We are actively involved in the professional part of the dive industry and have just finished our May IDC at our location in Nusa Lembongan. I staffed the Course Director Bas Van Riemsdijk and seven candidates Podge, Angi, Bo, Chris, Andreas, Tom and Marina. It was a lot of fun and life-changing for everyone. They are all pursuing their passion through the IDC and have succeeded but, what’s next? How do they stay and be successful in this happy place called “living the dream”?
Being in the dive industry for over a decade, I have noticed that each dive instructors has one thing in common: they pursue what feels right for them. So, I am always excited to see this during the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). However I also think that there 5 other essential tips to succeeding in the dive industry after the IDC.
Realize that being a dive instructor is a real job
Most of us will encounter a few people – usually our closed ones – who insisted that we need to have a “real job” for a better future. Usually, people don’t consider a job that includes ocean, beach and lots of fun as a matured job that can pay the bill. However, being a dive instructor IS a real job and we should be able to pay our bills by staying in the dive industry. Having said that, of course a skill in managing our financial situation is needed, just as doing other job. But, with proper planning, we should be able to pay our house, food, savings and insurances, medical, our children expenses and all other expenses. Is it too good to be true? Well, keep on reading. Because it is all in your fingertips! The first thing is to acknowledge that this is a career and not just a hobby.
Combine it with your other passions and formal education
To be successful in the dive industry means we have to be different and unique. What else is your passion and what else interest you? Be it cooking, engineering, or in my case is yoga – combining our passions with diving make us stand out as an instructor. Then, ask ourselves again: What is our education prior to exploring diving? Management, marketing, or even marine science? Have you learned any foreign languages? Most people make mistake by thinking that their previous career and activities is not an asset for their diving career. They drop it all and not looking back. That’s a pity. I personally believe that what we have done prior to diving can be an asset for our diving career by combining it smartly to create a unique instructor that you are.
Keep learning in the dive industry
Just like in any other career, continuing education is really important to keep us valuable in dive industry. Stay updated with the new trends, new diving technologies. Read what is happening in ocean conservation activities. Look at some courses, it can be some other specialties, or something related to boats or even something different such as management or learning a new language. Everything that we add to our skills is valuable.
Stay professional in any occasion
This is probably the hardest one in the industry. Just because it is a happy and fun dive industry, it does not mean that we can act carelessly. Every single time and in every place, we have to stay professional. This means we will never get intoxicated in events or bad wording other professionals – and definitely no racist sexist comments in any occasion, especially when we are representing a dive center and PADI! Remember we are carrying our own image, so what we say and how we behave in public will impact our own image in our dive career.
Do your fun dives!
To survive in the dive industry it is necessary to be in the water and have our own fun dives to remember why we are doing this again. Submerge ourself in the ocean and have that butterflies-in-the-belly feeling again to remind you why we love this. Don’t be afraid in doing what you love in life. As my favorite quote says: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Happy bubbles and see you in our next IDC!