Did you know that before I went into teaching, almost two years ago, I considered getting a job in the fitness field? I thought about becoming a personal trainer, or perhaps a nutritionist, or maybe even a fitness coach. If you’re like me and passionate about health and fitness, you’ve probably looked into a number of options to turn that passion into a career. Maybe you’ve thought about going back to school to earn a degree or looking for a job that will give you the training and experience you need to start off on this new adventure.
Here’s how to make fitness your job, using some words and inspiration from some industry pros:
(Heck, these inspirational tidbits are likely to help you in any career you are pursuing.)
Do what you love. Life’s too short to spend it on something you don’t care enough about and Lorna Jane Clarkson agrees, in an interview with Stylecaster. Find out what matters to you, what gets you going. And then find a way to make it a permanent part of your life. If it’s fitness and health, what kind of fitness regimen matches your personality? What specialty would you like to devote your time, energy, and future on? If you don’t like the regimented workouts you see at the gym, dance workouts could be more to your taste. Need more experience? Ditch those excuses and get started by signing up for an AFFA-accredited fitness instructor training with Bombay Jam. The sooner you get your certification, the sooner you can enjoy a career in dance fitness.
Work at it in your spare time. The more you do something, the better you get at it. Practice makes perfect isn’t just an empty adage. By putting in the work, you build up your skills and expertise in an area, improve your performance rate, and have the added incentive of doing exactly what you love.
Have passion and patience. You’ve got to have both, says Dawn Jackson Blatner. Getting started means you won’t know everything and that’s okay. If you want to accomplish something but don’t have the first clue how, learn. Do it on a small scale. Hone your talents. When you’re confident enough of your skills, of what you can do, then that’s when you can start grabbing more and more opportunities. Just give it time. With enough time and hard work, you’ll get there.
Learn a lot. Natalie Jill suggests doing research about the fitness specialty you want to focus on. However, don’t take on too much too soon. Information overload can delay rather than help the learning process along. It can also give you a lot of misgivings, especially when you see the level and quality of skill and performance that industry pros are capable of. That’s when you need to remind yourself that you’re just starting. Give yourself time to learn it all, to absorb what you read.
Don’t compare yourself. It can be tempting to compare yourself to others in the field. But this can have a massively negative impact on your self-esteem and confidence. Instead, focus on what you can do. Find a way to improve your skills every day. It might not feel like it at times but you will get better. But you’ll have to weather through a lot before you do. So be prepared to earn it, to work hard and long for what you want.
Have a head for business. If you’re set on becoming a fitness instructor, for instance, while being passionate about the workouts will matter a lot, having a head on your shoulders will also help you make your career a financial success. You’ve got to have the discipline for running the business as well as for teaching, says Lisa Campbell, founder of yoga studio Yotopia, in a conversation with Women’s Fitness.
Be honest about what you want. Choosing a career in fitness shouldn’t happen in a spur of the moment. Make sure it’s really what you want for yourself. Don’t be taken in by popular fitness trends. Go for what really resonates with you, what has meaning for you. You don’t have to like crossfit to be an effective fitness instructor. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to teach dance or have a background in ballet, hip hop, street dancing or classical dance, then preparing choreography for a dance workout class could be right up to your alley.
Commit to it. When you’re certain it’s what you want, give it the time and attention; the commitment, it needs. Have a strategy or a plan to allow you to devote as much time for it as you can.
Don’t give in too easily. Do what you love. We’ve heard that a million times. And yet, a lot of people seem tied down to jobs they hate, that make them miserable. The truth is, you’ve got to work for most things in life. You’re going to expend the same amount of energy and hours spending a day at the studio or chained to desk in a cubicle. The only question is, will you work for something you love or not? You decide.