Oh how my heart bleeds for you. Most, if not all of us have worked hard to get where we are at and it sure as hell didn’t happen overnight.
I’ve been sailing more than half my life, and currently I am filling a spot less than my license, and there’s no telling when I will be able to fully sail under my ticket again because there isn’t much turnover at my company. There are LOTS of folks sailing in lesser capacities these days. I can’t speak for deep sea shipping but in the tug and OSV world you can barely turn around without bumping into an ab that doesn’t have a mates license and is waiting for their shot.
Try to lose the sense of entitlement. For the sake of the argument lets assume you are in your 20s. You are young and have lots of time. Try being a 40 yr old breaking into this industry and tell me who has it worse?
You definately want to try to sail on your license out the gate if you can…but don’t count on it. In case you have been living underneath a rock there is NOT a severe shortage of third mates, or mariners in general these days.
If you need to make some money and get some experience, you do what it takes. No employer can expect an officer to sail unlicensed forever. Best time to look for a better job is when you already have one.