This is a BIG question and one that I have been asked several times this year so far and it comes down to what you think a ‘career’ in the fitness industry is. This is up to individual interpretation and as this industry is much younger than others, a career pathway is not clearly defined – which is actually a very good thing.
Why? …because you can define it. You can decide what it will be for you and not have to conform to a set of standards or expectations.
So how do you tackle this question? Firstly, you need to do some work and consider the following three points below:
1. What do you enjoy doing most? This is the one thing that gets you up in the morning. If teaching group classes is your thing and personal training is a bore / not something that you look forward to, then it makes sense to move towards a career in teaching group classes. Avoid giving your attention to things that you think that you ‘should’ be doing, or what someone else said that you ‘need’ to do. Do a little soul searching and decide what you really enjoy. It might only be one thing, or it could be two or three. Make sure that you don’t end up ‘loving it all’, because you simply can’t become really good at everything all at the same time.
2. Some passions are easier than others – if you love personal training, then building a business with clients and then perhaps have other people working for you appears to the natural progression. If you love delivering classes, then you might consider being a program coordinator. There are opportunities with management in clubs that have a more clearly defined progression on the career ladder, but if this is not your thing, consider being an expert in your field. And how do you do that?
3. Becoming an expert means that this is your full focus. Dominic Gill has done this really well and is a perfect example of an aqua instructor that is now a ‘go to’ person for information re all things aqua. How do you position yourself to be the ‘go to’ person? – you have a website, you have facebook and other social media sites that just focus on this topic and area. You support other programs and presenters in the same field. You offer others something – online tips, a newsletter, a job board, a point of connecting people to information that they might be looking for. No, becoming an expert in a field does not require a university degree, but instead, an awareness of what you are good at and what you want to share with your community.
Having a career doing anything is possible, it’s just sometimes what other people have done before us can make it appear either more or less achievable.
I sometimes wonder what would happen if we didn’t know about other people’s opinions on what we should do. I wonder what we could achieve with pure focus on what we could do. I think that the word ‘should’ probably wouldn’t exist.