By Michael Gross
Special Contributor

  When Daniel Christmas became a lifeguard at 20, he never imagined it would lead him to where he is today! Starting out as a lifeguard at a summer camp during college, the skills he developed eventually led him to a leadership position in a city that he loved. Now the Aquatics Director of the Gordon JCC in Nashville, he is responsible for a staff of 30 lifeguards and swim instructors, two indoor saltwater pools, 2 outdoor saltwater pools, a growing swim team, and water fitness and swimming lessons for children and adults.

  So, when asked by people why someone should become a lifeguard, Daniel answers, “Because you can develop useful and transferable skills for college and future careers, enjoy a summer job that’s rewarding instead of just something to do, and enjoy perks like free pool membership, working with friends and working outdoors!”

  Being a lifeguard gives you skills that other professionals and hiring managers like to see in potential employees. Teamwork, Self Confidence, Communication and Leadership are all vital skills that are often not learned in school. They are learned through life experience. Doing a job you know is keeping people safe can make you feel good about the work you do and about yourself! This can really boost self-confidence. Plain and simple.

  Lifeguards work together as a team. Not only must you trust your own abilities, you need to develop trust with your lifeguarding team. As a result, lifeguards quickly find common ground and become very tight knit groups, leading to great friendships and character building, which also makes this a great resume item.  In addition to working as a team, lifeguards are punctual, quick thinkers and have the ability to focus and concentrate, all valuable skills that can build your resume and help you in your future career.

  Becoming a lifeguard means learning how to save lives and being paid to make your community a safer place. CPR, first aid, AED and oxygen administration, are portable, lifesaving skills that you’ll hopefully never have to use, but you will remember for years to come and you can use elsewhere outside the pool. But did you know lifeguards also master customer service skills? Lifeguards interact with pool members daily and work to keep everyone safe, as well as happy. Managing pool rules and behavior means that there are often times when lifeguards have to use communication, problem-solving, negotiation and conflict resolution skills in conjunction with lifesaving skills to keep members happy and safe.

  Other perks of lifeguarding include free access to a pool whenever you want to relax, sunbathe or swim. You work outside, get a tan and you can take your lifeguard certification with you wherever you go! The question shouldn’t be “why should someone become a lifeguard,” it should be “why shouldn’t someone become a lifeguard!”

Becoming a Lifeguard Gives You Vital Life Skills

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