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Old 12 October 2010, 08:02   #1
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Too late for Career change??

Hey Everyone,

Was hoping I could get some info or advice from you all.

At 34 yrs of age, have I left it too late to start training for a careeer as a watersports instructor? Being honest, I dont have the greatest experience, but have been considering an Instructor course in Windsurfing and Dinghy sailing.

I just want more to life than sitting in a dead end factory job. I'm aware that I wouldn't be earning a fortune, and I don't have any responsibilities apart from myself.

Gaz
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Old 12 October 2010, 08:36   #2
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nope, not to late at all, ive trained a number of people older than you for that exact role.

courses like this are one way in.
http://www.plasmenai.co.uk/courses-l...rts-instructor

http://www.uksa.org/career/waterspor...r-training.asp
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Old 12 October 2010, 08:52   #3
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or get a whole loada boating experience in and go into the commercial world. Lotsa jobs out there.I waited a while even after early retirement from a proper job before I let myself get talked into commercial skippering-brilliant, love it and they pay me money to play in some lovely boats.
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Old 12 October 2010, 08:53   #4
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Thanks starovich -Just the answer I was hoping for.. I have already been in touch with UKSA and was quite impressed with everything they offered!!

Is there any chance of progression in this kind of work, there in the UK or abroad? I guess it all depends on the company your working for.

Wavelength... Do you mean jobs like Deliveries, deckhand work etc?
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Old 12 October 2010, 10:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
Wavelength... Do you mean jobs like Deliveries, deckhand work etc?
wot hee meens iz yew starrt orf az a skippir, crassh de bote(s) thenn yew gett promotid too dekk and.

wiLf
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Old 12 October 2010, 10:59   #6
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Hmm interesting!!!
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Old 12 October 2010, 11:19   #7
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s'about right. sorta reverse promotion. Hey deckhand is good - make tea, chat with the passengers, no responsibilities---sort of a 15stone trolley dolly oh and spend day snacking, cuppa tea, then eating, nother cuppa tea, more snacking
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Old 12 October 2010, 11:26   #8
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From my experience (13 years, 26 countries) you'll have no problem finding work here or abroad, of course the seasons make it more difficult, not much work in the winter unless you go skiing or to the southern hemisphere.

Once your all certified, I'd blanket all the National Governing bodies (RYA Equivalents, E.G. US Sailing) for the sports world wide. I did this a few years ago and had offers from US and Aus, and spent the next 3 years in the US, all expenses paid and a significant pay check (compared with teaching here).
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Old 12 October 2010, 15:05   #9
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Gazz,

A friend of mine looked into this a few years ago at about your age. He concluded he was too old to take that big a step down the pay scale with no obvious prospects for getting back up it, and with a mortgage etc he didn't fancy uncertain seasonal work - your situation may be quite different.

The advice he got was basically: there are two types of job in the outdoor instruction market:
(a) the highly specialist instructor / coach / guide - more likely to be dealing with adults / families etc. But this part of the market can be quite freelance based and/or about who you know etc - meaning that your income is likely to fluctuate a lot. Very much summer and weekend work.
(b) the group / centre type instructor who often has to cover lots of disciplines (sailing, kayaking, climbing, mountain bike, walking, skiing etc) but all at the introductory level. Very often at the beginner level, and usually with children/teenagers as the main client. It may be more likely to get a contract with fixed hours for a season/year/longer in this type of job.

Obviously not every job falls directly into those "boxes". The advice for making a career switch for the later was to try and get the basic instructors ticket in as many disciplines as possible. There was little/no point in being an "advanced" instructor in anything. Career progression is possible but typically involved more management and less practical hands-on activity which may not be what your want.
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Old 13 October 2010, 07:39   #10
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Polwart is being a bit negative here.

You have already told us your not worried about the pay, have no responsibilities and are looking for a life style career.

If you get into instructing it goes without saying that you will start by teaching beginners while you learn by experience how to instruct, manage groups afloat etc.

Nothing wrong with getting into it at your age. Plenty have done before you

That said your average dinghy/windsurf Instructor is in their twenties and only does it for a few seasons. I should stress however there are plenty older watersports Instructors and many of us have been doing this for a good many years.

The alternative is to look at the yachting side of things. In the same way as you can take a fast track course to become a watersports Instructor you can do one up to Yachtmaster.

To be honest there are more career options in yachting than watersport instruction and it is less seasonal.

You could of course follow both routes as there are a of of cross over skills.

What sort of experience/training do you already have?
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