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Out for a year. How bad is it?

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  • Out for a year. How bad is it?

    So when I finished my cadet phase I foolishly spent about 3 months applying in all the wrong places. When I did get on track I found the agencies had nothing for me. I began looking elsewhere for jobs (ROVs, On shore engineer positions etc) but nothing came from it. I'm thinking of trying the agency route again but am worried. I've not worked in a year and wonder how badly this will affect my chances of getting hired on ship?

    I've no experience apart from my cadet phase. Would it be beneficial to apply for motorman positions?

    Any help here is appreciated. Please keep the insults to a minimum I know being out of work a year is a pathetic state of affairs.

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    ERRV's are probably your best chance, imo they are the lowest of the low. But you've got to start somewhere, and the only way is up from an ERRV. I've heard that some offshore companies avoid hiring anyone who's sailed on an ERRV, so it can count against you. But its better than no experience.

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    • #3
      First of all if anyone throws insults because you have been out of work for a year I will get Guinnessman to go round and slap them with a big spanner. It is not a pathetic state of affairs to be out of work for a year if you have been trying to find work. I assume you are an engineer and you qualified in the usual way from a UK college with either a HND or a Foundation Degree. If you lost your job at the end of your cadetship because there were no jobs then you did nothing wrong and you can hold your head up. If you were "let go" because of another reason, try to analyse why and try and fix it.

      Secondly you need to look at how many jobs you have applied for, how you applied and whether you had any feedback from them. Most companies do not write to say "Thanks, but no thanks" which to me is so rude. Every time someone applies to me for a job, with either a CV or an application form they always get a letter, even if it is a no, and anyone interviewed gets a phone call, successful or not, afterwards. How many companies have you contacted to find out why you failed to secure a position? Who has checked your CV over to make sure it is good? Go and find the thread where I gave someone else advice on their CV and check it through. To make each application do you tailor your CV to the job or fire the same one off? How many speculative letters have you written? How many publications do you scan online for jobs, what about relevant sectors, such as offshore? What about websites and publications? www.first4marinejobs.com is one that springs to mind. Many jobs are not advertised so get a spec letter off to every company, if they send you an application form, copy it, complete a draft, polish it up and then fill out the original and send it back. When faced with application forms many people give up because it is too much effort. As the saying goes you have to be in it to win it and that has just cut out half of the competition.

      To know where you are going in job search you need to know where you have been. Go back to every company that you have applied to recently and ask them for feedback on why you did not get the position.

      There is also a problem with applying for positions for which you are over qualified. First of all many companies will not consider you because of that reason and will know you are using it as a stop gap, but you then peg yourself lower down and will have problems stepping back up from that position in the future.

      Whatever you do, do not get desperate. Every time you spend 10 hours filling out an application form and then you do not even get a "Dear John" you will feel worse. Once you find others in the same situation you will feel a bit more normal. That is perfectly normal, just don't give up.

      Is there anywhere nearby that you could volunteer for that will give you relevant experience? No good volunteering to work in McDonalds as it does not benefit you, but if you have a small boatyard nearby then they could add to your reference if you go down and help out part time voluntarily. Just don't do too much.

      If anything I said has got you saying - "I've already done that" then fine - I am preaching to the converted and I am not trying to patronise you but you did not give me a huge amount to go on.

      Whatever you do, hang on in there and keep you head up. I have been there myself twice and it is horrible. If you are anywhere near the midlands, give me a shout and I will take you for a beer or three to cheer you up a bit!

      Ian.
      "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
      "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

      "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

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      • #4
        Dont know if it works for engineers but know a deckie who took his first job as qualifying as an EDH. Done one trip after EDH made a good impression and got offerd 3rd mates job. Could you apply as a mottorman and try something similar?

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        • #5
          Have you tried contacting people you sailed with as a cadet or people you were at college with? A lot of jobs go on personal recommendations, without ever being advertised. Get your CV with a covering letter out to as many companies as possible, not just the agencies, and be willing to give anything a go, once you've got that first stamp, things will start to get easier.

          Size4riggerboots

          Moderator
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          • #6
            Why do ERRVs have a bad reputation? I know a couple of folk on them - perfectly normal, hard working guys...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by broadbandylegs View Post
              Why do ERRVs have a bad reputation? I know a couple of folk on them - perfectly normal, hard working guys...
              I was wondering that myself to be totally honest....
              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.

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              • #8
                In the past EERV's where ALL ex fishermen with an attitude of entitlements and couldnt give a rats ass...however as various things have happened in the industry since then (say last 10-15 years) and specialist boats become the norm etc then this has changed, however mud sticks, seemples a the african rodents say
                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

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                • #9
                  In the early 80's a lot of the standby boats at the rigs were actually converted trawlers or converted something or others. There were never any purpose built boats, and yes the crews were all ex fishermen. There were a lot of crews on the anchor handlers who were the same. Tough as old boots and had the attitude that if you went over the side you were not coming back. Took me 3 days before I realised they were speaking the same language as me!

                  Back then there was a distinct difference between the two types of vessels, the Anchor Handlers / Supply Ships were all crewed with traditional MN Officers, The Standby boats were not.

                  I think that that is where the differential comes from in the attitudes. It's a old hangup.

                  Ian
                  "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
                  "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

                  "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    sidewinders where what they where classed as single screw and the companies running them where...erm....cheap? bring your own sleeping bag and the likes...it's an old hang up, mainly done and dusted now...I used to like the peace, 4 weeks at sea no port calls, just me and the boys doing our thing, occasional e-mail, in to tow on day 28 take fuel, handover go home :-)
                    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

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