Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is it the career for me?

Collapse
X
  •  
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is it the career for me?

    I'm finding it very hard to decide if I should apply for a cadetship or not. I seem to have equal things I think I would really like about the job and equal things I am not so sure about.

    I think I would be really interested in the technical side of it, learning new skills in navigation, learning about equipment, the travel aspect, the unpredictably of the job (I HATE a office jobs).

    Things I am not so sure about - Would the lifestyle and crews be too "rough and ready" for want of a better word? I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this but some crews seem like they might be a bit too "old sea dog" types, always going out on the piss etc. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with this and I know loads of great blokes I manage on site that are like this and I do enjoy the banter and crude jokes etc but I'm not sure I would want to live with them for months on end. I'm also worried that it may not be the nicest working environment aboard ship. Lots of things I have read in blogs etc make out like everyone doesn't really want to be there and is always cussing each other behind their bags and generally getting annoyed at everything. Lots of old officers seems to say they would not want their kids to go to sea, why is this?

    It so hard as I think it could be an amazing career with lots to offer OR it could be totally not my cup of tea. I'm just not sure how to decide.

    PS - I am 28 and have worked for the same company (that I am getting sick of) for the last 9 years. I don't have any attachments at the moment though.

    Anon

  • #2
    *sigh*, I really do worry worry when folks ask the question "is it for me?" because we don't know you and can't really give an opinion.

    However, we can answer other questions.

    When it comes to the crew, not all will be the "rough and ready" type. They're not all butch men and women who go ashore at every port and screw the first thing they come across. It will be like any other work place, with slightly more crude jokes. Every workplace has it's own politics and be it on your head if you choose to get involved (I avoid it like the plague). I don't know who's blogs you've been reading, but it isn't as bad as some folks make it out to be. Yes it can be tough being away from family and friends for months at a time, yes it will be a dirty and difficult job at times and yes there will be some boredom involved, but this is the life.

    I don't know about others, but I find a lot of the older sailors don't want their kids going to sea simply because it isn't what it used to be like when they first started. The shipping industry has moved on, yet some (not all though) seem to like to cling on to the past where you had to be a "real man" to go to sea, no paperwork to speak of and where the high death rate was something no one really spoke about or commented. If I was you, i'd best avoid them as they will only focus on the negatives of this industry.
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

    All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Guinessman, the only ships i've come across 'rough and ready' crew was on a 60m standby vessel, that was definately an eye opener joining as chief mate (actually the lads turned out to be great, but i wouldn't go back). I'd say deep sea a very passive and open minded mentality is needed by both crew and officers, and working with a multinational crew people tend to be just that.
      I don't think there is a lot of back stabbing or problems onboard, of course when you work and live in the same place there are always going to be the occasional problem, but they need to be resolved amicably because you cannot let things escalate in such an environment.

      I'm a year younger than you, and I would have no hesitation if my son really wanted to follow me into this career, to support him, although would make sure he went into the right companies.

      The life at sea is a mixed bag, if you enjoy travelling and being thrown into the midst of different cultures, working on variety of tasks and thinking on your feet, then its a very good job.

      The hardest part is being away from home, but you'll find that when your away the life at home doesn't change, but you change dramatically with the exposure to different experiences a cultures.

      Comment


      • #4
        Pretty much a Ditto from me too.

        It can be there are still some "hairy arsed sailors" around who only come to work to fund their drinking / social lives or 3 dozen kids to 2 dozen mothers, but like real life they are few and far between.

        I guess the politics comes from reading to many cruise ship blogs in which ase yeah it might get a bit like that, given the huge crew and competing sections and departments, but on a cargo boat when we are 24 souls all-in then not so much, it is possible that there may be professional disagreements on occasion but the trick is to split the personal from the professional, though not easy at times and may mean a few days of limited talking to the person concerned, but that's life

        Being away can be hard, I just joined and am here until Feb, so no Christmas for me, but then it's the same for the other 23 souls and goes with the job, last year I was home next year I "should" be home this years it's my turn.

        If you read the thread about coms then you will see there are options depending on who you end up working for, so keeping in touch isnt so hard.

        My employer has internet on all it's boats now, it's slow and very limited in capacity and has a FUP (each ship has 25g to play with / month for ALL data use inc ships business) but we manage it and stampon people not playing nicely, it lets you o Facebook and Twitter and most sites you could wish to go to, it has server side graphics reduction built in, so photos can look not their best . Other companies have text only e-mail (which we still have but hardly anyone uses it) for private use again very little limit on it at all (though I guess somewhere there is some auto-monitoring it just wouldnt be good corporate governance not to!)

        As for will YOU like....only YOU know the answer I am afraid, remember even the "lowest ranking person on board" is a professional and MUST have certain abilities and certificates to even be on the ship, most people are just you know "normal" well fairly normal. With a mix of humors, grumps and growls

        As for not wanting my kids come to sea, if I had any then I would do as AM says, guide them into the right sort of company or an area.

        At the end of the day know yourself and then decide if it's for you.
        Trust me I'm a Chief.

        Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
        Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
        No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


        Twitter:- @DeeChief

        Comment


        • #5
          If I was you I'd be more concerned about being the only person on board who speaks a conversational level of English.

          post approved

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
            If I was you I'd be more concerned about being the only person on board who speaks a conversational level of English.

            post approved
            Ah, has our troll finally dug his way out of his little hole again? We did wonder (not for long) as to where you might have gone and sadly you have made your way back. Hopefully your owner will eventually take you out and put you out of your misery.

            Anywho, to the OP. Ignore this moron, the crew are required to speak a certain level of English (radio's, SIRE, Cruise passengers, etc) that you will be able to converse with them fairly easily, so long as you don't speak at the speed of light with a thick accent (basically, speak clearly..).
            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Troll? not really sure what that means.

