My questions pertains to age when starting out in the maritime industry. But first, a little background.
I am currently serving on active duty in the USCG. I am a certified tactical coxswain on several small-boat platforms. I am also a BM1 or First Class Boatswains Mate (E6). I have many years of experience in boat maintenance, repair and operations, but no big boat experience (i.e. cutters). Because of life choices, I didn’t enlist until later in life after suffering through over 15 years in sales and management careers. I’ve found my true calling, which is to be underway. I have earned my mariner credentials, and am working to add more endorsements (i.e. Able Body & Lifeboat man). I currently hold a 50-ton Master/Mate with commercial assistance towing, and OS/FS/Wiper. Unfortunately, a 50 ton license is worthless and I need bigger boat experience to keep working on upgrading. My goal is to get on OSV’s and start working my way up from the deck plate. And herein lies my question.
I am 42 years old with military underway experience. I know physically and mentally I can do the job, but again, I’m 42. I’m competing with young kids ready to jump on board at a moments notice. Because of my age and life-stage, I am working full time on active duty and supporting a family. It’s difficult for me to jump in a car and take off for two weeks to knock on doors in Louisiana.
Any thoughts or advice on the best way to overcome the age and experience factors?