I have recently noticed in the media a rise in mid-life gap years and so I thought I would share my advice to help women over 40 to get a cruise ship career - this allows women to experience the world, and at the same time enjoy a comfortable and safe trip.
Working on a cruise ship comes with the benefits of travel and new experiences. Women over the age of 40 can choose from a number of career options within the cruise industry.
The best career opportunities on cruise ships for women are the jobs that entitle the crewmember to have their own cabin, have flexible hours and have officer status (meaning more benefits). Here are some of those jobs.
Future Cruise Sales Manager - Each cruise ship has a person that is responsible for selling future cruises to the passengers. An understanding of the fleet's itineraries, proven sales experience and public speaking skills are essential to landing such a cruise job.
Onboard Loyalty Manager - Cruise lines reward their past passengers with perks depending on the amount of times they've cruised before. The Onboard Loyalty Manager is responsible for organizing and hosting parties for these passengers as well as ensuring that passengers have received their entitled onboard benefits.
Port and Shopping Presenter - The Port and Shopping Presenter/Guide on a cruise ship educates the guests about where to shop while in port through entertaining shopping presentations. This job requires sales experience and public speaking skills.
Port or Enrichment Lecturer - Many women over the age of 40 make ideal enrichment lecturers and port lecturers (different than the port and shopping guide). Qualified candidates have the skills to educate and entertain simultaneously. Various cruise ships offer enrichment workshops in such topics as computers, ceramics, dance, as well as history and culture as it relates to the ship's itinerary.
Other Officer Positions - Management positions such as Human Resource Manager, Training Manager, and Casino Manager are often filled by crewmembers promoted from within the cruise line. Fortunately, there are also occasions when a cruise line will hire people that have the required skills and experience and yet have no cruise ship experience. Some other examples include doctors, nurses, dive instructors, golf instructors and art auctioneers.
There are plenty of entry level jobs on cruise ships that mature women may also be qualified for such as guest relations, gift shop associate, casino dealer, spa receptionist, photographer, and youth counsellor. But, you may want to consider that those types of cruise jobs require you to share a cabin with another crewmember.
What Skills Are Needed for Cruise Jobs
The cruise industry is highly competitive and only the most qualified candidates fill the positions. Understand how your prior work experience, skills, accomplishments, interests, and personality type are suited to a particular cruise job and then go for it.
Make sure your technological skills are current by keeping updated in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, promote the breadth of your experience as an expert problem solver as it relates to customers and colleagues.
How to Get Into the Cruise Industry
Although having the right skills and experience is required for any job that you apply for in the cruise industry, cruise employers have additional expectations, too. Recruiters want to make sure that the applicant is physically and mentally fit as well as embracing what living and working on a cruise ship is all about.
During an interview for a cruise job, the interviewer needs to confirm that the applicant has the energy and passion to work more than ten hours a day, seven days a week for six or more consecutive months. Additionally, will the applicant be able to be away from their home, family and friends without distractions? Furthermore, crewmembers are required to pass a Seafarers Medical (ENG1), ensuring that you are medically fit to work at sea.
For energetic women over the age of 40, working on a cruise ship is not only possible, but a career choice for women looking for travel, adventure and a lifestyle change.
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