New Mariner Seeking Employment and Advice

Hey all!

I am looking to get my foot in the door in the maritime industry. It has been a passion of mine all of my life. I am a US Navy veteran (honorably discharged 2008) who’s currently seeking employment in the maritime industry. I am moving to Jacksonville, FL in a few days and wanted to inquire about any and all possible leads or companies to look into. Or if I can apply wherever since I’ve noticed that there are rotation/swing shifts. Does my location matter when applying? I already have my TWIC and Merchant Mariner’s Credential and am extremely eager to start working however I am aware that getting into this profession takes time especially when you don’t know anyone in the industry. I have experience working on Deck and Hopper barges at the construction company I currently work for now. I’ve applied to Ingram Barge Co, Canal Barge, Carline Co, and Manson Construction but have yet to hear anything promising. I’ve also looked around on the job leads threads here but hardly see anything for entry level positions. I will do whatever it takes in order to get this career moving as I do hold a strong passion for working on the water. I would ultimately love to work on a tug or on a barge. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated. I hope I don’t get my head bitten off for writing this post. Thank you in advance!

I just bumped an important read to the top of the list read it quick before the pointy sticks come out…