Lately, I’ve been receiving messages from fellow sailors and cadets who are asking for help to get hired in a shipping company. I can relate to their woes because I myself have been in their shoes. But even if I wanted to help them, I calmly declined because I was not connected or affiliated to any shipping agency except the one that I’m currently employed with.

One thing I can do is to share this post with you on how to get hired on a shipping company even if you came from an unknown school and have zero backer. These techniques were advised by some instructors, crewing managers, recruitment officers and used by fellow seamen who managed to make their dreams come true without relying on any backer except hardwork and faith in God. You only need to be patient and open to new ideas.

Perseverance, initiative and the ability to make every “No” as your vitamin also plays a big role. If your dreams are big enough, those traits will just come out automatically.

The first thing that you must do is to condition your mind and change your limiting beliefs about yourself and your current situation. Oftentimes, I see comments on social media that “you can’t get hired if you don’t have a backer!” That belief already limits your powers. To change this, simply do the opposite. Say to yourself everyday before you sleep and after waking up that,

“There is an excellent company out there waiting for me. I just have to find them.”

Once you set your beliefs correctly, it’s time to prepare for opportunities that will come. Before you can be hired, you must pass every entrance exams and interviews. This can be done by diligent reviews and studies about some of the lessons you learned in school, exams or interviews. A knowledgeable applicant teeming with self confidence creates a positive impression to the interviewer.

Don’t feel bad about yourself if you don’t get immediate positive results. There are lots of companies out there. Sometimes, the guards will stop you right from the beginning. Think of ways to change your strategy so that your application can get through them.

One method is to tag along with an ex-crew of that company or an another seafarer who is also an applicant. Simply ask their permission if you could join them entering the office so you could pass safely through the guards. Once you are inside, the rest is up to you. Give them a very grateful “thank you” but don’t ask them to be your backer because it is impolite to do so; unless they give you the offer. But you can ask them for tips and hiring news about other companies.

If you have a little budget, you can send your application via LBC addressed to the crewing manager. This will surely put your name on his desk and create an impression of willingness, initiative and guts on your part. Make sure you put your creativity in your application form. It should be neat, tidy and well organized.

Then there is an email system that you can use. Simply get the email address of the crewing manager and send a scanned copy of your application form. You can do this during evening time. There are lots of crewing agencies with their emails listed in POEA’s list of manning agencies.

Lastly, hanging out in Kalaw can be beneficial provided that you know how to take advantage of the situation. There are varieties of seafarers out there from officers to ratings. One of your best strategy is to be friendly by talking to them. As you get to know them, ask something about what they’re looking for or what they currently need. But do it in a not so obvious way. They may be looking for a new boarding house, cheap but effective traditional medicines, contact access to lawyers, old, used or new cars, vacation spots, companies hiring for a specific job, and many others. Help them get what they want if you have the capacity to do so. If not, try to help them the best that you can.

During the process, it is important to set aside your own desires. Forget about you need a backer or you want to get a company. Don’t mention your drama of being helpless in the big city because nobody is helping. Avoid asking him to back you up. Keep away from topics as those and focus first on helping him without expecting anything in return.

Help as many as you can. By doing so, those people are now at your debt and some of them will find ways to pay you back. The more people you help, the more they are indebted to you. You will be surprised of unexpected blessings that come your way.

Repeat the process above and just never give up.

May the winds be on your favor.





Image source: joeCARD3 main in


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