Get the Most Out of Black Friday

Black Friday has grown in the public imagination over recent years – it is common to see retailers offering huge discounts for their goods on the Friday after Thanksgiving in November.

So how does a small business capitalize on a big event like this?

We wanted to share some key ideas to help you make the most of Black Friday this year.

  • Create a sense of urgency:

The buzz around Black Friday only works because the offers you make are unique. There are lots of excuses for extending the event (Cyber Monday has essentially become a way of offering things throughout the weekend), but be sure to limit yourself – if your customers can get the offer any time, they won’t feel an urgency to buy from you now.

  • Reward loyal customers:

Your marketing efforts are probably going to be most effective at reaching your existing customer base. They’re the ones who have shopped from you before, and they are the ones most likely to recognize the benefits of your offers. PADI’s continuing education courses are best used for this.

  • Don’t just discount – upsell:

Simply reducing the cost of your courses on Black Friday is unlikely to truly benefit your business – you simply give away profit and end up working harder for less. Your best option is to encourage people to buy full price, and get something extra as a reward.

  • “Buy two, get one free”:

This is a classic sales technique that is easily deployed. Your customers choose two items and get a third item free. You need to look carefully at your profit margin on the first two items to ensure that the offer works, however used correctly, this can be a great way to encourage customers to increase their average purchase price.

  • Keep It Simple:

Too many offers can be confusing for you, your staff and your customers. Pick a couple of attention grabbing headlines and use these to encourage consumers to visit your store. Even if they don’t take the offer in the end, you have a chance for them to see all the other products you have available.

So how might these offers look in real life? We’ve put together a few simple ideas that you could use in your store. You can use these as they are, or you could use them as inspiration to then make more individualized offers:

The Upsell:

Target your Rescue Divers from the last two years and offer them a free gift if they register for a Divemaster course with you during Black Friday. They should be required to pay a deposit for the course over the weekend in order to secure the offer. You need to ensure that the price of the course includes enough profit to cover the cost of the gift.

Example promotion: Change your life and become a PADI Pro by completing your PADI Divemaster course with ABC Dive Center – BLACK FRIDAY OFFER! Register for your Divemaster course during Black Friday and receive a PADI towel valued at $35 completely free of charge!

The Buy Two Get One Free:

Target your Advanced Open Water Divers and offer them a free Oxygen Administration course when they register for their EFR and Rescue Diver course. O2 is an easy course to add on, with minimal extra time commitment, and a high perceived value.

Example promotion: Serious Fun! Become a PADI Rescue Diver today! BLACK FRIDAY OFFER! Register for your EFR and Rescue Diver course during Black Friday, and complete your PADI Emergency Oxygen Administrator Specialty free of charge!

The Customer reward / sense of urgency:

Target your Open Water Divers and offer them a reduced price on a Specialty course if they sign up within a certain time-frame:

Example promotion: Thank you from ABC Dive Center – BLACK FRIDAY OFFER! As a thanks to our loyal customers, we are offering a 10% discount on Dry Suit Specialties to everyone who has trained as an Open Water Diver with us in 2018. Limited spaces available – contact the store on Black Friday to book your training now!

Business advice is available to all PADI Dive Center owners – if you’d like ideas and support for promotions during Black Friday, contact your Regional Manager today!

Article written by Emma Hewitt

6 Ways to Keep Up With the Latest Marketing Trends

diving marketing trends

Does it seem like every week there’s a new marketing trend that’s going to revolutionize the way we do business? If buzzwords like: blockchain, chatbots, and the internet of things make your eyes glaze over, you’re not alone.

Keeping up with digital trends can be a full-time job. You need a virtual assistant just to sort through which ones are worth investing in and which are a waste of pixels. To help busy dive center owners keep their marketing skills sharp, we put together a list of our favorite blogs, podcasts and other ways to learn how to take advantage of new marketing trends.

Follow or Subscribe to Popular Blogs
The blogs below will give you a regular dose of marketing “vitamins.” Read news, updates and how to’s to help grow your business.

