by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional
“Making A Difference In Your Industry”
Working in the diving industry on full-time or part-time basis makes you an Industry Professional by default. Regardless of your job in the industry, you owe it to yourself to make the most out of your profession or your hobby. The better our industry is perceived by the general public the better it is for all of us. In a sense, that makes us all Industry Ambassadors. It doesn’t matter what role you play in the diving community; Instructor, Retailer, Dive Operator, Resort Owner, Sales Rep, Training Professional, Manufacturer, Travel Professional, Non-profit personnel, or one of the thousands of business support people who work in the industry, we all have a duty to make our profession better.
It’s not hard when you think about it. Each sector has a specific function in the industry. Instructors learn the art of teaching their skills to new and experienced divers. They get better at what they do by staying active in their association and getting as much diving experience as possible. When they learn of new and better ways to teach diving, they should share their opinions with their employers and their certification agencies. An Instructor is a front-line ambassador in the industry and their experience and opinion is important.
Retail Dive Center Owners and Employees are the heart beat of our community. Most importantly, Dive Centers are most often the first point of contact a non-diver has with our industry. How the general public perceives scuba diving and other the other diving related activities rests on the shoulders of our Dealer Network. Dive Retailers need to be many things; Professional Retailers, Scuba Diving Experts, Training Professionals, Equipment Repair Specialists, Dive Travel Specialists, Recreational Coaches and FUN Advocates. On the Professional Trade side they are the Mentors to new divers attempting to make a living or a career out of scuba diving. They are sources of information to Industry Analysts (Surveys, Trends, Best Practices). They are dive equipment testers and evaluators (hopefully not proto-types). And most of all Retail Dive Centers are Key Influencers. If a Retailer likes or doesn’t like a Sales Rep, his influence can make a difference in that person’s career. If a Retailer doesn’t like a line of equipment or a training standard, his influence added to the influence of other Retailers can change a company’s sales policy, buying terms or training standards.
Each and every sector in our community has duties, responsibilities, and a degree of influence. Some people may not like this, but opinions are a good thing. They should be formulated and expressed often. When Industry Professional discuss their profession in a positive, well intended forum, it makes everyone think about what we are doing and many things can be learned because of it. Board Directors in our diving associations need to spend more time listening to Opinion Leaders in our community and less time trying to pursue their own agenda. Good Directors are Directors who know how to listen. There is a lot of experience in the field and it’s easy to tap into. You only have to ask.
So who can make a difference in our Industry? Everyone can. Where can you be the most influence? Start right where you are now. When is the best time to start? Now.