How would you like a job that pays you to do what you currently spend money for? We’re talking about taking home a comfortable income rather than leaving it at the gym or healthclub.
Perhaps this has occurred to you before. What would it take to run a gym or work in one? Maybe you thought about being a nutrition consultant or sports massage specialist. Anything to be around the people and activities you love best.
Explore the options
Are you thinking about becoming a personal trainer? There are a number of routes you can take. Courses are available through companies like Origym and Workouttrainer. Here are a few things to consider as you find the path best for you.
As a trainer, you can work one-on-one with private clients or teach classes. You can work for an established gym or strike out on your own as a private consultant. If you choose the private consultant route, you must think of what makes you different from the rest. Competition is keen. You have to stand out.
What can you afford?
There is no end to the training and certification courses you can enroll in, so you have to do a little clear thinking about return on investment. Will the amount you invest in certification repay itself with business you wouldn’t get otherwise? This is known as value or “bang for buck.” If fitness is to be your profession, you need to take a hard look at the numbers.
How long will it take?
You will have to set aside some time to study and pass the tests. How much time will it take? Will you be able to prepare full time like going to college? Or will it be a part-time endeavor for which you must allot time for other activities as well?
Location, location, location
Have you decided where you want to work? Before you do, consider the possibilities of clients. In general, bigger gyms and spas have more clients, but are they available? Will there be a contract involved? Will you work free-lance or as an employee?
Starting out as an employee is a good way to learn the profession, make a little money up front, and have your overhead taken care of by somebody else. You could, for example, work as a massage therapist for a chiropractor. You would see a lot of patients and hopefully some of them would eventually become your clients after they’ve completed their chiropractic treatments.
This also brings up the often-neglected question of insurance. Nearly every profession needs liability insurance. The best place to look first is with your certifying organization. They often have special low-cost insurance agreements for members because they offer the insurance company a large clientele in one place.
Another neglected area is that of continuing education. Many professions require it to stay licensed. But even for those that don’t, it is important to keep your knowledge up and hone your skills. Even Tiger Woods has a coach to help him with his swing.
In addition to taking courses recommended by your professional organization, look for weekend conferences where you can get away to rub olecranons with others in your career of choice and compare experiences. It will not just keep you up to speed on the latest in your profession, it will renew your commitment and enthusiasm.
Never pass up the chance to have coffee or lunch with someone more experienced than you and learn from their wisdom. The elder members of any profession are usually more than happy to give advice to those like you just starting out.