The Retail Doctor – recent topics include:
9 Ways To Get Better At Selling In Retail
8 Proven Steps for Retail Success
–  Quiz: How Engaging is Your Retail Experience,

PADI Pros North America – learn about:
Top Teaching Tips
Re-Doing Your Website
The Cost to Become a Scuba Instructor. Vs. Other Instructor Programs

Social Media Today – their daily brief includes topics such as:
Digital Strategy
Social Media Updates
Content Marketing

HubSpot’s Marketing Blog has great info and, even better, how long it will take to read the entire article. For example:
4 Easy Ways to Reshare Content on Instagram (11 min read)
Guide to Using Emojis in Marketing (12 min read)
Ultimate Guide to Marketing Terms You Should Know (31 min read)

Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are a convenient way to learn new things from subject matter experts. Tune in during your commute, or plug in at night instead of spending time in front of a screen. Here are a few to consider:

StoryBrand – Marketing advice focused around making customers the hero of your brand
Jon Loomer – Entrepreneurship with a focus on Facebook ads
Amy Porterfield –  Try Attracting new customers using YouTube or How to use Instagram stories to grow your customer list

Take a free online course
HubSpot offers a free online course in social media. Eight lessons breakdown social media fundamentals, latest trends, social media listening and how to use social media to manage a crisis.

Google Online Library
Learn how to get discovered by customers in your local area, how to get started with Google Analytics, Google Ads basics and so on. Use Google Primer to learn a little more everyday, even if you only have five minutes to spare. You can also complete Google’s free certification courses to become an expert in Google Ads, Analytics and other Google products.

Subscribe to Magazines
A few of our favorites include:
INC (the magazine for small business owners)
Forbes
Entrepreneur

and Fast Company

PADI Business Academy
Learn about business planning, how to increase engagement with Facebook followers, website optimization, staff training, pricing and sales – and more at PADI Business Academy in 2019. Visit the PADI Pros Site to find an upcoming PADI Business Academy near you.

A Force for Good: The Researchers

Everyone knows that global environments in general, and the oceans in particular, are threatened. Climate change, coral bleaching, overfishing, runaway plastics – it’s a long list and every day, another study makes the list longer and more daunting. It may seem like everyone’s jumping on the bad news bandwagon, but I look at these reports in a positive, enabling way: the future we don’t want must be predicted to avoid it.

So, besides studying current issues, marine and environmental researchers show us problems before they arise. For example, in August marine scientists Wortman, Paytan and Yao (University of Toronto and University of California, Santa Cruz) released a study that suggests that, beyond warming, elevated atmospheric CO2 would reduce oceanic oxygen, making the deeper depths toxic and significantly damage fisheries through it effect on the food web. Yes, that’s bad news, but thanks to these researchers we know now, while we still have time to do something about it.

And, this leads to the second reason researchers are a crucial force for good. It’s about predicting problems, but also finding the solutions and sharing them. In a previous blog, I mentioned Dr. Vaughan’s breakthrough in coral restoration – shared research that directly addresses a massive global challenge that’s close to the heart of all divers. In Cuba’s Guanahacabibes National Marine Park, biologist Dr. Dorka Cobián Rojas teams with global scientists and “citizen scientist” divers to research causes and implement solutions to coral loss and the invasive lionfish. There also, Dr. Osmani Borrego similarly researches plastic pollution. These are critical research efforts because Guanahacabibes’ reefs are healthy, making them a biological resource oasis needed to find the problems and solutions we need to protect, preserve and restore the world’s reefs and fisheries.

Let’s not overlook “citizen scientist” involvement, because it is vital. Professional full-time researchers like Rojás and Borrego do not have the time or resources to gather all the data and trial the solutions. Solving massive, world-scale problems calls for massive, world-scale participation – in the ocean, that means you and me. As Project AWARE likes to say, don’t let your dives go to waste. Every dive we make can contribute to research. Dive Against Debris, for example, isn’t simply about picking up litter underwater or pointing fingers – it’s part of finding out how we can stop it.

Another effort is Reef Life Survey, founded by Dr. Graham Edgar, which trains volunteer divers to survey marine organisms. More than 200 RLS divers have already surveyed more than 2,000 sites in 44 countries, creating one of the largest global biological databases in existence. Using these data, researchers expect a shift in fish and invertebrate distribution as the oceans warm – a conclusion only possible thanks to these citizen scientist divers.  India.mongbay.com reports that in India, scientists train fishermen and other volunteers to dive (if they’re not already divers) as citizen scientists for involvement in multiple initiatives, and it has another benefit – public support. “The research also gets community buy-in when their people are involved,” the report quotes University of Kerala’s aquatic biology department head A. Biju Kuma. Go online and you can find literally dozens of ways scientists embrace divers like you and me in researching the solutions to environmental threats.

