Lucijan was born in Split, Croatia, and has been described by his peers as an extremely hard-working person who manages to keep a positive attitude and a smile on his face even in the most stressful charter situations.
As a Chief Officer, a big part of his job is managing the more junior crew and in that he aims to create a crew that will work as a maritime family and be a good team on which he can rely.
We have had a chat with Lucijan to find out what aspects of his job he appreciates the most, what are the top 3 things he looks for when hiring his crew and what are some of his favourite places to cruise in.
1. How did you discover yachting and what is your background in a gist?
I discovered yachting as a young adult who simply loves the sea. But the first idea about yachting, honestly, was revealed to me by my driving instructor. He told me that if I love the sea and ships very much, I can also live well and sail the whole world.
It was then that I realised that my life from that moment on was moving in the direction of yachting. I came from a rural family where no one has anything to do with the sea, so I had no acquaintances in the maritime world and I had to wait a few years for my first opportunity because social media wasn't as advanced as it is today.
My first discharge book I made in 2009 at the age of 19 and since then I have been waiting for my dreams to come true. I got the opportunity to be a skipper on speedboats in Croatia on day trips and transfers and I never turned down a job regardless of the weather conditions. This experience gave me the opportunity to start my first job on a 85 ft yacht, and the rest is history. : )
2. Working in yachting and having a family can sometimes be challenging. How do you manage to align your work with your life in Croatia?
It's not easy, but you need to be prepared for it if you decide to get a job in yachting.
It means a lot to you if you have a quality person who understands you and who is always supportive, so I can only say thank you to my wife and family.
Maritime rotation is also very important, so I believe that all ships should introduce rotation in accordance with the job position, because in this way you maintain a quality and happy crew in the long run.
3. What aspect of your job do you most enjoy?
When you create a good team on which you can rely, it's the most beautiful feeling and I enjoy it the most. These are the people you live with so, when you manage to create a crew that will be your maritime family as well, then only the sky is the limit!
4. How would you describe your management style?
This is an interesting question because all the big companies spend real wealth to teach people how to get the necessary management skills. My management style is always diplomatic, as a chief officer I am ready for all kinds of situations and I have to be always calm and positive. Hierarchy must be respected because, as they would say in Croatia, "Fish stinks from the head".
5. What are 3 things you look for when hiring crew?
The first thing when hiring a new crew member are references. They are very important. If you have been a dayworker somewhere, then recommendations can be expected from the chief officer but if you have been somewhere for a long time then the captain's reference is required. If you are new to the industry then I pay special attention during video calls, to assess how honest a person is and sometimes I present a job harder than it actually is just to see how strong a person's desire is to get a job.
Another thing is longevity on yachts. Although you may have a lot of experience, when I see someone change a few ships in a short period of time I would not look at him as a serious candidate. Especially if he did it in the middle of the season because then I can expect him to do the same to me.
If the first two conditions are met, the third is just a personal feeling to assess whether his / her character will fit in with the rest of the crew, that he / she is ready to obey the command without any problems with the ego.
6. What is something you wish you knew when you first started yachting?
I wish I knew the right ways to get job opportunity because that way I would have been in the industry much earlier. That's the only thing I wish I knew earlier.
7. What have been some of your proudest yachting moments?
My proudest moment is my first written reference from the Captain of the first yacht .
That feeling was unforgettable. : )
8. What are some of your favourite places you've visited while working onboard yachts?
There are many of them, but I can list a few:
The island of Vis, is my favourite not only because I am from Croatia but it is really beautiful. Altogether we have over 1000 islands, islets and reefs. Of all of them, the island of Vis is the most beautiful to me with a handful of attractions like Blue and Green caves, Stiniva bay and small town of Komiza, which is said to have a special soul.
9. You come from Croatia, a country with a long maritime history. Do you think younger generations are turning more to joining the yachting industry? What have been your observations?
To be honest, I haven't noticed too much interest from the younger generations in the yachting industry. I can only say that my experience of working with people from my Croatia is very good. We are very hardworking and honest workers, there can always be some exceptions, but the vast majority of us are valued in maritime business.
Therefore, I recommend to all yachting agencies that if they see a person from Croatia looking for a job, give him/her a chance and I am sure they will use it, because the livelihood in Croatia is not very good, so no one will miss this opportunity.
10. What would your advice be for someone wanting to join yachting?
When you looking for your first job don't look at what a ship is like, but grab the first opportunity that is given to you. When you are asked when you are ready to start working, forget all the obligations, your answer must be "ready immediately" and later you will build a career.
Respect the hierarchy, when the person in charge tells you to do something, just do exactly what he or she told you and do it 100%. No one likes it when the green crew immediately starts explaining that they would do something different than what was said. You may be right but now is not your time to prove it, your time will come when you gain experience.
Don't be a part of gossip, just spread positive vibes, be modest and hard worker and you will get recommendations from the Captain which are actually your ticket for all future jobs.
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