Smooth Sailing

After being out to sea for a year and a half, coming back to land has been an interesting transition.  I’ve applied for job after job and it seems like interviewers have a few concerns.

Mainly - why someone would give up a fabulous and lavish “Love Boat” style life (I can promise you - it was only half that fabulous), but also how my skills and experiences will be a right fit for the job I’m interviewing for.  I came across a fantastic article recently that put the “experiences” into perspective and made me think about what amazing skills employees may gain from being part of the hospitality industry - even if they can’t speak to them in an interview setting.  

In Sean Sasson’s post, “Why Former Cruise Ship Employees Make the Best Employment Candidates,” he lays out nine skills that Crew & Officers onboard cruise ships learn, and in-turn, take to their next job.  

  1. Teamwork
  2. Adapting To Change
  3. Time Management
  4. Conflict Resolution
  5. Empowerment To Learn
  6. Stress Management
  7. Innovation 
  8. Diversity
  9. Crisis Management

As a leader in the hospitality industry, what specific transferable skills are you teaching to team members?  Are those specific for you and your company, and, more importantly, do they reflect your contribution to the industry?  

For example, as an entertainment manager, I imparted the skills of guest recovery, open and honest communication, and celebrating diversity and people.  While these were also competencies for my company, it was my duty to make sure that they translated properly to my team and that they fully understood what each of these meant to me as their leader, to their roles, but also to them as human beings.

I know that my seven different casts of 20 performers knew what was important to me because I set clear expectations and celebrated their learnings.  And as many of them sail off their next adventures, it is my hope that they are able to take these skills with them.  

Sean’s nine skills learned from Ship Life are transferable to any job, but especially important to those of us in the hospitality industry.  They should be values that we as leaders focus on when training and developing new talent, but also values we should use to make decisions and promote our own growth. 

Read Sean's full post on LinkedIn here.

Kevin Clay