In our special column this month, we are glad to host an interview with Sarah Tangan, Career Counsellor, International Maritime Recruiters Consulting, who emphasises on the need of continuous learning, formal training and certifications, noting that there is a gap in the system within the industry when it comes to continuous education in Human Resources, diversity, and inclusion and maritime recruitment.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Sarah Tangan: I was not aware of the shipping industry and how big its impact in the global scale when I first started. I was transitioning from being an IT professional and later found an opportunity to join the shipping industry and started discovering my passion in collaborating with people, especially seafarers. I then started my career in maritime recruitment / crewing operations and loved every minute of it.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
S.T.: I work together with other passionate and amazing maritime professionals in developing exciting programs for maritime recruiters. We believe that by investing in maritime recruiters, the first point of contact for seafarers, we are investing in higher quality seafarers on board which not only increase the safety of the ships and that standards and protocols would be followed, but also make sure that the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the crew are given importance. This excites me as I believe that the work of maritime recruiters may be improved if they were to undergo continuous learning. Our team is excited to promote a culture of continuous learning and enhancing the soft skills of the frontline maritime recruiters, crewing managers and everyone who are collaborating with seafarers.
S4S: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?
S.T.: The best advice I have ever been given is to “Get a clear vision of your “why,” when your values and your vision are put together and you have a strong desire to share this with others, work doesn’t have to feel like work. When things get hard – and it will get hard – your ‘why’ will keep you going. Surround yourself with mentors and a tribe of like-minded individuals who are aiming to contribute and to make a difference in their craft and their community.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
S.T.: I moved to Canada to be reunited with my family and realized the importance of continuous learning and mentorship. I had been attending workshops and completed my designation as a Registered Professional Recruiter with CEOs and top executives. Focusing and spending time for professional development and continuously learning from other experts and specialists is not a luxury but a need.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
S.T.: I look forward to seeing maritime recruiters / crewing managers / maritime professionals to have the culture of pursuing continuous learning through formal training, certifications, and constantly improving their craft, especially because their decisions put lives on the line. I truly believe that there is a gap in the system: some onshore crewing managers and recruiters tend to not have formal and continuous education in Human Resources, diversity, and inclusion and maritime recruitment. I believe that their work may be improved if they were to undergo continuous learning. Apart from that, taking trainings and certifications can be a proof that they are constantly improving themselves: that they care about the work they do, and the impact they are making for the industry.
The views presented are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.