Too Old for an Adventure Job?
It never occurred to me until recently to even ask if I was too old for an adventure job. Why? Because I’m not old, at least in MY mind. Old is awfully relative don’t you think? Twenty is old to a ten year old and eighty is old to a fifty year old and yes, you are as old as you feel.
I’ve been lately catching up with old friends (meaning from the past not in age) from my high school graduating class of 1981. I look at some of them and think, wow, am I as old as they look? (sorry guys!). Perhaps its because I look at myself every day in the mirror and see just incremental aging but see a photo of someone you haven’t seen in 30 years and it’s a different story. I’m sure they feel the same when they see MY photos.
Employers looking for 20-somethings in the Adventure Job Market
But the point here is “adventure”, one of my all time favorite words and more so favorite activities. The reason this came up recently is that I am about to go back to an “adventure job”. I’ve run my own company for twelve years but let’s face it, a little extra dinero in the pocket wouldn’t hurt in this economy. So I begin to look at scuba diving instructor jobs and they are asking for 20-30 year olds. I peered down over my reading glasses and read it again to be sure. Yep, no one over 30 was going to have this job, only young whippersnappers need apply! I was insulted! Why, at age 47, I have 7500 dives and as many years as a dive instructor as those kids have been alive!
All of the sudden it occurred to me that perhaps I wasn’t “one of them” anymore. It was a bit of reality check for me for sure. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m an old gal trying to be a spring chick, that’s not it at all. It’s just that I can still do all those things I did at 25 and am still doing them, so the age thing just kind of slapped me in the face.
A Few Things To Think About if You Want an Adventure Job in Later Years
So I was on the phone last night with a friend who worked with me on a diving cruise ship back in 1990. He is considering an “adventure job” and asked me if I thought he was too old for one (he’s the same age as me). My first answer was, no, of course not BUT there are a few realities that need to be addressed, so let’s.
*Most (not all) adventure jobs pay either entry level or sub entry level wages.
*The company that hires you does not expect, or care, that you have a mortgage and child support.
*By hiring a 20 year old, they can get away with longer hours and lower pay.
*Face it, a resort would probably rather have a 22 year old running around in a bikini than a 50 year old no matter how great she looks in it.
*If you want an adventure job, be sure you are young at heart and able to serve clients your own age or younger without resentment.
*Be in good physical shape. At 50, you have more aches and pains than at 40 and these can spell trouble if you have a physically demanding adventure job.
So, you might ask, then why WOULD an adventure company hire me over a younger applicant?
*Experience. My 7500 dives goes a lot further than a 20 year old’s 150.
*Maturity. Chances are much greater than you will fulfill your contract and treat others with respect.
*Responsibility. It’s more likely that you will show up on time (not hung over) and see the job through to the end. You will have a more solid head on your shoulders when it comes to safety and protocol and not flee at the first sign of a tough day.
*Knowledge. You will have a larger base of knowledge to draw from in any situation.
And…just because you have a few more laps around the track and are probably more responsible and mature doesn’t mean you don’t come with just as much enthusiasm, joie de vie and desire to serve your clients.
Did You Know?
*The oldest person to climb Mt. Everest is Yuichiro Miura who summited in 2003 at age 70.
*The oldest female thru hiker on the Appalachain trail, is Nancy Gowler, age 71
*At 90, Bert Kilbride was dubbed the “oldest scuba diver” by Guinness book of world records.
*Stan Waterman is still diving and filming at 88, so is Dr. Eugene Clark and I have no doubt that Sylvia Earle will as well when she gets there.
How’s that for adventuring into your elder years? And…what about the other end of the spectrum?
*The youngest to sail solo non-stop around the world is Jessica Watson who completed this feat just last week at age 16!
To me this shows that it’s not age that makes the difference but attitude.
So my answer to the question, Are you too old for an Adventure Job? Absolutely NOT. If it’s your dream, your passion, your all encompassing desire in life, get out there, get off the couch, go for it and let NO ONE tell you otherwise. Listen to those who believe and support you. Thumbs up for adventure!
Go out there and get you some !!!!