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  • Life after sea

    Over the last few trips at sea I?ve been starting to enjoy the job less and less and have been seriously considering making a move ashore. Me and my girlfriend have been talking about what will happen when we start a family which isn?t that far away. I want to spend more time with her and my family and also once we have kids I dread to think about leaving them for 6 weeks at a time. I also don?t like the thought of once im 60, I?ll have spent over 20 years of my life onboard a ship.

    I was wondering whether you fine people could give me some advice on what career paths people often take when moving ashore?. I was thinking along the obvious lines of shipping office, port control, MCA, coastguard, cargo inspectors etc Or even were to start looking for jobs. It may also help to know that I?m a Deck Officer not an Engineer.

    Thanks =)

  • #2
    Originally posted by noworries182 View Post
    Over the last few trips at sea I’ve been starting to enjoy the job less and less and have been seriously considering making a move ashore. Me and my girlfriend have been talking about what will happen when we start a family which isn’t that far away. I want to spend more time with her and my family and also once we have kids I dread to think about leaving them for 6 weeks at a time. I also don’t like the thought of once im 60, I’ll have spent over 20 years of my life onboard a ship.

    I was wondering whether you fine people could give me some advice on what career paths people often take when moving ashore?. I was thinking along the obvious lines of shipping office, port control, MCA, coastguard, cargo inspectors etc Or even were to start looking for jobs. It may also help to know that I’m a Deck Officer not an Engineer.

    Thanks =)
    For starters, the big question, what rank are you currently and what level of CoC do you hold? Whilst coming ashore for an engineer is relatively easy, for a deckie, it is a wee bit harder if you don't hold a Chief Officer license at the minimum (it's not impossible, but it is harder). Working for the Ship Management company in an operational capacity will be very difficult as they generally only want folks with Master's tickets and experience as a lot of the work will be based around your own experience in the cargo operations of your assigned vessels. Coastguard? They're shutting loads of places down, I wouldn't bother the now. Cargo Inspectors or MCA? Same problem, they'll want you to have a Chief Off's license. What I can recommend is looking at something like VTS, P&I and maybe chartering, but remember that you will most likely start at the very bottom of the pile. It will be like your cadetship over again, because until you have the shoreside experience they won't really trust you with much at all.

    A place to start? Well, provided you've got a good CV ready to go then I would heartily recommend uploading your CV to Spinnaker recruitment and getting your arse onto Linkedin and start networking. Join a professional body and get some form of accreditation (it's worth more than you know, don't let anyone tell you otherwise) and then start having a poke about. Be prepared to move, because unless you live in a major city like London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, etc then there won't be anything available there. Try to get into a larger company as there is generally room for advancement and training. If you join a small company, then jobs are usually dead man's shoes.

    Any other questions, then feel free....
    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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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Guinness man, i meant to put on that I only hold an unlimited OOW at the minute not a chief mates, but im not far off being able to go back to get it. I did the uni course and end up finishing with a first class degreeso i'm hoping that me be rewarded in the future. I have a few mates who never went to sea after getting their COC, they got jobs in shipping offices as safety officers and trainee supers but their wages aren't great. I understand i'll have to take a cut in wages and there's no point bailing out with only a lowly OOW ticket. Another downer is that i work in offshore so no great container or bulk experience apart from the year as a cadet on box boats. i'm currently living in kent not far from London and i'm orginally from Liverpool but will probably end up living in Swansea lol (GF's from swansea) but i'll have to move where the jobs are so thats no problem really but then this is why we want to settle down before starting a family etc, we dont want to have to up root and move round chasing jobs later on in life. Thanks again Guinness man.

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      • #4
        I would strongly suggest you stick it out to get your Masters, most shore jobs in the industry will require masters as a minimum, although if you want to leave maybe see if you can do a year for your present company in the office then if you don't like it you can go back.


        Long term if you only have your OOW ticket your career will be limited as most companies and organisations don't want people without Masters tickets running the show or telling masters on ships what to do. Equally MCA for Port state control etc, Cargo surveyors etc will need Master as a min.


        A few ideas if you do want to leave - ship agent, port VTS officer etc but as you are aware you will be taking a pay hit and then be limited on career progression. I know you have a degree but that will probably only come into its own when linked with a higher ticket.


