The fitness industry is competitive, even if you have some basic certifications, and the Catch-22 is that you need experience to get a job but can’t get experience without a job. How can you stand out and get the job you want in the fitness industry? Here are five tips that will greatly improve your chances of getting where you want to go.
1. Make yourself known
Whether you’re working at a local gym, networking with others in the industry, or even talking to your own instructors, make sure people know you want to work in fitness and have the determination and drive to see it through.
Get there before everyone else and then be the last to leave. Volunteer to help with the unpaid grunt jobs no one wants to do. It sounds corny, but this behavior really sets you apart from everyone else. When you have drive, dedication, and a sense of responsibility, you stand out.
Headhunters tend to look with those who have good qualifications, but once you do, and once you learn how to find a headhunter, this can be a great way to get your name in consideration for the best jobs.
2. Train, train, train
The fitness industry is no different from any other in this respect. The more things you’re qualified to do, the more attractive you look to an employer. Employers want value for their money just like everyone else.
Whether you’re taking an online course for learning dynamic warmup stretches or actually attending physical classes, get all the qualifications you can. Earn a degree if that’s in the cards for you, and learn more than just the how: learn the why as well.
The how is all about the exercises themselves. The why is physiology and anatomy, which allow you to understand, and explain better to others, why exercises work and what they’re doing for your clients. Nowadays you don’t have to be in med school to learn about muscle tissue and anatomy in general. There are many online hubs that offer this information to students and professionals and most of it it’s often for free.
3. Get any experience you can
Experience is key, so don’t turn your nose up at any opportunity. Whether you’re training an individual or helping out with a small class at a fitness studio, any experience beefs up your resume and makes you a more attractive hire.
Don’t make the mistake of being too proud to work for free. Even if your dream is to make a living from working in fitness, you can’t expect to do that right off the bat with little training and no experience. Even if you have lots of training, experience is still the magic bullet.
Just start working with people. All it takes to break through is changing one person’s life. As you do, you’ll learn, they’ll benefit, and word will get around. It won’t be long before you can start charging for your talents and time.
4. Consider nutrition
Most of your clients won’t be able to get what they really want out of their physical fitness efforts without adding some diet changes into the mix. Expanding your education to include some expertise on nutrition can make you a well-rounded professional and more desirable to employers.
If you feel confident discussing nutrition with your clients, you make yourself a far more effective trainer. You and your clients will see better results than if you concentrated only on exercise. If you put the time in now, future sessions could be more effective for no extra effort on your part.
5. Go beyond training to movement
One area to consider getting special certification is in movement. Don’t assume that your future clients move properly. Most of us learn dysfunctional movement patterns from the time we’re young, and injuries, soreness, and repetitive stress exacerbate these.
If you’re qualified to help people relearn how to move properly, you’ll put yourself ahead of the competition for jobs. If you’re not correcting moving patterns, you’re just adding strength to existing dysfunction, which doesn’t do much in the long run for joint health and flexibility.
With a combination of effective physical training qualifications boosted by expertise in movement and nutrition, you’ll be set for a successful career in fitness