Ivana Novakovic, Yacht Crew Services - Antibes N&J

Ivana Novakovic

Crew Services Associate

My Present 
Hello, my name is Ivana Novakovic and I work as a Crew Services Agent at N&J. My primary responsibilities revolve around developing the crew department’s growth in Europe. I love talking to and engaging with crew, especially newcomers as it reminds me of how excited I was when I first started in yachting. It feels like showing a tourist your home town. You start seeing the beauty in things you take for granted every day.

My Past
I was born and raised in Rijeka, Croatia but my family comes from Dalmatia which is where I spent all my summers and holidays in a house barely a stone’s throw away from the sea.

Following my education at University for Tourism and Hotel Management, I got a job in an office but I was not enjoying it Fate intervened when I was presented with a temporary role on a yacht merely 2 to 3 months later. You could say I was in the right place at the right time. A friend heard a Captain saying he needs someone immediately to join the boat the next day. “Needs to be able to speak English and know how to carry a tray.” I could do both. I quit my job and never looked back. This experience turned into an extended yachting career of over a decade. Departing the yachting world in 2018, I embarked on a soul-searching journey that led me to France. Arriving in early 2020, just before the pandemic's onset, I undertook a season with a provisioning company before transitioning into the realm of recruitment in January 2021.

My Future
My goal is to learn as much as I can and be better tomorrow than I was today. I loved working on yachts, and it was such a big and exciting part of my life. I worked with amazing Captains and Chief Stews who I learned a lot from and who inspired me every day to be better at my job and also a better person. I made lifelong friendships. My goal is to help crew have that same experience. I love finding that perfect match and knowing my candidates as well as my clients are happy.

I am looking forward to having the opportunity to set up a recruitment division in Europe, and I am excited to be a part of a new growing recruitment team. I am proud to get an opportunity to work for a company with such a great reputation within the industry, a company whose values seem to align with my own.

My Outside-office Life
In my free time, I love spending time with my “yachting family”. My first Chief Stew, her husband and their two gorgeous kids are like a second family, and we have been inseparable since we met on our first yacht. We often take my dog for a walk, while kids ride their bikes or enjoy pastries and cakes in one of the local bakeries.

Fast Facts 
-I have an unhealthy obsession with my rescue dog, a staffie called Mike. Don’t ask me anything if you are not prepared to hear everything about him. He runs the house and my life.
-Greatest accomplishment –teaching my best friend’s seven-year-old what is sarcasm (and then watching reactions to her sassy replies to everyone for the next week. Proudly explaining “That was sarcasm!” with a big grin on her face)
-Traveled all over the world but still on my bucket list (even though it is so close) is Scotland.
-The thing I miss the most about yachting is living with an Engineer. You don’t fully appreciate the luxury until they are gone.

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