A Seafarer's Guide to Living Overseas


Date Posted: January 31, 2019

 


Overseas jobs in the Philippines are one of the most sought after jobs even if working away from your motherland could reap heaps of benefits. Mainly, large salaries are what makes overseas jobs desirable for many Filipinos. One sector that holds the highest paying overseas jobs around the world is the maritime industry. But it isn’t easy to secure a job as a seafarer as one must be rigorously trained for the job.
Once you get on board, you’ll be faced with numerous challenges. A seaman must be resilient and alert. Many factors could hinder you from performing in top-shape. Living in a watercraft that’s always on the go isn’t easy. Here’s a guide for seafarers for living overseas.
 

 

 

 


Keep Family Remembrances
As a seafarer, you always have to be mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to be away at sea for 4 to 12 months. There’s no doubt that you’ll miss all your loved ones and feel homesick. If you don’t have your emotions in check, this could affect your performance in a subtle way. Loneliness could lead to low productivity.
Use this as a motivation because you’re working for them, to uplift their lives as well as yours. Keep photos of them in your wallet. Though modern vessels and ships have internet access, network connection at sea could vary and there could be no guarantee of a stable connection. Usually, these on-board network access aren’t free and they’re time-limited too. But if the price won’t bother you, then make the most out of them to reach out to your loved ones.

Learn How to Adapt
As a seafarer, you’ll be faced with various circumstances, immersed with different cultures, and crew members from all walks of life.
You can’t stay in your own comfort zone as a seafarer. You must learn how to be flexible and stay on top of every situation. Learning how to adapt in terms of the job is good, but learning more about every aspect of being a seafarer is even better. Try to get along with your crew, be prepared for every type of situation, and never get complacent.
 



Be Respectful
Whether you’re talking to high ranking officers or able-bodied seamen, you must treat everyone with respect. Think of your ship and every crew member as the only community you’ll have for months so you should never disrespect any of your crew members. You only have each other for most part of the year, don’t fuel any form of spite against anyone. This could compromise your conduct and the working relationship of the team.

Have Integrity
Being professional at all times will pay off for you in the future. Demonstrating integrity will leave a positive mark on your reputation as a seafarer. Many will regard you as trustworthy and an utmost professional at sea. Having integrity means that you remain responsible and you would be able to maintain a level of professionalism even when you’re off duty.
When you’re a person of great integrity, your good values will rub off on people. You will be a man of influence to the crew. Being straightforward and frank will help you avoid falling into attitude traps and negative acts such as spreading rumors and gossiping.

 

Build Healthy Co-Worker Relationships
It’s always good to maintain a healthy working relationship with your crew members; whether they’re your subordinates, colleagues, or superiors. You don’t have to know everyone personally. You just have to maintain a good reputation with everyone. Keeping a good professional image could benefit you when you are evaluated for a promotion.
Never try to avoid people onboard. One way or another, you’ll encounter everyone on the ship. Generally, seafarers keep to themselves. But it’s always good to reach out once in a while, to break the seriousness that fills the air of every shipping crew. You can start by being more involved in crew meetings, discussions, and training sessions.

Be Dedicated
Nothing pays off more than being dedicated at work. Being dedicated will open doors of opportunities for you. You can have all the skills needed to excel at being the best seafarer but if you aren’t dedicated, those skills are as good as nothing.
Your dedication could be realized by upper management and grant you a promotion early in your career as a seafarer. Being dedicated at work displays your level of passion for what you do. Never let anything bring you down; whether it’s the difficulty of your job, the people you’re with, or any of your emotional struggles. Dedication will help you open your mind and induce learning. You can work smarter and avoid getting burnout from all the tasks assigned to you by your superior.

Key Takeaway
For seafarers, there may be various difficulties that one could struggle with life at sea. If there’s one thing to keep in mind as a seafarer, it’s to love, respect and be dedicated to what you do. It’s difficult to land and keep a job overseas since thousands of breadwinners opt for these types of jobs to provide the best for their families.


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