There’s a lot to do, so let’s make every dive count. Join Dive Against Debris if you haven’t already, and/or any other citizen scientist effort. We can be researchers while still making images, exploring or doing everything else we love about diving. And, let’s be restorers who use what we’re learning to rebuild, revitalize and recreate a healthy global environment. Let’s be reachers and teachers who use diving to spread what we’re learning and doing, and pass it to the next generations.

Regardless of what today’s trends are, the future is not inevitable. With 25 million PADI Professionals and Divers helping lead the way, and with a new generation of divers to come, we’re already changing course to a different tomorrow with a thriving, healthy global environment. When it comes to gazing into the crystal ball, I like what author-educator Peter Drucker said:

The best way to predict the future
is to create it.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Creating Advocates

Written by John Kinsella

It’s a damp and dreary morning, the traffic is horrendous and it’s backing up for a long way. Perfect. Clutching a handful of flyers promoting a two-for-the-price-of-one Discover Scuba® Diving (DSD®) experience, we move carefully between the rows of cars, making eye contact with the bored looking drivers. Most roll down their windows, curious no doubt about our colorful one-piece wet suits. We smile, hand them a flyer and give them a brief explanation: Forget about all the traffic, now’s the time to learn to dive. By the time we made it in to the dive shop at nine, the phone was hopping off the hook. It was the single most-effective promotion we had ever run.

For years, we made a point of finding out why new divers came in to the shop. Before the advent of high-end dive management software such as EVE, we kept a simple spreadsheet with the diver’s name and a couple of words describing how they heard about us and why they signed up. We tallied this up every month and, with only this one exception, every month the dominant reason was referrals. Running around in rush-hour traffic in wet suits, it appears, is the exception that proves the rule.

That was 30 years ago, and I doubt we’d get away with it today. So that leaves referrals squarely at the top of the list. And, to drive the point firmly home, during a recent Open Water Diver course, every single one of eight new divers was there because a friend or colleague had personally recommended the course. This is a great example of Word Of Mouth Marketing (or WOMM) at its best.

The importance of advocates – those people responsible for word-of-mouth marketing and referrals – for your business crosses all borders. PADI® Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recently published a white paper titled, “Analysis of the UK Diving Industry.” This report summarizes the key findings of a comprehensive survey of PADI Dive Centers across the UK. It also offers advice, based on those findings, to help dive centers boost their business.

In the Marketing to New Divers section, the white paper points out that new divers are the lifeblood of your business. They are not just current customers, but future customers as well. It goes on to identify two pools of new divers: DSDs and potential trade.

For DSDs, the advice is to:

  1. Use the Discover Scuba Diving Participant Guide and system correctly.
  2. Include structured time during the experience to explain the benefits of full training and how to complete this.
  3. Give participants an incentive to sign up immediately.
  4. Make sure participants know that they can complete the skills from Confined Water Dive One during their DSD – they have already started the process.
  5. Incentivize your staff. The white paper notes that “Passionate PADI Professionals will convert students to the sport – be sure to support them and reward them for success.” If you can’t rely on staff to recommend your Open Water Diver course, and if you don’t help them do so and make it worth their while, you’re missing a cornerstone of new business development.

For potential trade (new business), the white paper advises to:

  1. Use the PADI logo.
  2. Make sure to use the dive center’s Facebook page effectively.
  3. Be innovative – reach out to your local community.
  4. Use your students – word of mouth is still the best way to attract new divers.

The white paper notes that “Personal recommendations are powerful recruitment tools.” Incentivize former students by offering them rewards for bringing you new trade. Examples include a free gift for each student they recruit; discount on their next course; or a discount on the course they persuade a friend to join.

Make sure to use tried and tested methods of creating advocates for your business and reap the rewards.

 

Meeting CPR and First Aid Requirements for PADI Courses

Some PADI® courses require first aid and CPR training within the past 24 months. You know that Emergency First Response® Primary and Secondary Care courses meet the requirements.

How do you determine what other courses qualify when a diver presents you with first aid and CPR qualifications from another organization?

Follow these steps:

  • Verify that the CPR and first aid training included student skill practice and demonstration of CPR and first aid techniques in person with a qualified instructor. A course that lacks this does not qualify, such as online only courses or self-study programs via any other media.
  • Check that the training taken meets current international emergency care guidelines as defined by the various resuscitation councils. For further information on layperson CPR and first aid training, visit the following ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) Association websites:

American Heart Association

Australian Resuscitation Council

European Resuscitation Council

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

New Zealand Resuscitation Council

  • For PADI Divemaster candidates, include a copy of that CPR and first aid course completion documentation along with the Divemaster Application to avoid unnecessary processing delays. Documentation must be from the qualifying CPR/first aid organization. Certificates or completion documents provided by third parties that are not directly sanctioned CPR/first aid organizations are unacceptable. Look at the name of the CPR/first aid organization for whom the instructor is authorized to teach and ensure it matches with the name on the certification.

