Dive Instructor in: Club Aldiana, Cyprus

This is a Life&Dive ProDiver interview. These interviews are given to dive instructors from all around the world to provide you with an idea of their lives, job situations and opinions about the diving industry.
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This information is from season 2012 / season 2013

Name:
Lena
Age:
28
Nationality:
German
Languages:
German & English
Number of Dives:
400
Where:
Alaminos / Cyprus
Contract:
seasonal
Position:
DM / Instructor / Watersportsinstructor
Salary Range / US$:
500-1.000
Board / Accommodation?:
both free + alcohol for free
Duty time:
6 days / 1 day off
2 weeks paid holiday

Type of operation:
Dive Centre
Size of operation:
small
Location of operation:
inside a huge club-hotel
Job characteristics and/or special duties:
many additional duties in the club, like cooking 1-2 times / week, duties on „Gala-Dinner“ (form a guard of honor in evening dresses), decoration, supporting evening shows, masquerading as…(different themes), serving drinks on events, animating, joining the daily choreography for guest amusement….
Main courses trained:
Bubblemaker (thousands^^..) OWD, AOWD, Specialties, few guiding
Mode of Operation:
shore dives, boat dives, shore dives by car
average # dives per day:
1

Medical care situation:
3 chambers close by, quality doctors available, but you have to pay for yourself, doctor in the club for free
Visa Runs:
not necessary for European, but you need to be registered
Government administrative duties:
none
Lifestyle:
own room with bathroom in the staff accommodation, inside the resort. The next city is about 30min by bus. Bus connection two times / day.
If you rent a car on your day off is quite expensive (rental + gas)

Your opinion:
In 2012 I did my DM-course on Cyprus. Honestly, even during this time I hated the „club-life“ and didn´t want to come back for the next season. But then I got an amazing offer from my boss:
They would give me a job as DM with a salary of 650$/month, board (incl. alc.) & accommodation for free, I got my IDC for free (I had only to pay the expenses, which was quite cheap on Cyprus!!!!!!!), I also got certified as watersportsinstructor and obtained an international RYA powerboat license. As soon as I passed my IE, my contract was changed. As an instructor I earned 750$ + commission. C’mon, where do you get an offer like this?!! I’m still grateful!!!
Especially in Europe, where most DM positions are either unpaid or on a „training-for-work“ basis, this was an amazing chance! We worked from March to December in a small dive centre and during low season we had little to do. During this time, it was very relaxing. We had a great team and we were rather friends than colleagues. From time to time we met for barbecues or went out for dinner. Our two base leaders always cared about us, how we felt and tried hard to make us happy. Especially from my instructor trainer I learned a lot. He was very experienced and an impressive person.

watersports
IE
sundown

But beside that I´m not the right person for working/living in a club. This is a very special situation in tourism. Beside your normal job as divemaster or instructor, you have plenty of duties in the hotel, very similar to the real animators.
You need to be very extroverted. You have to entertain the guests 24/7. You have no private life and beside that, the staff rules are very strict. Maybe young people between 18 and 22 years can actually enjoy this job, after college or so….
The physical work as divemaster/instructor on Cyprus, and possibly in the Mediterranean in general, is very demanding. You have to do everythin yourself: pumping and carrying tanks, driving the boat, pulling the anchor and many day trips. Aside of the amazing wreck, the diving wasn´t exactly challenging.
But on the other hand it was a perfect place to start off as a newly certified instructor. The housereef was only 6m deep, no currents, almost no boat traffic. It was a good spot to learn and improve my instructor skills. We mainly worked with children and teenagers, which are very easy to train. During the high season we sold so many courses that I certified around 130 people in only 5 months.
I certainly don`t want to work in a „club-hotel“ anymore. But for me it was a very good start into my professional diving career and because of our awesome  team we had a good time.

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