It is usually recommended that you budget around R80 000 to get all your courses and find a job. This number can go up or down depending on what role you want to take on, how good you are at budgeting and how long it takes you to get a job.
Are there any dos and don’ts with recruitment agencies?
Very simple, be polite and treat them as you would a potential employer, as they are the people who could potentially get you a job. Theirs is a very cut-throat market and so they don’t have time for people who don’t listen to them or don’t get back to them promptly. They may not always afford you the same response, but they aren’t trying to get a job, you are. Show up on time, dress nicely, be polite, be diligent and communicate with them. You may not get a job through them this time, but if they remember you for all the right reasons, they may call you for one next time.
Is that the best way to get work, or should you socialise (I’ve heard there are hangouts in Antibes) or apply directly to boats?
You should do it all! Getting your first job is hard work and something you need to work at every day. Register with the crew agents, network, socialize (but keep it tidy!) and put every line you have in the water, that’s how you will catch a fish.
About how much do you think I could expect to save in four years?
This is entirely dependent on the type of job you will get. But work on a base salary of €2000 – €2500 a month and that will give you the minimum range.
Are there any ‘tricks’ you could share on how to ensure a successful stint?
Remember this is a professional industry, so act like a professional. Don’t expect people to “give” you a job because you are there, you are your own product and a walking advert for yourself. Be prepared to work hard to make sure you present the right attitude and work ethic.
Also, do your courses and make sure you do all your research into getting the right courses under your belt, some training providers will sell you everything and the kitchen sink, also not all training providers are created equal, make sure they are internationally recognized and accredited.
Be wary of anyone who tells you that international accreditation is not taken seriously by Captains and Chief Stews. Give Trilogy a call for more advice and information on the best route to getting yourself a job, they are internationally accredited training providers and have a 100% success rate for people going through their courses.