Cruising and career - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 35 Old 04-27-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

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As a "cruiser" or any other different lifestyle choice will be fully questioned by the HR dweeb and their computer program. They care not about why there is a gap, only that you are not normal by having one.

(SNIP)

The employers are not interested in the non-conformist.
Wait until you have to explain to one of those tiny iron bound minds why your address does not look like "203 Elm Street, Apt 101" or why your mailing address is in another state. Watch the look on their face when you show them a Drivers License with "General Delivery" or a PO Box for an address. We were told that our passports were not good enough for ID (That we would need to show a drivers license, which was not good enough because it had a PO Box address) In order to get new Drivers licenses we had to show our (Wait for it...) Passports. the new licenses had "General Delivery" for the address because they took it off the utility bill for our harbor slip. Because there is no mail delivery to the harbor and the USPS will not give you a PO Box without a street address; hence "General Delivery".

Where we happen to be sojourning right now, this is not much of a problem, except when dealing with state or federal bureaucrats, because the town is basically a life support system for the harbor and folks here understand about people who live on boats. Folks in more conventional cities and towns don't want to bother trying to fit your square peg into their round hole. Far easier to just go to the next applicant and slide you form into the "Hold" tray.

Having said all that, we have found that some companies, like West Marine for example, are more than happy to let us go cruising for a few months at a time and let us return to work in our next port of call if there are openings.


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post #22 of 35 Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

The companies that are too concerned about your gaps are probably not the ones you want to work for anyway. I have "gaps" going back to my early twenties for several years at a time. I have tried not to confuse my life with my career. Two different things, the former more important to me. In some instances the "Gap" has actually helped me. In a world where everybody looks the same on paper how will you stand out?


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post #23 of 35 Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

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The companies that are too concerned about your gaps are probably not the ones you want to work for anyway. I have "gaps" going back to my early twenties for several years at a time. I have tried not to confuse my life with my career. Two different things, the former more important to me. In some instances the "Gap" has actually helped me. In a world where everybody looks the same on paper how will you stand out?
Well said aeventyr60.

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post #24 of 35 Old 04-30-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

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The companies that are too concerned about your gaps are probably not the ones you want to work for anyway. I have "gaps" going back to my early twenties for several years at a time. I have tried not to confuse my life with my career. Two different things, the former more important to me. In some instances the "Gap" has actually helped me. In a world where everybody looks the same on paper how will you stand out?
I was in a career that had mandatory retirement at 57 and optional retirement at 50. I took retirement at 51, losing what would have been the best six earning years of my career, and taking a reduced retirement amount, to go cruising. I've just seen too many people die, while trying to get to "X" dollars before they started doing what they wanted to do.

I came back from my cruise and started working again, first for someone else (who thought the fact that I had retired early to go cruising, was exciting), and then for myself. It's not like you get a do-over on life. My wife and I are already planning our next cruise.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


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post #25 of 35 Old 05-04-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Cruising and career

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I respectfully disagree with you here. There are many degrees, and many more certifications, that will land you immediate employment right out of school. I spent the better part of 2 years unemployed after the dotcom bust in the Seattle area (I was an IT guy) and I went to my local technical college and a couple months later I was certified as an EMT. I think the classes cost less than $1,000 and upon graduation I had plenty of job offers with no experience.

After that, I went to school to become a Physican Assistant. Looking for jobs in the worst economic downturn since the great depression? No problem. It's the second most in-demand job in america (after programmer). I got a cold call a couple days ago from a doc that wants to hire me that got my name from another doc I've never even met.

Other certifications and degrees that will land you instant and gainful employment without any experience are:
Nurse
......

Medsailor

OK, I agree that if I take up a new career in fields that you described, and if such fields are short on people, yes, then your suggestion makes sense. However, this means starting over as an entry level person in that new career. Not necessarily the most efficient path. I imagine most of us hope to leverage experience we had gained over the years, so we can have some progression in a chosen career. I guess my initial posting (or complaint) was that such career oriented position does not seem to go hand in hand with the freedom of taking periods off for crusing.
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post #26 of 35 Old 05-04-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

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...However, this means starting over as an entry level person in that new career. Not necessarily the most efficient path. I imagine most of us hope to leverage experience we had gained over the years, so we can have some progression in a chosen career....
I suspect that if earning less means I can have a lifestyle I passionately want, I'd get rid of the luxuries, focus on the goal, re-adjust, and do what I have to do. If I can't do that, I didn't really want it all that badly to begin with. I look at it as one of the things to give up should I want to become a full-time cruiser (and I'm not there at this point). If I'm that wedded to my career that I try that hard to hold onto it and I'm not satisfied with perhaps thinking outside my box for ways to earn a living, perhaps cruising isn't for me.

