first of all: thanks for all the advice i’ve picked up on this forum. i’ve been lurking for awhile, reading things here & there and trying to learn from other people’s experiences. thanks for the opportunity to do so.
my situation is this: i’m currently working in an office job making decent money, but i absolutely hate the work. about 3 years ago i got interested in sailing & boats, and have spent the time since then volunteering on tall ships, learning marlinspike skills, and doing a ton of maintenance. picked up a couple weeks of near coastal seatime as a volunteer deckhand (tall ship), bought a 40+ year old fiberglass sailboat and have been restoring that. took some ASA classes (basic sailing, coastal cruising, bareboat chartering), red cross first aid/cpr/aed. have made a lot of contacts in the tallship world, i’m well liked and respected (as far as i know) and valued for my work ethic; most of the people i’m friendly with are captains.
in december of last year it seemed like the prudent thing to do would be to get an MMD and TWIC, so i have that. i don’t have any felonies, drug problems, etc.
my dissatisfaction with my office job has been growing the more time i spend on the water, and i think i’ve finally had enough of it.
last week i started sending out resumes to the normal suspects that people have suggested when starting out – cruise west, blount/accl, linbald. i know the job market is tough, so i wasn’t expecting much. i thought i’d start out with the easy targets and slowly “carpet bomb” basically everything on the list at http://towmasters.wordpress.com/job-links/.
well, cruise west called me back a day later, and i have the phone interview on monday. i’ve got a clear picture of the pay and the job; i think i know what i’m getting into, and i’m sure i can handle it.
when i add up my expenses, the cruise west pay is tolerable for survival, but not much more than that. i understand it’s normal to take bad work for bad pay when starting out, and i can accept that. it’s seatime, they’ll pay for BST, and i’d continue to look for better opportunities while doing it.
friends have suggested going for brown water tugs instead, but i don’t think they appreciate the job market there. i saw something recently about a line of applicants 1200 deep at kirby, who’s often suggested as a starting point in the industry, so i don’t have a lot of hope for opportunities there.
so: should i take the job if it’s offered? or should i ignore it and try to get on with a tug instead? if i were unemployed, this wouldn’t be a question – of course i’d take it. but it seems crazy to take something for $110-120/day when i could be making more elsewhere – if there really are any opportunities out there.
maybe i just got lucky due to the time of year (college kids going back to school)?