If you’re unsure, contact a Regional Training Consultant at your PADI Regional Headquarters for clarification before accepting documentation provided by the student or candidate for course requirements.

PADI Retail and Resort Automatic Renewal

PADI Retail and Resort Automatic Renewal begins 5 November 2018. Enrolling in automatic renewal provides you the least expensive annual membership rate available and ensures you receive uninterrupted access to PADI’s member benefits like online certification processing.

Along with reduced membership dues, automatic renewal also provides PADI Retail and Resort Members a chance to win an in-store marketing consultation with a PADI Americas Marketing Executive and $1,000 US in marketing co-op funds.

To enter the Marketing Consultation Contest, please ensure your store or resort is enrolled in automatic renewal and completes the short survey linked below before 5 November 2018. The in-store consultation will include a one-day review of your website, social media, email marketing, online advertising and $1,000 US in marketing co-op funds*.

Complete the following before 5 November 2018 and you will be entered in the Marketing Consultation Contest.

  1. Enroll in 2018 automatic membership renewal
  2. Access and complete this short survey.

The Heroic – But Failed – Rescue

Written by Al Hornsby

What do the following scenarios have in common?

  1. A certified diver surfaces near shore, gets swept onto rocks by the swell and spends several minutes submerged, regulator out of his mouth. The dive guide risks his life to reach the diver and tow him back to the boat. The deckhand quickly begins CPR and continues until reaching the marina, just minutes away. Unfortunately, the diver does not regain consciousness.
  2. A certified diver suffers a catastrophic injury at more than 30 metres/100 feet and becomes unresponsive. A nearby divemaster spots the incident and attempts to bring the heavily weighted, incapacitated diver to the surface, fighting a heavy swell and strong current. Reaching exhaustion, the buoyant divemaster loses contact with the victim before reaching the surface. The victim is found on the bottom deceased after a subsequent search.
  3. An instructor is asked by three certified divers to take them on a popular local dive. After non-eventful familiarization dives to confirm their skills, the instructor takes them on the requested dive. During the dive, at about 21 metres/70 feet, one of the divers indicates a regulator problem and begins rapidly heading to the surface. The instructor rushes to assist, slows the ascent and gets the diver up safely, then sorts out the regulator problem (which turns out to be imagined). The two other buddies, however, stay down and continue the dive. As the instructor takes the diver back down, the others pass them ascending rapidly with one completely out of gas. Upon reaching the surface, the out-of-gas diver begins to cough and panic. The instructor, who surfaced with the first diver immediately, manually inflates the victim’s BCD, and he floats high in the rough water, but nonetheless shortly loses consciousness. With a strong current carrying the group, by the time the boat and additional rescuers arrive, the victim has been unresponsive for an extended period. The diver is declared dead by EMS. The instructor who was attending him and the other divers throughout the several-hour ordeal ends up hospitalized for extreme exhaustion.

In all these (real) scenarios, there are various commonalities:

  1. The difference between what would/could have been a heroic rescue, at significant personal risk to the dive pro, and the diver fatality was heartbreakingly small.
  2. In the three situations, some combination of various errors and/or omissions could be alleged: an improper briefing/warning; improper rescue technique; improper rescue breaths; lack of available O2; etc.
  3. In addition to those common aspects, all three situations also resulted in the dive pro being sued, and all the cases resulted in negative verdicts or out‑of‑court settlements.

These, like any serious dive accident, were tragedies – for the victims, for the victims’ families and for the dive pros involved. Unfortunately in each, otherwise excellent, conscientious behavior and dive supervision had – or could be alleged to have had – small discrepancies that could be used in a lawsuit to attack the pros’ performance and/or response to the emergency.

