How to Handle Long Waiting Period in Merchant Navy?
By: Amaiya Rathi
One of the most in-demand professions in the nation right now is the merchant navy. Every year, thousands of students take the IMU-CET exam in an effort to seek lucrative maritime careers. Unfortunately, relative to the number of students finishing their pre-sea courses each year, there are far fewer job openings in reputable shipping organizations. This has caused a deluge of applicants at the junior ranks in the maritime industry over time. As a result, candidates must endure lengthy waiting periods before embarking on their first ship.
Why There are Long Waiting Periods Before Joining a Ship?
The ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions have made it even more difficult for seamen to sign on and off on time. Because of this, the waiting times for some of the top shipping firms have gotten longer over the past two to three years. After completing the course, there may be a waiting period of as little as three months or as much as two years before a new cadet can join a vessel for the first time.
Depending on the shipping firm you are sponsored by, the waiting period’s duration will vary. Good shipping companies with a large fleet of ships typically have shorter waiting times. Therefore, it is crucial that you begin your career with a reputable shipping firm. It could impact how your entire career develops.
However, no matter how good a shipping firm sponsors you, the majority of cadets must wait at least six months before they board their first ship. We’ll outline some of the methods in this blog post so that you can make the most of your extended waiting time.
Tips to Handle Longer Waiting Periods in Merchant Navy
1. Search and Apply for a Job
Find a good job and get to work throughout your waiting period—this is one of the most effective methods to keep yourself occupied and utilize the time. For students who have pursued Graduate Marine Engineering (GME) or a B.tech in Marine Engineering, finding suitable employment is not that tough.
They can easily find suitable positions at the shore because they have a degree in mechanical engineering. Students pursuing the Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) have a greater hurdle here due to the fact that they just have a 12th-grade certificate/diploma. Although challenging, the task is not impossible.
Working a part-time job prior to embarking on a ship gives you exposure to the workplace culture of a professional setting. In addition, you develop time management skills because there are numerous submissions or milestones to achieve within a set period of time. Therefore, having professional work experience before joining a ship would greatly aid you in acclimating to the work environment there.
2. Study/Do Certifications
Studying on a regular basis is also essential during your waiting periods. When you join a ship, you must have complete knowledge of at least your theoretical subject matter. If you are able to address the majority of their inquiries, your seniors onboard will have a favourable initial opinion of you. They’ll view you as a sincere cadet and show interest in teaching you about the many duties they perform on board.
On the other hand, if your superiors believe that you are completely ignorant, they will never be interested in passing on any knowledge to you, and you will be forced to perform menial tasks like mopping, cleaning, painting, etc. Use your time wisely and study frequently to avoid encountering issues at sea.
Along with this, you can also take up certification courses. It does not have to be necessarily related to the marine industry. You can pursue a certification course in any other subject that you’d like. It can help you get a job in case you get another long waiting period in the future.
Also Read: Everything about IMU-CET 2023
3. Engage in Sports/Physical Activities
It is crucial to be in good physical condition before boarding a ship. At times, working aboard the ship can be incredibly physically taxing. Therefore, you should be physically fit and have a particular amount of endurance before joining a ship. While at home, make an effort to be active frequently. A person may get lazy and lethargic after spending a lot of time at home. You will get into a lot of trouble while onboard if you adopt these traits at home.
Therefore, the best course of action is to establish a pattern for yourself and adhere to it religiously at home in order to avoid any issues when you are exposed to the demanding work schedule onboard. Play any outdoor sport you like, join a gym, or go running. Keep yourself in shape by engaging in anything you enjoy.
4. Travel and Socialize
Try to make the most of this extended holiday by going on hikes, taking part in new adventure sports, seeing new locations, meeting new people, etc. As we all know, seafarers have a very limited social life while they are at sea.
Therefore, do your best to take advantage of this opportunity as you might not have another vacation this long. Go outside, meet new people, and travel instead of binge-watching television; doing so will greatly enhance your personality and self-confidence.
5. Be Mentally Prepared
Watch YouTube videos displaying life onboard when you are at home. There are many content creators who frequently share their life at sea on social networking sites. Try to get yourself ready for a ship’s surroundings.
Ask your seniors who have sailed on board questions about the type of job that is done there. Ask about the expectations that are placed on a new cadet by the crew. It will be much easier for you to adapt to the work environment onboard if you are able to obtain all this information before you board a ship.
One of the most challenging parts of a seafarer’s life is the waiting period. Those who join for the first time in particular are frequently questioned about it by their friends and relatives. Unfortunately, they have no power whatsoever to change this circumstance.
You can, however, make an effort to use this time as effectively as you can. And simply be patient; don’t let your friends and family’s frequent outbursts demoralise you. Just keep in mind that your time will come as well, but when it does, you must be completely prepared to seize the chance. So, put in the effort, have faith, and ace your career!
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