Bob Bouhof is a passionate maritime professional. At sea, he and his team enjoyed working on all challenges and the changes that technology and environmental regulations, such as switching from heavy fuel oil to gas oil, ballast water treatment and cargo hold wash water systems, threw at the crew. These days changes happen fast and affects the vessel operations. On shore too, Bob’s preference is for cooperation, coordination and sharing maritime knowledge. Read his story.
TOS MATCHED MY INTERESTS
“I had just changed to my first onshore job when TOS came in the picture with another job. At first I wanted to take the time to see how my first onshore job would be. Although I really liked the company, I was missing things in the job. Therefore I started looking for a job that would fit me better. I knew that I had a good idea of what happened at sea, but as a seafarer, I had little idea about what happens on shore. There is such a huge range in versatility of vacancies at the moment that it is hard to go through each and every vacancy and company. There were hardly any differences between 95% of the vacancies.
I remembered the contact I have had with TOS because of the position they offered, so I approached them again. I explained that I was looking for a social position in which I could use my affinity with the maritime world and my knowledge. They went through all their vacancies. When Jolie Seleba proposed the Training Coordinator job at Damen Services, I didn’t even know that this department and position existed. And in the end, the vacancy was a perfect MATCH!”
‘95% of the vacancies looked the same!’
PREPARING SHIPS FOR THE FUTURE
Bob sailed with Royal Wagenborg, both as an Engineer and an Officer, for eight years. “After I moved from the ‘merchant fleet’ to the coasters/Captain Owners within the company, as a new Officer you are involved in the final decision making quite fast. Maritime shipping is quite conventional, but the changes in the areas of technology, legislation and environmental regulations change fast. Just think about such things as switching from heavy fuel oil to gas oil, ballast water treatment and cargo hold wash water systems. Even though the ship was only 10 years old, these developments affected the ship and the operations. I am very proud of the plans that we made as a close team to get the ship ready as best we could.” The move to onshore followed …
TRAINING COORDINATOR AT DAMEN
TOS prepared me well before the first interview: “I was pleased that I already knew a lot about Damen and understood the roles and responsibilities of the prospective job.” In the first interview, all I needed to do was to make sure that the image I had of the job and the company was right. After the first contact I could quickly go in greater depth in the second interview. When it turned out to be a match, it was good to negotiate together with TOS, they know the market and the new employer.
What I like about my role is that I work in many different ways and with many different people and companies in the maritime sector. Internally at Damen this varies from contact about the ship with the engineers who are involved in the shipbuilding through to the delivery department that makes sure that the ship is delivered to the customer. Externally I have contact with the co-builders together with whom we give customised training to out customers. So in the end you are involved from start to finish and the goal is always: to share maritime knowledge.”
ADDED VALUE OF FORMER SEAFARERS
“What surprised me is that, not only my technical and practical seafaring knowledge is useful, but my knowledge of the entire maritime sector is too. There are so many parties that have so many interests, you need to understand the sailing crew you work with and need to take everything into account during projects on board. For seafarers who are thinking about transitioning to onshore, I just want to say that you have acquired so many experiences while at sea which you can use positively in an onshore job!
It is really enjoyable to be able to use these experiences and way of working in so many different ways. So if you are thinking about a new onshore job: the demand for skilled seafarers is huge! There are so many career opportunities for the future, including at Damen Services. And the funny thing is that I still work with TOS, but now from the other side.
TOS does a great job in helping to find the right seafarers to deploy as trainers in our training projects 😊”
LOOKING FOR A SEA2SHORE CAREER OPPORTUNITY?
Being at home more often, but also have the opportunity to travel sometimes? Please do contact us!