PADI Members are invited to join Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide, for a “live” virtual event on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 at 3:00 pm PST. Richardson will address the current state of the industry, what PADI has planned for the year ahead and how the dive community can rally around a collective mission to save the ocean.
“If this were a ‘normal’ year, we would be meeting in-person at trade shows and events, and the PADI Staff and I would have the opportunity to discuss member support and benefits, and introduce new products and programs for the coming year to many of you face-to-face. While how we meet is certainly different this year, the need to connect remains of utmost importance,” says Richardson.
One of Richardson’s greatest priorities is maintaining open dialog with PADI Members around the world. To meet the needs of these times, this has included regular emails to the PADI membership over the past several months, aptly dubbed “Straight Talk.” The upcoming virtual event will elaborate on these communications via a special Straight Talk Live to keep PADI Members well informed about the organization’s focus and direction, and how these benefit PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Professionals on the road to recovery.
“I have connected with many, many PADI Members throughout these past several months, and each and every one has been uniquely affected by these times,” says Richardson. “The path ahead will be different for all, but the entire PADI organization remains focused on getting PADI Professionals back to work, supporting PADI stores and resorts, driving divers back to PADI Members and leading dive industry recovery. Your insights have been instrumental in shaping our strategies and, as we look ahead to the future, I am excited to share all that we have planned for the coming year.”
PADI Members can register for Straight Talk Live here. Space is limited and pre-registration for this free virtual event is required.
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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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