Donna


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post #27 of 35 Old 05-04-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

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OK, I agree that if I take up a new career in fields that you described, and if such fields are short on people, yes, then your suggestion makes sense. However, this means starting over as an entry level person in that new career. Not necessarily the most efficient path. I imagine most of us hope to leverage experience we had gained over the years, so we can have some progression in a chosen career. I guess my initial posting (or complaint) was that such career oriented position does not seem to go hand in hand with the freedom of taking periods off for crusing.
It's absolutely true that you have to "start at the bottom", but the new bottom starting point can be a lot higher than your previous seniority earned you. Ultrasound techs and Echocardiology techs can have starting wages in the 80K/year range and always have the opportunity to work lots of overtime, increasing the earning potential to over 100K in the first year of work. Nurses can make even more.

In my example I could NOT find any work, even at minimum wage in the IT field after the dotcom bust after leaving my job as an IT director. I had to re-train and was paid about 1/2 of what I was before. I have since re-trained again in the medical field and my new starting wage was several times higher than it was when I was as an EMT.

In my case the retraining happened once because my hand was forced. The second time it was done with the intent of increasing my income specifically to support my boating habit and my plans of cruising to far away places. The plan is in progress right now, and while there could be more efficient ways to get where I want to be (anchored under a palm tree ) These are the options I chose and are working for me.

Options are all they are, but I felt it was important to point them out because I was once in the position of feeling like there were very few options, when in fact there were many. Flexibility, willingness to change and open-mindedness were attributes that contributed immensely to getting out of my big career slump, and were also the ones that were lacking in the beginning and prolonged the slump.

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post #28 of 35 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

I don't think there can be one right answer to this question. it will vary so much from career to career.
Any career breaks for me have been involuntary rather than a positive choice.
Though one gave me a year to spend sailing. I was in my early twenties and it was a sail training vessel my title was bosun may pay was room and board.

The inevitable question “What have you been doing for the last” would come up in the interview process. In the end it was a positive rather than a negative. When I found a job it was directly due to my sailing. Turns out the big boss was a keen sailor. We spent most of the interview talking about sailing.

My sister is in an entirely different line of work doesn’t sail but loved to drop everything and travel. She would always be hired quite quickly upon her return.

A lot depends upon supply and demand. Currently in my line supply is limited and demand is high. Training is expensive. Getting a new employee up to speed can cost up to 10g.

Getting a returning employee up to speed is peanuts by comparison. Contrary to many trends we like to hire older “seasoned” types. Even at entry level. They are more likely to stick around and we have less problems with them.

Many of them have very interesting back stories. Including a few who have sailed away and come back. Some of whom will sail away again. When they leave on good terms we usually take them back
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post #29 of 35 Old 05-06-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Cruising and career

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
It's absolutely true that you have to "start at the bottom", but the new bottom starting point can be a lot higher than your previous seniority earned you. Ultrasound techs and Echocardiology techs can have starting wages in the 80K/year range and always have the opportunity to work lots of overtime, increasing the earning potential to over 100K in the first year of work. Nurses can make even more.

In my example I could NOT find any work, even at minimum wage in the IT field after the dotcom bust after leaving my job as an IT director. I had to re-train and was paid about 1/2 of what I was before.

MedSailor
The term career implies a continuity. If one has to change career each time after returning from a cruise or other adventures, then this merely supports my original posting which stated the difficulty in getting a job in one's former career after being away.

Now, your situation is different. You had to retrain for a new career due to macroeconomic and industry factors (dot com bust). Imagine you return to IT today (after being away for cruising, and embarking on career in healthcare). The IT market is quite buoyant at moment, there are plenty of jobs.

How do you think potential employers would treat you? Choice one: someone with proven experience from a few years ago, but cetainly no problem coming up to speed quickly? Or choice two: someone has been away for a while and his motivation is questionable and skills probably rusty? In my experience, I tried to persuade the potential employers to pick choice one, but finding many leaning towards choice two.
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post #30 of 35 Old 05-08-2014
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Re: Cruising and career

Just keep in mind, laying on a bed in a nursing home, are you going to wish you had spent more time living your life, or building a career?

The old saying that "Nobody has ever lain on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at the office", should be especially true for sailors and cruisers.

On my cruise, I kept running into guys who would have crews bring their boat down while they worked their asses off, then they would fly down for a few days of enjoyment, and then head right back to work. I watched the crew of one 86 foot boat, that was tied up next to us, live it up for two weeks before the owner, a stock broker from New York, flew in and hung out on the boat for three days, on his phone almost the entire time, and then flew back. The next day, the crew were pulling out the jet skis to go on another adventure.

My wife and I talked about him and his crew, for a month after that, and about who had the better deal and the better life.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


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