Scubaverse Media is delighted to announce that Olivier van Overbeek has joined the Scubaverse Team as Technical Editor.
Oli started diving in 1998 while on holiday in the south of France. He instantly fell in love with the underwater world, and as soon as he returned home to his native Holland, signed up with famed Dutch wreck explorer Ben Stiefelhagen. A few months later, he moved to the south of England and continued diving and learning with BSAC.
From 2000-2008 he enjoyed the popular diving that was on offer on the south coast of England at the time, and joined as many dives as time and money would allow. After spending several years diving all around the globe, Oli decided to become an instructor and did so in Central America with PADI.
After attending a lecture with Steve Lewis he decided to find a more technically-oriented agency and wanted to help make changes to the industry. It wasn’t long until he met Paul Toomer who at that point had just joined RAID, and decided to jump on board. After joining RAID he started working with and learning from Paul directly, and in 2015 joined the first RAID ITD program.
Oli holds user level Open and Closed circuit tickets from CMAS, BSAC, PADI, NOB, IANTD, TDI, and of course RAID and is qualified to dive on five different CCR’s. He’s also been a factory test diver for various brands. Currently he co-runs Diving Matrix with Paul Toomer, manages DiveLife in Manchester, and is actively involved behind the scenes with DiveRAID.
On joining Scubaverse Oli said:
“I’m very pleased to accept the position of Technical Editor for Scubaverse. After working with Dave and his team for several years now it felt only natural to take the next step and expand Scubaverse’s footprint into the technical realm on a more permanent basis.”
Welcome to the Scubaverse Team Oli!
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Jump into… A career in diving
A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’
I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!
I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!
If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles.
Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at.
There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.
So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour.
Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
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