Here’s a quick list of rescue-related issues to always stay current on and to use in a dive emergency to maximize the chances of success, but also to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit that could reasonably allege that your conduct fell below accepted professional standards:

  1. Always provide a proper dive briefing, describing emergency and diver separation procedures and any special risks of the dive.
  2. Have operational, emergency O2 available, with all dive pros and applicable boat crew knowing where it is located and how to administer it, as well as being familiar with the dive boat/operation’s overall emergency plan and procedures.
  3. Stay current on and use the inwater, rescue-breath protocols you’ve learned, including when to give breaths, how frequently, when to remove the victim’s equipment, etc.
  4. Stay current on and use proper CPR protocols, including the sequencing and pace of inflations and compressions. Keep in mind that these processes have standards placed by dive and lifeguarding bodies, plus are supported by medical research and/or consensus of various sorts. These standards are mostly global, but there are a few that differ somewhat by region, so be aware of what is expected in your area. There are plenty of “experts” out there willing to allege that a nonstandard approach led to, or contributed to, a fatality: “If not but for the nonstandard, improper performance. . .”

Unfortunately, diving has risks that can never be fully eliminated, and the possibility of an incident occurring always exists. Stay prepared and vigilant, and ready to respond, using the procedures and protocols learned during your training. There will always be incidents that don’t have happy outcomes despite heroic, appropriate, individual efforts by dive professionals who do everything “by the book.” But even with real, human limitations, realize that diver rescues and assists occur every day, and the vast majority end without serious injury to the victim. Be and stay prepared for diver emergencies, but also be confident. What you know to do works and usually makes a difference.

PADI Awards Medal of Valor to Thailand Cave Rescuers Who Represent Diving’s Finest Hour

Leadership and rescue divers instrumental in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand earlier this year will be the first-ever recipients of PADI’s Medal of Valor. This high distinction will be awarded to Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, Dr. Richard Harris, Dr. Craig Challen, Jason Mallinson, Chris Jewell and Jim Warny. The courage, strength, honor and dignity displayed during the rescue operation propelled the PADI organization to create the medal to formally recognize their contributions to one of diving’s greatest moments in history. Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson will represent this distinguished group and accept the PADI Medal of Valor at the PADI® Social on 13 November during DEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In June and July 2018, the world watched as top cave divers and other experts from around the globe converged in Thailand to find and save the “Wild Boars” soccer team, which had become trapped deep inside the Tham Luang cave system. For 18 days, the international effort involved more than 1,000 men and women, who combined their collective talents for the extraordinary recovery of the team.

“It was an awe-inspiring example of humanity at its best, focused on a single noble purpose,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “This complex rescue operation demonstrated action and focus propelled by the unshakeable conviction that those boys would not die on diving’s watch. Rick Stanton, Jason Mallinson and everyone who was part of this effort faced and accepted the difficulties, dangers and risks inherent in the rescue. On behalf of the entire PADI family, it is an honor to recognize these heroes and extend our immense gratitude for representing diving’s finest hour.”

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen were a driving force in the Thai cave rescue operation. The pair was the first to discover the soccer team, which had been trapped in the flooded cave for nine days at the time they were found. Together, with Mallinson and Jewell, the divers led the dive rescue and carried the boys out of the cave to safety. Both Stanton and Volanthen are regarded as two of Britain’s foremost cave divers, with more than 35 years’ experience in extreme cave dives and rescues, having led a number of high-profile rescue attempts in the past.

Dr. Richard “Harry” Harris played a critical role in the rescue, administering sedatives to the boys to facilitate their extraction under extreme and complex conditions. Working in anesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia, Harris has expertise in cave diving, wilderness medicine and remote area health. Dr. Craig Challen, an Australian cave explorer, early adopter of closed-circuit mixed-gas rebreathers and avid wreck diver, dived alongside Harris facilitating the successful execution of the rescue.

Jason Mallinson and Chris Jewell were integral to the mission, taking food to the those trapped and working alongside Stanton and Volanthen to carry the boys out through the flooded sections of cave. Mallinson is an exploration and rescue cave diver with 30 years in the field. His achievements have led him to set distance and depth records in caves all over the world. He has assisted in multiple rescues and is a member of the United Kingdom’s international cave-dive rescue team. Jewell is a UK-based exploratory cave diver with more than 12 years’ experience leading cave diving. Belgian cave diver Jim Warny, who currently resides in Ireland, was instrumental in the coach’s extraction.

“Their daring mission is a wonderful opportunity to show the world what the diving community is made of, and what can be accomplished through a combination of proper training, trust, courage, passion and perseverance,” says Richardson.

Industry stakeholders and PADI Members are invited to stand together to thank these heroic divers. Join PADI in honoring these men at the PADI Social on Tuesday, 13 November 2018, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

All are invited for a special meet and greet with Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson at the DEMA Show in the PADI booth (booth 1524) on Wednesday, 14 November from 5:00-6:00 pm. Please join PADI in celebrating these heroes and thanking them for their courage and honor.

