I’m sure this has been asked and posted about as nauseam, I’ve done some searching and am considering options however I would greatly value opinions and advice from fellow mariners.
I’ve been a deckhand for nearly 17 years sailing on tugs mostly with 6.5 years on OSVs back in 2011 and am currently sailing ATBs moving black oil.
Two years ago I obtained a license as 3rd Mate Unl, OICNW (NC) and last year I picked up my MOT(Oceans) and tankerman PIC DL barge.
The company I work for has/had a training program which I was told I would be placed into once I got my towing endorsement. I have several written recommendations from captains including the one I’m working with as well as the port captain but those above them seem to only be hiring Mates with prior experience from without the company and no longer training/promoting from within.
My options have come down to either go knock on doors to try to grab a low paying river boat job for the experience, try to join a union to ship out, apply at some place like OSG maybe or just stick it out and continue to push for a position here.
I have children and would prefer not to sail deep sea but at this point I’m willing to entertain the idea as long as it were steady work with the possibility of advancement.
What do you think would be my best option here?