How I WON the Best Dive Job in the world 2010 (Part 1 of 3)
Guest Post by Kenzo Kiren
Before diving into the question of how I won the best dive job in the world contest, it would be worth it to know, how I came across the life changing contest in the first place…
Dreaming of something better
It all started after returning home from a vacation where I did some diving in the caribbean. Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman. I was already open water certified, having done my course in the chilly waters of Vancouver BC, but I had never experienced diving the vibrant, crystal clear, warm waters like that of the Caribbean.
Needless to say, after those diving experiences, I was forever hooked. I arrived back home to my life as a cook and struggling student trying to make it in this world but eventually the burning desire built up triggering me to open my computer in search for a way to unlock this new life I was seeking. I needed to make the ocean my office.
I did one simple google search ‘diving jobs’ and the first link that came up was Blue Season Bali’s Best Dive Job in the World Contest. Writing about it now, I can still remember it like it was yesterday. As I read the contest description and application process, I told myself “this contest was made for me and I am going to win”! That night I didn’t sleep and the following day I started my campaign.
The first step in winning is submitting an entry!
The contest submission asked for either a 500 word write up with photos or a one minute video telling the world why you want to change your life and become a PADI dive instructor. I started with the write up (Contest Submission – Kenzo Kiren), explaining just that.
But don’t stop there…
Shortly after, I decided I’d strengthen my submission with another video. I figured, why not? When opportunities like this arise, you have to put everything on the table, so at the very least, when all the smoke settles, you can say you did everything in your power and walk away with no regrets. At that point, little did I know, that was only the beginning…
Promote yourself and rally supporters and voters
In the following weeks I created a Facebook group titled “Quest to Bali…Freedom“, I went full force with the blog which was set up on the Best Dive Job webpage and, needless to say, I made it so every time people logged on to Facebook they would see my post and thus feel inclined to help make my dream come true.
The contest became a part of my life because I knew if I worked hard enough at it, my life would change as a result. I reached out to friends, family, co-workers and fellow classmates because they were the people who knew me best. Whether it was through online communications or personal interactions, I felt people could really get the sense of just how badly I wanted to change my life as well as how optimistic I was with my chances. I said it before and I’ll say it again, from the moment I read about the contest, I had this empowering feeling that this was the opportunity that would change my life. I truly did believe I had just as good a chance as any to take the cake and I think it was this confidence that transpired to the people in my life, thus giving me wave after wave of support and the encouragement I needed to continue to believe in myself. To all of those people, I am forever grateful.
As the contest progressed, I contacted local newspapers to try and get some publicity (although they never did a story until I actually won), I was constantly eyeing the competition to fuel my drive and continue the pursuit. I followed up with a second video trying to showcase my character, sense of humour and passion for the ocean.
The final stretch
Blue Season Bali then released a shortlist, giving us a chance to answer some questions as sort of an online interview. Having received those questions was a pretty good indication I was still in the race, so I decided to make another video. This one included the song “Eye of the Tiger” and had me training in the snow in Canada.
Looking back now, the production value wasn’t the greatest but I had a blast making all the videos and I hope they were as fun for viewers to watch as they were for me to make.
In the home stretch, I was named one of the finalists, which made things even more nerve-wracking. To come this far and not win would be a devastation but, like I’ve always believed, positivity conquers all so that is the path I followed. I made one final video (below) encompassing everything I had promoted for myself in the competition and, most importantly, my undeniable desire to become a PADI dive instructor.
Winning the Best Dive Job in the world 2010-11
Finally, all I could do was wait… I will never forget the night I got the call from my girlfriend at that time. I heard those life changing words, “Kenzo you won!” From that moment, my life was forever changed and I could not even imagine the experiences that awaited me…
The rest is history!
Don’t miss the next article from Kenzo
How I won the Best Dive Job in the world 2010 (Part 2)
A reflection on my time in Bali and my training with Blue Season Bali