Learning from the Statistics

Three Ways to Increase Diver Safety

Written by DAN Staff

Dive incident statistics show both improvements in diver safety and areas where divers may need more help. The DAN Annual Diving Report provides information about the most frequent causes of injury among divers. Dive professionals can learn from these statistics and continue to improve diver safety by reinforcing training concepts that encourage divers to follow safe diving practices. Knowing how to avoid common issues can reduce their chances of being involved in dive incidents.

Weighting

Overweighting is a common problem and a difficult issue to tackle. You may weight students correctly in class, but can’t control how they weight themselves after certification. Besides making a point to remind students that they should always use the correct amount of weight, you could address the issue with additional training, such as a PADI Peak Performancy Buoyancy course, or offer to help divers figure out proper weighting anytime the have an equipment change or just need a tune-up. Overweighting is a significant hazard to both new and experienced divers. Emphasize the need to develop good weighting habits to not only increase safety, but to also to add to their comfort and enjoyment in the water.

Buoyancy Control

With practice, every student should be able to attain neutral buoyancy and horizontal trim before finishing a course. You’re well aware that the inability to control buoyancy during ascent or descent can cause serious injury or death. Not being able to maintain their position or minimize drag in the water can cause new divers to become unaware of their depth or cause collisions with dangerous objects. It can also decrease visibility when they stir up the bottom and cause them to become exhausted due to excessive finning through the water. Focus on mastery of proper buoyancy techniques and encourage lots of practice in your courses. Keeping your students comfortably in control and happily finning through the water throughout their initial training will make them less likely to run into issues post-certification.

Checklists

The mandated use of checklists in aerospace, health care and other areas has significantly decreased the number of incidents and accidents in those industries. The same trend is coming into focus in diving. Whether you use the premade checklists from PADI materials or create your own, using a checklist is an excellent way to ensure that you have everything you need to run a class, board a vessel or get in the water, especially when managing multiple students and assistants. Checklists are an excellent resource for reducing errors. They should serve as reminders of key points rather than just to-do lists. Role model checklist use and encourage students to carry and use checklists for all their dives.

For more information about incident statistics, visit DAN.org.

Six Secrets Behind Dive Center Hiring

Being an in-demand scuba instructor is about more than just passing your IDC and IE. You’ve got to have a friendly, winning attitude, sure – but also bring more to the table. We spoke with a handful of PADI Course Directors and IDC Staff Instructors, asking them to open up their playbooks when it comes to hiring. Here’s what they revealed:

6. Be able to teach at least a couple specialties.

“We like instructors who can teach specialties – and it doesn’t necessarily matter which ones. We are open to whatever they bring. As long as you can up-sell classes – that is, when a student comes in for one course, you have the potential to get two or three classes out of that opportunity.”

— Neil Evans, PADI Course Director with Rainbow Reef IDC in Key Largo, Florida

5. Have a relationship with the store where you want to get hired.

“Don’t just walk in off the street asking for a job. If you walk in off the street, I’m pretty suspicious of you. Instead, do the fun dives with the dive center and show your interest in getting hired, then do your IDC with that dive center.”

— Kevin Barry, PADI IDC Staff Instructor with Any Water Sports in San Jose, California

4. Know the dive sites of the location where you want to work.

“The PADI Divemaster course is where you get to learn the dive sites of a location. I always suggest that someone do their divemaster course and IDC at the same place. We are always going to hire people who know the local dive sites well before we hire someone who doesn’t.”

— Will Welbourn, PADI Course Director at Coconut Tree Divers in Roatan, Honduras

3. Knowing more than one language is a plus.

2. Be able to talk about gear – not just your own.

“It’s such a plus to be good about talking about gear and why it’s good to have certain types of gear. To boost your knowledge about what’s out there, go to different gear manufacturer websites and look at specs for different gear. Learn why you would use one type of gear over another. It’s important to sell not just the top-of-the-line gear, but the pieces that fit a customer’s specific needs.”

— Neil Evans, PADI Course Director with Rainbow Reef in Key Largo, Florida

1. Demonstrate helpfulness during your IDC.

“Quite frankly, it’s about attitude. Be the one at your IDC who is as helpful as possible, volunteering to carry tanks and set up equipment – that’s who you want working around you.”

— Will Welbourn, PADI Course Director at Coconut Tree Divers in Roatan, Honduras

If you are a dive professional looking for a new job, take a look at the Employment Board at the PADI Pros’ Site for open job opportunities around the world.

Article by Brooke Morton