              Yes ok crews are expected to speak a certain amount of english but that is essentially a basic level for safety purposes and not a standard where you can have a general conversation.

              This thread was about the sort of people who work at sea, which generally isn't a problem in my experience. The point I was making was as a cadet you can be expected to spend up to 6 months at sea as the only brit on board. Personally I find that a long time to go without having a proper conversation.

              Comment


              • #8
                I can see the point when you explain it like that. Maybe your first post could have explained your comment a little better

                To boldly go.....
                Forum Administrator
                OfficerCadet.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry for not explaining it that well.

                  But I think it is an important point, I was told at my interview that they sent cadets on ships with British officers and trip lengths were generally 3-4 months. Its quite tough when you've spent 6 months without having a normal face to face conversation and the cheapest means of communication is a ?1 per minute sat phone.

                  If I was to apply again I'd go for an actual company rather than a training agency and pay much more attention to the nationalities of the crews they employ and the facilities on board their ships.

                  Can someone explain what troll means slightly confusing insult.
                  And as for calling me a moron that's just rude considering I was trying to make a valid point.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                    Troll? not really sure what that means.

                    Yes ok crews are expected to speak a certain amount of english but that is essentially a basic level for safety purposes and not a standard where you can have a general conversation.

                    This thread was about the sort of people who work at sea, which generally isn't a problem in my experience. The point I was making was as a cadet you can be expected to spend up to 6 months at sea as the only brit on board. Personally I find that a long time to go without having a proper conversation.
                    Thats strange because I was the only Brit on pretty much all my ships and yet I'm able to hold a conversation with all the crew and their varying levels of English. If you speak slowly and clearly (without local slang), then you are able to have a conversation with them and you would be highly surprised at what you can learn from them. Also, how about trying to learn a bit of their language? I tend to find it a rather arrogant trait of some Brits that they refuse to learn another language simply because "they all speak English".

                    Just to knock your point about safety purposes and what not, the level of English that companies now demand is generally quite high, so you will get crew with an excellent grasp of English (sometimes their level of English will be higher than that of most Brits). It is not just for "safety purposes", it is also for using Radio's and dealing with port officials, etc.

                    Another point I should quickly make as well (a little off topic). Don't ever be fooled into thinking that you will have the best training sailing only with Brits because that is, quite simply, a load of crap. All nationalities have excellent seafarers who can be superb teachers.
                    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                    All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                      Another point I should quickly make as well (a little off topic). Don't ever be fooled into thinking that you will have the best training sailing only with Brits because that is, quite simply, a load of crap. All nationalities have excellent seafarers who can be superb teachers.
                      This is very true GM. Skill comes from all over the world. I have personally sailed with a large number of foreign officers who taught me more than some british ones. I would say that maybe for a first trip cadet they would find it easier to start a conversation with, or ask a technical questioon of, or ask permission to do something from, a person who speaks English fluently. Just an opinion some have. It isn't necessarily the right one, it's a confidence issue as well as a personal feeling about the issue

                      To boldly go.....
                      Forum Administrator
                      OfficerCadet.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Firstly I would never say that the best training is from British officers. On my second ship I sailed with a polish officer who I probably learnt more from than anyone else at sea. But it can be very hard to learn detailed procedures or the reasons for doing something from someone who cannot explain it to you.

                        I dont know what ships that you have sailed on but you mentioned SIRE maybe its a better situation on tankers.
                        And yes I have tried learning other languages I had to on that ship just to try and understand what was going on on the mooring deck as no one was speaking english.

                        On that trip I spent alot of time being very frustrated with feeling left out of conversations and only ever knowing what was going on when somebody decided to tell me in english. Its not just the language its the culture and sense of humour.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          These comments have actually reassured me quite a bit. Having said that I still need to be in my head 100% sure I am doing the right thing before signing up as I do NOT intend to treat the training lightly and/or waste a place by dropping out.

                          I guess one of my big worries is that being 28 I consider myself to have "grown up" and become a lot more sensible over the last few years and was kind of worried that this career might not give the professionalism for want of a better word that I want out of a job. I think through your comments I need not be so worried about this. I think my ideas largely stem again from reading blogs and looking at pics of young officers getting drunk all the time and generally acting stupid and generally not giving a s**t. I say again I do love a good laugh and mess about but just not all the time.

                          To those that said it depends on the company you go with I am aiming to go with OOCL. They seem to have a very good reputation for training and seem to get very good feedback from current cadets. Are they considered a good company to train with?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think it's safe to say we have a good time but everyone take the job very seriously - I don't think I've ever worked with such professional people.

                            I would heartily recommend size4's blog, and of course mine and, well actually, any of the linked blogs (see link on the top naviation bar). I know the others, and hopefully mine (which needs some serious updating!) give the accounts of responsible and profesional cadets and officers.

                            Young officers getting drunk all the time just doesn't really happen. Many ships are dry and even on those that aren't nobody with even the tiniest bit of common sense would risk their jobs (or more) by being irresponsible.
                            sigpic
                            Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

                            Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would say that the training is enjoyable, although everyone has bad days but that's true of any job. At the end of the day the 3 year cadetship is not the job and being an officer is completely different.

                              If you do the cadetship and become an officer and hate it, I mean really hate it, there aree always other opportunities for you. The shipping industry, though a small world for the people in it, is HUGE for everything you could do.

                              To boldly go.....
                              Forum Administrator
                              OfficerCadet.com

                              Comment

                              Previously entered content was automatically saved. Restore or Discard.
                              Auto-Saved
                              x
                              Insert: Thumbnail Small Medium Large Fullsize Remove  
                              x
                              or Allowed Filetypes: jpg, jpeg, png, gif
                              x
                              x
                              Working...
                              X