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Thinking About My Future

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  • Thinking About My Future

    So I’m having a bit of a crisis. I’m a deck OOW and to be honest, not really a fan of the job, I’ve had a good trip now and then but after being traumatised as a cadet having to work with some horrible people I always end up getting into a horrible state before going back to work and things. Basically, I’ve already decided it’s not something I want to do forever, in fact it’s more of a ‘until better thing comes along’ situation as I am actually really not interested in the promotion to the higher ranks either realty except for the money, I know the stress and added responsibility would kill me, I see my seniors and don’t know how they can handle it.
    Anyway, back to my point, I’m worried that with my current qualifications I’m pretty stuck work wise, not qualified for anything else and I don’t live in a coastal town so ferries wouldn’t really be an option (I also had a job on a ferry and it didn’t really go well).
    Does anyone have any idea about what sort of jobs there are shoreside for deckies? That pay a decent amount of money and aren’t just generic office job?
    If not, is it worth me pursuing getting dual qualified as an eto to give me an extra notch in my belt?

  • #2
    Sadly deck officers, especially junior, have few useful qualifications and qualities to take them into non-marine land positions. The biggest part of the job is management qualities, but that on land requires an equal measure of specialism in customer service or similar. Your only marine bet would be surveying and the likes, but these positions quite often require a degree and marine experience or one in high seniority.

    Training as an ETO would probably be a bad idea if your heart isn't at sea, as their life is surely more stressful than the average deck officer. They're frequently the only one on board to deal with "ship stopper" technical faults. If your idea is becoming an ETO then moving ashore ASAP then your chances will be limited as shore jobs want accomplished ETOs or ETOs with civilian qualifications on top (Part P, 18th edition, inspection and testing) which enable them to work as industrial leckies.

    Have you considered a total change in direction and aiming for the police forces, ambulance service etc? Maybe STCW shortcourse instructing? Lecturing at one of the colleges? Many would require relocation and a drop in salary standards but it looks like you need that change to start enjoying life more! Google CNC (civil nuclear constabulary) careers, they're always hiring armed response officers around the UK and with occasional overtime (4 on 4 off shifts) you can make £40k easy, my brother did it and it is mostly "career changers" and they all love it.

    Good luck, feel free to PM me if you want any advice.


    • #3
      Just to add to the useful post above with a few more ideas:

      -a common job for OOWs who want to move ashore is to VTS Operator, CoC/GMDSS usually a requirement so good for us. (Similarly assistant harbour master a potential option).

      -Cargo planner? I know people who have got jobs doing this with an OOW CoC and some container experience. Pro level Tetris.

      -Crewing/Cadet manager/other marine HR. General skills required but maritime knowledge is a bonus which could get you the job.

      All will likely come with a drop in salary but as mentioned above it'll be worth it if you're happier day to day. I hear a lot of people saying that a complete change in career is a 'waste' of three years training/cadetship. But actually, going to sea is a hell of an experience and whatever one decides to do, the skills learnt set seafarers in good stead for most careers and life! If you're not happy at sea - look at the positives of what you've gained from the experience rather than what you'll be missing if you do decide to make the change.

      Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk


      • #4
        I decided to bite the bullet and come ashore not too long ago so I’ve got an idea of where you’re at right now.

        Have you thought about getting your BSc(hons)? I got onto a top up course at Plymouth uni to study International Supply Chain and Shipping Management, basically changed my very technical foundation degree into a broader business degree and made me way more employable in the real world. I start work as a Tanker Operator with a big broking company next week. It’s definitely worth thinking about.

        Alternatively maybe an entry level surveying job would suit you? I’d say if you’re definitely set on coming ashore then go and top up your degree, if nothing else it’ll give you a year to think about what you want to do next.


        • #5
          Teekay Gas in Glasgow are looking for Voyage Managers, 2 x HSEQ Suptd and an HSEQ Coordinator all of which require an OOW.


          • #6
            Further to the above you should look into Renewable energy. I recently decided to drop out of my cadetship for a multitude of reasons one of which was I simply couldn't see myself doing that career! I recently got a job as an Offshore Coordinator for an offshore wind company. I work shifts and get a very attractive holiday allowance on top of that, the money is good, I am using the stuff I learnt at college and getting to go home every day!

            At the company im at has a whole host of responsibilities including:
            Marine Coordination / people tracking in the wind farms.
            Emergency response.
            Operational Control of the wind farm (Basically ensuring a safe system of work is achieved when technicians work on the wind farm)
            Monitoring power produced by the wind farm and reporting any outages to the relevant authorities (If a wind farm goes down it can have a MAJOR effect on the grid).

            I really couldn't stress enough how strongly I feel renewables are a huge growing market in the uk, especially for ex-seafarers (Your talents will be very valuable where offshore wind is concerned). I appreciate I am slightly biased because my hometown has seen a huge amount of investment from renewable companies however im sure this growing market is not limited to my hometown!

            I would like to pick up on the fact that job prospects are limited for deckies, I finished my FD but didn't get my COC. I was not out of work for longer than 3 weeks ( From getting home from my ship!). Admittedly I did go into a job as a ships agent, earning minimum wage (Base salary) with overtime opportunities however I see no end of ships agents jobs which would snap anyone with actual seagoing experience up! If you are worried about a gap in employment this could be a way to fill it while you explore your options / figure out what you want to do. Don't see it as a pay cut, see it as a bonus you are earning SOMETHING while you find the career path you want to take. I am a strong believer in making myself fit into the job spec that I am applying for, even if you don't think you are what the employer is looking for straight away, have a sit down and think about it, the Cadet training plan is an extremely well rounded training course! If you have any questions feel free to hit me up with a PM.

            (I appreciate you did say you are not coastal so this is probably all useless).
            If you take anything from my page of waffle it should be this: If you go job hunting with the attitude your previous experience won't get you anywhere you will probably end up in that dreaded office job you spoke of! If you go job hunting seeing how you can make your skills / experience fit to a job you think sounds interesting you are more likely to get a good deal. Don't let the job description put you off applying, if you think you could offer something to that employer throw an application their way, what do you lose from applying?


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