time to grow, and our time to better ourselves by pursuing our interests that little bit further in the short window of time that we do have off in a day. Let’s use those minutes more wisely than simply scrolling through social media or online shopping.

Lauren Loudon has worked as a yacht chef for more than four years. She hails from Lancashire, England. Comments are welcome below.

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