        Additionally although your mates got trainee super jobs etc - I hate to say that's probably where they will remain for a long time as when I worked in a managerial role everyone I worked with was either class 1 deck or engine.


        Good luck with whatever you decide and please don't think I'm being overly negative - I'm lucky to have done the office side for a bit and know the ropes (although very happy to be back in the water Piloting!)
        Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

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        • #5
          Like GM and Chris, I would definitely advise sticking it out to get at least a mates ticket, having a degree does change the game a little, but if you are going to move ashore into ship management then experience as mate will not only make you more likely to get a job, it will make you more able to do the job as well.

          That said, there is no harm in asking around, recruitment agencies such as Faststream, Clyde Marine and Viking recruitment are always advertising for shore positions, give them a call and ask their adice, they will know better than anyone what companies are generally looking for and what difference your degree will make.
          Go out, do stuff

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          • #6
            It was a long time ago, but I found myself in a similar position. I retrained in ICT and started again from a career point of view. I would have liked to have carved out a shore based career in a shipping related role, but it wasn't to be, so ended up working for a few software companies, then NHS and now a local authority head of ICT.
            Once you make the move, you might be surprised at what doors open for you.
            MN experience certainly gave me something different to talk about at interviews and you'd be surprised how people rate the experience + having worked at sea does give you a slightly different view on life.
            Good luck with whatever you decide to do - life's too short to continue at something you're not happy with.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by broadbandylegs View Post
              life's too short to continue at something you're not happy with.
              Amen to that!

              Some people will complain that changing your career means your training was wasted, however, I am of the firm opinion that any experience is far more valuable than no experience.
              Last edited by size4riggerboots; 28 January 2013, 02:10 PM. Reason: spelling!

              Size4riggerboots

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              • #8
                The experience you get working at sea really is invaluable. OK there are many transferrable skills, but you will find if you work ashore that there will be subtle differences in how you approach problems. Generally, you will be more self sufficient and resilient and will have a better work ethic.
                I don't know anyone who hasn't been successful in shore based work after having worked at sea in any responsible capacity.
                More companies really should wake up to this resource!

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for your replies, its all good, friendly and valuable advice which is appreciated.

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                  • #10
                    My advice to you noworries182 would be to stick at you're offshore career for a couple more years. Just think of the Filipino Officers that have to work 12 month contracts to provide for their families. The welfare state has built up to much of the attitude where you don't have to work and can spend all your time at home... but I doubt this will last for more than a few year the way the global economy is going. The best thing that you can do is stay working you 6 week contracts building up skills and gaining training such as getting your mates/masters/DP ticket to make yourself more employable so you can bring a more solid future for yourself, don't think in the short-term, thinking for the long-term will stand you in a much better position.

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                    • #11
                      not quite ashore but what about short sea ferry companies and the like where you might be working 2 on 2 off.

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                      • #12
                        From clyde marine recruitment:

                        VTS Operator
                        4/4 days of 12 hour shifts after every 8 rotations there is 18 days off, there is no travel reimbursed.
                        Job Reference: VTS/SB
                        Job type: Deck Officer
                        Experience Required: Experience as an OOW
                        Contract type: Permanent
                        Qualification Requirements: OOW or above - UK CEC, GMDSS, all STCW 95 basic certification
                        Location: Grangemouth

                        Rather oddly it's listed as a sea going job not a shore one

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                        • #13
                          I know a guy who got offered the VTS job at grangemouth and it was ?26k before tax i believe.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bobofinga View Post
                            I know a guy who got offered the VTS job at grangemouth and it was ?26k before tax i believe.
                            I think you would get more money working in Asda - I wouldnt even consider that however everyone is different along with their personal circumstances. IMO better to wait it out and get your old mans/chief ticket and then you have much better options.

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                            • #15
                              What's wrong with 26k before tax?

                              Unless you Asda pays upwards of 15 quid an hour then I doubt it.

                              If your happy a shore with your family and friends and money isn't your objective that VTS job looks okay.

                              For me, I'm a bit greedy and enjoy the time off the MN gives me. Still a young guy who needs to do some exploring before I can consider settling down.

                              Each to their own.
                              "My Job"

                              It's not my place to run the boat
                              the fog horn I can't blow.

                              It's not my place to say just where
                              the boat's allowed to go

                              It's not my right to dock the boat
                              or even clang the bell

                              But let the damn thing
                              start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

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