Life At SeaMarine-CareersMerchant NavySeafarers

Getting Promoted on a Ship – Some Tips !

Everyone aims for success and for a sailor, getting promoted is a measure of professional success. Like all other professions, merchant navy also demands hard work and dedication from all its employees. Also, there’s tough competition when it comes to promotions. Most employees fulfill all their work demands, so, how does one stand apart from the crowd and get promoted. What can you do to be selected from the lot, when all those applying are equally qualified for promotion in terms of education and experience?

Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.
– Arnold H. Glasow

So here are some simple suggestions to help you face the competition and stand tall in the race for promotion:-

1. Build Your Value:

Most of all become a valuable resource for your organisation. Prove your worthiness aboard the ship. In time of need, take initiative and additional responsibility. Do not wait to be told what to do, rather be forth coming and offer help whenever possible.

2. Achieve Excellence:

Carry out your current position duties effectively and efficiently. Never give your seniors a chance to complain. Always keep your paper work up to date.

3. Take on Additional Responsibility:

Be willing to take on additional responsibilities. In case opportunities arise do not take a backseat and wait to be asked. Go ahead and offer to take on additional responsibilities. As Milton Berle said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Build your own doors and let your employer know that you would be willing to take on extra responsibility if needed.

4. Keep yourself updated:

The world of technology is always changing and moving forward. Hence, it becomes essential for you to stay updated with the technological advancements happening in your professional field, shipping industry and world trade.

5. Showcase Leadership Skills:

To take on a leadership role, you need to possess leadership skills. Showcase that you can motivate your peers and help others in their tasks without offending them. Be professional in all your dealings. This is not just advisable for getting promoted but also for being a good professional.

6. Maintain Good Inter-Personal Relationships:

Build good relationships on board with your colleagues, juniors as well as seniors. Also, maintain good relationship with people who work for your shipping company on land. Do not look down upon anyone. Always treat people with respect and humility.

7. Learn Everyday:

Utilize the free time to learn and acquire skills for the next role you are seeking. You can talk to people on board who are already at that position and learn from their experiences or use books and online resources to gain additional knowledge.

8. Remain Self-Motivated:

Being self-motivated is essential for higher level jobs. You cannot give up because one opportunity did not materialize. Remain focused and motivated as the next opportunity might be made available if you are good enough.

9. Seek Mentorship:

Finally, find a mentor. A mentor is someone who can guide you and provide advice and suggestion for your professional growth. Find a mentor who is currently at the position that you want to be promoted to. Learn from them and their experience.

We hope these tips help you climb up the professional ladder and reach your goals. All the best for getting promoted!


For any information, feedback, queries or suggestions feel free to email us at If you are a sailor or a sailor’s spouse and have a story, pictures, video, or article that you would like to share with the world, email us at


Neha Gupta

A Professional writer with over 10 years of experience, I love writing and learning about new areas during the process. Writing about merchant navy has given me a close look at the sacrifices made by the seafaring community and it is a pleasure to bring to light, through my blogs, for all to see and view, the hard work and dedication of these unsung heroes i.e. the seafarers.

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