As an individual who aspires to make a newfound career at sea I have some questions, and could use some input from experienced individuals who have made their way into and through the maritime industry. I’ll try to keep this short and concise.
Quickly about me and then a few questions: I’m a 29 year old male with a bachelors in nursing from a California State University, and have been working for a few years in a critical care unit, but currently despise my career trajectory and everything it entails. Long story short I have realized with much self reflection that up until this point I have always done what I thought or was told what was the “right” or “safe” thing to do in terms of career and trying to build a family, but truth is I fucking hate where I’m at now. I have always had an affinity for the sea, have never been a homebody, and am currently single (ended a serious LTR 6 months ago). I know people say this is tough on families but honestly I have no plans to get married; I think it’s a horrible deal for men in today’s world. Nor do I have any desire for children. While I do love my immediate family we have never needed to see each other more then a few times a year.
A big part of the appeal of a career in this industry is that I’m under the impression I can do honest hard work as opposed to the corporate drone ass kissing to move up the ladder, and with my time off live in cheaper countries and explore the world for months at a time (I LOVE backpacking and being a minimalist) as opposed to taking two two-week vacations a year as is the case with a shore side job.
My questions are:
Do you foresee this being a worthwhile career knowing everything you know now and the future of shipping/sailing?
If you are a deck officer/captain (the roles I would be genuinely interested in) are you satisfied/fulfilled with your career?
I’m a huge proponent of self improvement through weight lifting for bulking up, reading, and other productive hobbies for the soul such as learning languages or music. Is there time for these sorts of things when out at sea as a deck officer? I want to always come back to land a more mindful stronger man then when I leave.
How are the people’s attitudes in this industry? I’ve always been the personality type to make the best of a shitty situation and use humor to embrace the crappy parts of life. I’m all for bantering, but also understand when it’s time to get serious to achieve the task at hand. Would I fit in to this world?
Education for a degree and license seems expensive in the states (especially for a masters). If at all possible would it be worth it to try and go to another first world country for the education and come back to the states and do whatever’s necessary for licensing?
At 29 I would be nearing 32-33 years old by the time I got out of school, and my net worth would probably be almost zero if I have to pay tuition. Are salaries good enough that one could create a nice nest egg within 20-25 years of being a deck officer and working their way up? One day I’ll be old as some of you reading this, and since I don’t plan on having kids than I need to make sure I can afford to pay someone to wipe my ass.
Are my expectations about working hard and the way time off work even reasonable? Am I fucking crazy for even entertaining this idea? My family all seems to think so, and my brother is trying to convince me to get into programming or the tech realm as he currently works with some big names in San Francisco. But I’ve seen the world he’s in and I just know I would be completely unfulfilled if I had an office job working towards the house with a white picket fence and a wife who probably secretly hates me and is fucking my next door neighbor while I’m away on business trips and then one day serves me with divorce papers and takes half my shit and the dog she hates only to spite me! (I’ve clearly thought this through)
If you’ve made it this far and put in the time to answer any of this or just give me life advice in general, I do genuinely thank you!
A lost young soul