Cruise Ship Job Long Tem Career

Cruise ships aren't the career for lazy people.

This is the ultimate customer service industry, and literally everything about it is based on that.

It's also the driving force for your career. Whatever part of the ship you're working in, that's the career objective.

You can move around in both Crew and Hotel employment, but as you go up the ladder it gets harder, and much more demanding. As you've seen, this is really the top end of the customer care food chain, it's worth billions a year, and getting much bigger.

Career orientation

Learn and plan a way to a successful career.

The cruise industry is gigantic, in terms of different career paths. You really can achieve a lot. You also get a lot of very portable skills, in some cases, at a much higher level than land-based.

One big advantage is that this is a true international industry. Your shipboard jobs get instant accreditation, world wide, throughout the industry and elsewhere. You're a credible applicant for any job in your field, including on land.

You really do have to earn your credentials. It is hard work, and it's on shifts.

The very positive part of this is it builds what's called 'career stamina'. When you've had a really demanding job, everything else gets a lot simpler. What used to be hard work becomes easy.

You build efficiency, too. On a ship, everything has to be based on reliable, efficient practices, even basic customer care. Time management, public contact, mediation, conflict resolution, problem solving the skills in customer care are all there, and you're doing the real work, not theoretical. You've got built-in proof of your abilities.

That really matters to employers in any consumer industry. It's also a very basic, unavoidable, part of the cruise industry. That's its real work, too, and comes with a lot of responsibilities, legal and commercial.

Case Study 1:

You're starting in the Radio Room as an assistant/trainee. That's the communications hub of the ship, includes the electronics, the land contacts, ship's operational communications, and services everything to do with the ship in every department, at call.

Any career you pick, when you're qualified you'll be able to say to any cruise line you do know the communications organization and how it works.

That's like knowing a language. Ship's services are very varied, and you've been working with everyone. You have exposure to the realities of their work.

If you want to move on to the Hotel side as an Assistant Purser, say, the ship's primary customer contact officer, you need another range of qualifications and skills. But against anyone with the same level of skills, you also have communications.

In the Crew area, if you want to go up the ladder, the need is for people who know the ropes. A sailor isn't necessarily qualified in communications systems, because it's not always part of the job. The further up the ladder you go, you'll find your communications qualifications are not only useful, they're essential.

Case Study 2

You're a shop assistant. You want to move to ship's services, the Cruise department, the money's excellent and so are the career opportunities.

What do you need for the Cruise job?

Check that out with Cruise, when they've got a minute.

Surprise, surprise. You need customer service experience, and familiarity with the ship's retail and other consumer areas. You may also need to do some courses in customer relations, etc, but if you have actual experience, those are pretty easy to live with. It's the basics that you really must have, and you've got them.

The main difference is the scope, responsibilities and degree of difficulty of the work. But you can't do the higher paid jobs at all without a lot of basic skills, most of which you do have.

You see how this works.

It's a bit like working in different departments of the same company on land. If you know your way around, and how the various jobs relate to each other, you're not just doing one job, you're learning skills for others, too.

Every part of a job has some skill that will transfer to another.

It's not quite 'join the dots', but the opportunities are always there, somewhere. Make sure you know how to find them.

The industry isn't just big, it's full of information that can give you a lot of leads.

You also get to meet a lot of people, and not only learn from their experience, but also exchange information about jobs and career opportunities. Some people can warn you about bad jobs, some can tell you about good jobs, or future jobs.

This is networking on a very practical level, and it can save time and effort.

Your own knowledge base is also getting bigger daily, during even the early stages of your career. This means your career judgment is getting a lot more well informed.

That's critical, because careers don't make themselves.

The fundamentals:
  • Learn the job, properly. Become an expert. 'Skills' means skills.
  • Learn the shipboard life and business, every bit of them. Essential, and you do need to know.
  • Figure out what your real career objectives are. You might also want to consider what you really don't want to do, too.
  • Learn the career options and how jobs and skills link together.
  • Research your next move, preferably before making it. 'Don't go overboard' has more than one application.
  • Review where you're going, contract by contract, job by job. Does the new job lead to the Cruise Department, or back to the shop counter? (It is possible to go backwards, avoid that.)
  • Do anything stupid or destructive in terms of your job and career. Know what not to do, instead.
  • Get glued to a limited number of possible job options. If you stay in the Radio Room, you'll become a very valuable crew member, the radio operator, but not the head of the communications section or the Assistant Purser job you wanted.
  • Lose track of your objectives. That applies to every career, and it's 'rationalized' by excuses like lack of opportunity, pressure of work, etc,.. all the things you wouldn't have to worry about if you got that really good job.

So- Take a good look at your job.

You're sailing across seas where history was made, and whole nations were born from the seafarers' trade. Magellan, Columbus, Drake, Nelson, Cochrane, and De Ruyter sailed those seas.

The Caribbean alone has so much maritime history you could get about ten PhDs just researching it. The US east coast harbors are the machinery which created most of the logistics for the 20th century.

The entire global economy depends on the sea. The amount of goods in one container ship would equal the whole tonnage of a merchant fleet, a bit more than a century ago. More people are at sea on cruise lines than used to live in some countries at the start of the Age of Sail.

The big ports handle more cargo annually than the entire industrial output of Western Europe at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

In Dubai, a whole new technology is embracing the sea in ways that have never before even been attempted.

It doesn't get dull.


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