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Thankful For This Job

November 30, 2015

Thankful For This Job

Written by: Sophie Gaze
Dive Immersion Senior Divemaster

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple Inc.

Whenever I am off-site in my Georgia Aquarium uniform, I always get asked something along the lines of, “You work at the Aquarium? Cool! What do you do there?”

I always smile at this question because I secretly enjoy the wow-factor of my response, “I’m a SCUBA diver. I swim with the sharks.”

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, eat delicious carbohydrate-filled meals, and watch football – lots of football – but I also really enjoy the part where you actually give thanks. With all the tragedy around the world making headlines, I feel more conscious than ever this year about the importance of giving thanks over this holiday season.

2015 has been an awesome year at work: we were honored to welcome over 500 wounded veterans in the water. I took my Intermediate Freediver course. I became a DAN Instructor. I met inspiring guests like Grace White, a young girl battling a rare form of cancer who dreams of swimming with whale sharks, or David, who sends me monthly updates on his SCUBA training and is literally counting the days until he’s old enough to come dive with us. I got to help out with movie shoots, dress up like a ridiculous SCUBA diving shark for Halloween, and attend the diver’s dream trade show, DEMA. I had family and friends from all over the world visit the Aquarium to see what I do for a living and swim with our sharks and rays. I attended Georgia Aquarium’s annual Aqua Vino event. I met Jeff Corwin and was lucky enough to safety one of his underwater shoots here in Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot. I could go on and on…

This year I’m also particularly thankful to be a member of Georgia Aquarium’s team. I can’t imagine there are many jobs in this world where the employees are a community, not just a group of people who happen to be receiving paychecks from the same bank. Most of my best friends in this city are also my diving coworkers. When I walk through the building, I feel connected to the people who are sporting the G-fish logo, whether I recognize them or not. We all have a common purpose here that unites us all. I am truly so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this team!

I hope that you get the chance to come and visit Georgia Aquarium this holiday season and see all the fun things going on in our Festival of the SEAson celebration! Be sure to look out for my personal favorite, SCUBA Claus, who will be performing our dive show each day!

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