I’ll be honest with you, dreaming of lying under palm tree laden beaches, diving in crystal clear waters, watching the sun go down after an incredible day is in many ways, how the life of a scuba diving instructor is portrayed. And yes, don’t get me wrong it is for many of us, it is how our life is, (I can already here the pessimists poo pooing!!). You can travel, you can live an amazing life as a scuba diving instructor, but believe me, it is work, and certainly to get to a position, where you can comfortably live, and really sit back and enjoy it, it is not something that will fall into your lap. Certainly my first couple of scuba jobs, were amazing fun, I learnt so much fresh out of the gate and I was lucky enough to have amazing employers who really let me stretch my scuba instructor wings. I remember putting together trips, little marketing ideas with my fellow instructors and we could run with everything which was great. It really gave me an idea about the other side of the scuba. It wasn’t just sitting down and waiting for the potential students to stroll into the dive shop, we were competing with at least 8 other dive shops on our little stretch of beach so we had to come up with some fresh and fun ideas to get our clients in. My first taste of marketing and an eye opener for my future career as a scuba instructor.
So why talk about this? Most of the questions seem to arise during a PADI IDC when candidates and future instructors are looking at employment. Where is good to work ? Where do I look to find a job? Some are lucky enough to have something lined up but the majority of students that come through training I feel have an idea where they would like to go, but no set plans. They just have the dream, and you know what, there is nothing wrong with that, I just want to make sure that I can set you up the best that I can. Know with anything there isn’t a guaranteed job at the end but there is certainly a way to make it easier.
One of the best ways is with an internship. I offer internships at Go Pro both for the divemaster and instructor programs, with the idea behind it being that when the students come out of the program they are ready and as prepped as they can be for a job and working in the dive industry. Whilst the core programs cover all that you need, you need to put yourself out head and shoulders above the rest, and with the extra experience you can gain during an internship you can do that. So, important skills I would suggest you need to cover, and I say this as I look for this in an employee is equipment experience for one. If you can perform basic maintenance on a scuba regulator and a BCD, huge benefit. It’s an easy thing to practice and certainly get involved in during your time when training. One of our mottos at the center is certainly if you want to learn, we’ll teach so all you have to do is ask and you can learn as much as you want about equipment servicing to help you out. Another important skill in internships is front desk operations at the center, and also sales techniques. How do you close a sale? In the scuba industry you have to be diverse and be able to adapt so, one day you may be in the office, can you handle it? One of the biggest ones for me though is marketing and the digital world. During the IDC I like to include a talk on marketing and social media, giving all of the students a chance to put together a solid marketing plan for where they hope to work in the future. My thoughts are that if someone approached me, as a dive instructor with a solid marketing idea that they wanted to implement in my company, I would give them a chance for sure. Final, thoughts, experience. Now with the instructor program here, we offer a free MSDT prep, that is the courses, and if you want to get the chance to teach you can also jump in and get some certifications under your belt. So, by the time you head out into the scuba world, you have your extra skills lined up, your CV full and you are ready to leap in. Once you have your foot in the door you keep trying, and learning and taking everything you can on board. That way you can keep growing personally and with your career moving your way up and through the industry. So why take an internship? So you can live the dream and have your scuba career. Hope this helps!