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Looking for advice on finding a job here... do volunteer positions help?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by oreocookie, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. oreocookie

    oreocookie PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Hey guys,
    I'm currently in Cairns and looking for advice on finding a job here. There's the obvious "go into every shop", and I've tried to do that. I've gotten an interview with one shop, and trial day on one of the day boats (the timing of which may have cost me an interview with another shop, but I digress). I realise the job market is competitive here, every backpacking/travelling diver or diver-to-be comes here, myself included, and there's only so many jobs to go around. So what's the best way to get my foot in the door? Obviously I could just go out and dive with them, but that would get expensive quickly. At least one boat (Mike Ball) advertises on its website volunteer positions, and I'm sure others do too, but does a 2 week volunteer position on one of these boats actually look good on a resume? Any other suggestions on how to get a foot in the door without breaking the bank?
  2. chris kippax

    chris kippax Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    Volunteer and show them your skill set. If your any good you may get a start.
  3. chrisch

    chrisch Contributor

    I am sure that an unpaid work period demonstrates something. If nothing else it sets the pay rate for the job......
  4. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: NA
    I'd be real curious as to what the "work" entails. How would you expect someone to learn the sites in two weeks in order to be able to guide anyone?

    Have you been on a live-aboard as a paying customer before and therefore have an expectation of the work involved?
  5. Damselfish

    Damselfish ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    The TAKA had a volunteer on when we did it, though that was some years ago. Mostly they worked in the kitchen or did whatever scut work, and in return got passage and to dive some. Not lead dives or anything related - I don't recall if they happened to be an instructor or DM, but that really wouldn't make sense since they wouldn't know the sites any better than than passengers did.
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    What a sad situation. So many buy into the false promises that accompany Dive Pro course marketing. Then the employment pool gets saturated with 'professionals' who are desperate to work. And so... those 'pros' offer...or accept... to work for free. Dive centers get cheap labor. Cheap labor allows cheap courses. Cheap courses means more people learn to dive. More sales of manuals/certs boosts agency profits... Agency win! And... of course... more divers means a larger pool of those who buy into the hype and aspire to become pros... It's a symptom of 'zero-to-hero' training. Because if people actually gained credible experience as divers first.. before becoming pros... they'd have chance to develop a network for getting work... and a respectable amount of experience, even as a diver, that'd put them into an employable position. I'm not really sure what to suggest. If someone buys into the notion that they can become a 'professional' diver after a few weeks/months of fast-track training in a sausage factory dive school.... then the reality is you've been swindled. Just like any scam... If it seems to good to be true... then it probably is..
  7. WetPup

    WetPup Weedy Sea Dragon

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kiwiland
    Your best bet of securing dive work in Cairns is if you are bi- or tri-lingual. If you can speak fluent Japanese or Mandarin, you're at an advantage over nearly everyone, and work should be easier to come by.
  8. oreocookie

    oreocookie PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Based on what I've seen, the work involves helping on the dive deck, spotter will divers are in the water, helping in the galley, helping clean cabins, etc, depending on the position or boat... I have been on liveaboards before, so I do have an idea what that entails. I think in-water, it's more in the capacity of buddy than guide.

    ---------- Post added November 14th, 2015 at 09:31 AM ----------

    I am bilingual... Unfortunately French is not the most useful of extra languages here. If I spoke Japanese, Mandarin or German, i'd probably have a job already. I've recently started learning German, but I'm not going to be fluent anytime soon.
  9. ozzydamo

    ozzydamo Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Labour markets in all developed countries are being squeezed hard now. It's forcing down incomes, it does end; when no body has coin to do anything. Australia's government has used licensing, WPHS and even EPA laws to protect particular industries. Then there is the fact of quality training is only effectively got by working for the best operator- who know not to train somebody you'll have to compete against in a few years time. Thus showing too much potential could also backfire on a trainee/student/apprentice.

    Here in QLD now scuba is going into a hard remission, we have a property bubble which is strangling the broader economy and a corporate sector that has better lawyers then the Tax dept. Australia is in a for a real hard kick in the economic guts. When yields from shares finally tank, the whole shebang will go legs up.

    Australia has a counter-productive economic environment and is looking to increase consumption tax as a "fix", the only ones making any money are either government sector, bankers, real estate or drug dealers.
    RBA: Chart Pack-Household Sector
  10. Aquapro Dive Services

    Aquapro Dive Services Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Cairns, Australia
    DevonDiver has really summed it all up. Its a hard market in Cairns as everyone flocks here to find work. I get resumes and calls every single week and I don't have a dive shop any more.

    The volunteer work is more for "hosties" or DMs and its just work to get free dives. The over night boats just get cheap labour in exchange for experiences on the Reef and thats fine if you are travelling and want to just dive. Still need a work visa even for that though.

    First off, to compete with the majority you need to have the minimum which is Oxygen Provider, Australian Dive Medical and preferably boat experience. The more courses you can teach the better as you cam get that niche market (specialties which most schools don't do due to having to provide an instructor for 1 or 2 days).

    Try the bigger day boats like Great Adventures, Sunlover, Reef Magic etc first. These have massive amounts of intro divers etc and high numbers of staff. It gets your foot in the door. There are only really 3 schools in Cairns and everyone flocks to them.

    You wont get work on an overnight boat easily and certainly not as a deck hand without Coxswains ticket.

    Offer to go on smaller day boats (e.g. Compass, Day tripper etc) and offer to work for commission only to start with. Again this will give you the ability to get your foot in the door. May not get paid much but if you are any good its a win win.

    Never offer to work for free or you will piss off the rest of us who live here and have to earn living. Its a professional no no and wont be winning you any friends. The cheap overseas labour is killing the local dive instructors and as the industry struggles some operators unfortunately go for the cheap option.

    Keep on at them. Call regularly as an opportunity will come up and they get to know you. Don't just call once and leave it. Say you will call back in a week to see how it's going. You would be surprised. Its how I need up here.

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