How should deck cadets and junior engineers handle unemployment

How Should Deck Cadets and Junior Engineers Tackle Unemployment

Increasing unemployment has become a huge subject of concern in the shipping industry in the last few years. Deck cadets and trainee marine engineers who have just completed their pre-sea training and have no sailing experience are the ones worst affected by this. There are various reasons which have contributed to the present grim situation of the Indian Maritime sector. The biggest reason is the flooding of deck cadets and trainee marine engineers in the industry.

Unemployed deck cadets

Although in recent years the profits made by the shipping companies have been at an all-time high. Yet, the opportunities for inexperienced cadets waiting to board their first vessel just keep on decreasing each year. Most shipping companies these days are reluctant to hire fresh inexperienced cadets because of which there has been a flooding of unemployed deck cadets and TMEs in the country. 

This problem of the high unemployment rate is not going to be solved anytime soon unless there is some intervention by the government authorities. But the question is how do these unemployed deck cadets and trainee marine engineers navigate through such tough times? They entered this industry with big dreams and aspirations and now are struggling to find jobs and maybe even regretting their decision of joining this field. 

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Hence if you are one of the unemployed cadets currently struggling to find a job, forget about the things that are not in your control. Rather work on things that are well within your reach. In this blog, we write about some of the ways in which you can handle unemployment and turn adversity into an opportunity. 

Stay Away from Negativity

trainee marine engineers should stay away from negativity

During these difficult times, there are going to be many people who will try to bring you down and question your employment status. Try to avoid such people who bring negativity into your life. Just stay focused on your goal of finding a job. There are still plenty of opportunities out there, the jobs in merchant navy did not just disappear overnight. The biggest challenge is to find those opportunities and make the most out of them when you do get them.   

Develop Your Knowledge

deck cadets and trainee marine engineers should develop their knowledge

Keep in touch with your studies even after course completion. Just because you do not have to appear for any exam in the near future does not mean that you let your books just lie in one corner of your room. Shipping companies test your technical knowledge in their interviews, hence you should be up to date with your entire course syllabus. This will even help you when you join a vessel. Officers onboard prefer candidates who are sincere and have sufficient knowledge about their respective departments. 

Work on your skillset 

work on your skill set

Develop some extra skills that set you apart from everyone else. Try to find a job elsewhere till you get that break in the shipping industry. With a large number of deck cadets and trainee marine engineers completing their courses every year, the competition is really high. You need to find a way to give that extra pump to your CV which can distinguish you from the rest of the crowd. Hence start working somewhere you can gain experience working in a professional environment. Recruiters will always prefer candidates who have some past working experience rather than candidates who have no work experience at all. 

Build Networks  

deck cadets and trainee marine engineers should build their network

One of the most important steps to finding the correct job for yourself is to build networks in the right places. Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself and try to connect to different shipping companies around the world. Visit the offices of shipping companies and try to pass around your CV to the person in charge of recruitment. Send emails to the recruitment department of various shipping companies in case they have any job openings. Keep calling the offices of different shipping companies and enquire whether they are willing to recruit deck cadets or trainee marine engineers. You are certain to face a lot of rejections and even some insults at times, however, who knows you may find a company that does give you an opportunity. 

Stay Away from Agents 

deck cadets and trainee marine engineers should stay away from agents

Stay away from agents and their fake promises while searching for jobs. Most of these agents are money-grabbing sharks who approach people when they are at the lowest point of their lives. They fill their minds with dreams of working in good shipping companies and offer them job security. In return, they charge really high fee of 2000$ – 3000$ to get them placed onboard a vessel. However, they disappear as soon as they receive the demanded fee. In some cases they even do provide employment on ships, however, they get people placed in below-average companies who manage ships where the living conditions are worse than hell. Hence, do not dig a further deep hole for yourself by getting involved with agents. 

Finding jobs has become a very daunting task for freshers in the shipping industry, however, it is not impossible. Just focus on things that are well within your reach and work hard on those things. Do not let the demotivating words of your friends or relatives stop you from your struggle to find a job. Keep visiting offices of shipping companies, send emails to the crew recruitment department of these companies, and try to build networks with people in position and authority. 

In the meantime work a part-time job to support yourself, and do not depend on the finances provided by your family members. If you stay up to date with your studies and continuously approach shipping companies for a job, you are sure to succeed one day.

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Jerry Rice

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