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What skills do you need to have a successful  career at sea

According to APL’s Head of Global Marine Operations, Captain Lee Chee Seong there is a set of characteristics that combine to make the perfect seafarer.


  • Hunger: Hunger is a key element in succeeding in the seafaring career. Hunger is what makes a candidate go ‘all out – to obtain and retain the job. A drive to keep on learning and growing shapes seafarers.
  • Boldness: Seafaring is not for the shy, intimidated and fearful. A seafarer needs to possess courage and boldness as the job requires stepping out of the comfort zone – rather often.
  • Adaptability: Seafarers work with varying cultures and must be willing and able to adapt to connect and work effectively.
  • Think on Your Feet: A seafarer needs to be independent and able to respond fast and well.
  • Good Command of English: A good seafarer ought to possess a good command of written and spoken English.
  • Leadership: Leadership is another valued trait as seafarers have to lead and solve problems. The ability to thrive under pressure is key too.
  • Effective Team Player: Beyond leadership, a seafarer needs to be a good team player. A collaborative spirit is vital in order to work effectively onboard a ship that consists of co-workers with various responsibilities and ranks.
  • Loyalty: Loyalty is another aspect that Captain Lee values – to the company, to crewmates, to the ship, and to yourself.

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