Personal Growth and Training Amidst A Pandemic

Written by Virtual Pursers

Looking back, 2020 was a year like no other. It forced us to change mindsets, flipping perspectives topsy-turvy as we navigated through global social and economic disruption amidst the largest economic recession since the Great Depression. 

The uber-rich may define the yachting world, however, wealth cannot buy immunity. Owners and potential charters also felt the COVID effects. Those who were lucky enough to keep their job, found themselves under immense pressure, dealing with extended guest stays, prolonged time away from loved ones, quarantine, travel logistics, stuck in transit, and constant PCR tests.

Regardless of who you are, the year of endless plot twists was tough on everyone. As we enter 2021, now is as good a time as any for personal growth and development. 

Personal growth - how to get started?

Personal growth ignites passion and motivation through learning, positively impacting both your personal and professional life. 

  • Keep looking at the big picture; Where do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish?
  • Cultivate your daily habits in a way that is going to help you achieve this goal. Break it up into manageable and realistic chunks of time and achievable tasks.
  • It helps to not be overly ambitious, if for example, you are an aspiring writer and only have time to write one page a day, then that is a big enough goal, keep it small and achievable.
  • Visualise yourself taking those steps and achieving success, reinforce the positive and break through toxic thought patterns.

Training to boost your professional development

Personal development also encompasses your professional life. If you are not sure where to start, there is nothing better than formal training. There is a plethora of training institutions to suit every department and as the industry becomes more and more regulated, courses become more refined and enhanced.

Whether you are climbing the ranks in yachting, or looking for a way to transition to life on land, here are a few ways you can upskill at any time:

  • ACREW has a fantastic selection of FREE online workshops that are available under the events section of their website.
  • Marine Education provides some great tutorials for the deck side of things, such as Turning a Boat in a Confined Space and Jet Ski Top Tips. You could also visit the International Maritime Academy for their online courses in Essential Navigational and seamanship, Radio (VHF) -SRC and more.
  • Luxury Hospitality has two great online courses for personal leadership and personal insight for yourself and your fellow crew under their development online section. Their Talent Dynamics Test provides an insight into your naturally inherent energy – find out what makes you tick.
  • Quay Crew have a great blog that addresses a lot of crew thoughts including a great article titled “What Can The Yacht Crew Do During Lockdown”, with tons of handy tips for how to keep busy.
  • Udemy is also a great platform for anything from Basic Marine Electronics to learning a new language.
  • For those in the office, there are countless Excel and Microsoft Office tutorials available for free across numerous platforms. There is always something new to learn.
  • While in-person training may not be the best option at the moment, plan ahead to complete a secondary skill. All boats need extra skill sets on-board and it is a great way to earn extra income. Yoga or Pilates instructor, Masseuse / Beautician courses are all great options for those on the interior. Jet ski instructor, Heli Ops or Dive Master for those in deck and engineering are always a win. Although no courses are mutually exclusive to any department.
  • Then there is always the legendary Warsash Maritime Academy. They offer in-person and on-board courses as well as advice to help you navigate the best career path.
  • The GUEST Program is the only internationally accredited maritime hospitality & service training program for Interior Superyacht Crew. From entry-level to advanced courses, you can’t go wrong here.

Whichever way you choose to grow, trust in the support from industry professionals. If you need a helping hand or a question answered, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. We are here for you!

About the author

With over twenty years of combined experience working on-board an impressive array of yachts, Virtual Pursers understand first-hand the ever-increasing administrative pressures faced by Captains, and that time is a precious commodity. Operating worldwide with a physical presence in Europe and Asia-Pacific, Virtual Pursers are trusted industry experts providing yacht administration support to ALL vessels, no matter the size of the yacht or the extent of the need.