By Rob Poindexter
No matter how strong or how smart we are, we rarely are able to rely on only ourselves to accomplish our goals. I was thinking about this the other day when a fellow sailor and pal of mine interrupted my morning coffee on the dock with the announcement that he needed to go up his mast to work on an anchor light that had been giving him some trouble.
Now, Dave, as we on the dock call him because that’s his name, isn’t exactly a 90-pound weakling. He’s every bit of six- feet tall, and weighs in around 200 pounds, give or take a steak dinner or two.
There are several ways to get to the top of a mast when work needs to be done. Some mast have steps welded to the side of them, you can have the mast taken down, there are some webbing style ladders that can be hoisted by the main halyard, or you can find a couple of willing accomplices to simply hoist you up from the deck of the boat using a line already in place for raising the mainsail.
Dave had chosen the last option and recruited Bill and me to assist him in this endeavor.
The three of us walked to Dave’s boat, where he already had the bos’n chair rigged up to the line of his choice. The bos’n chair is a safety harness that the line attaches to and allows the person going up the mast to be lifted in a seated position.
Once Dave was strapped in, Bill and I, using the nearest winch big enough for the job, began the task of hoisting him to the correct height. Most masts range form 30 to 40 feet above the deck of the boat and the process of hoisting usually takes about 15 to 25 minutes depending how high the rider needs to go. Because of the many obstacles the rider has to weave his way through, you must use a slow steady speed during the hoist.
Once the rider is in the correct position, the line is tied off securely and a bucket full of the necessary tools and parts is sent up as well. While the person dangling from the top of the mast gets all the glory for their brave feat, as well they should when you consider the fact they are hanging from the top of a skinny pole attached to a fiberglass cork that is bobbing up and down and side to side, they could not have gotten there without the aid of the crew on the deck.
Dave knew what he had to do when he got there; he just needed a little help getting there.
The same holds true for those in the job search. Like Dave, they are capable of doing the job once there. They’ve done all the necessary planning, learning and studying associated with the task, now they just require a willing deck crew that can help get them to the job. The professional resume writer can be just that: a willing professional who will grab the end of the rope you are already attached to, and with patience and skill, help hoist your career to knew heights.