Have you just graduated with a degree in health fitness? Or just received your first professional fitness certification? Or maybe you want to move to the next level in your fitness career? Opportunities abound, but where do you start? Follow these five tips from Minnesota School of Business Online Health Fitness Program Chair Meredith Butulis and take that leap!
- Write out your vision, and write out three SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound) to get there. Most health fitness professionals know that they want to help people, but sometimes feel a lack of professional fulfillment. Knowing your specific vision and the exact steps to get there will help you find professional fulfillment in your career.
- Always be networking. Health fitness is a people business. Speak up and let everyone know what your career is, whether that be in person or on social media. If you are just starting out, see who you can shadow. Follow up with a thank you note, and establish reasons to stay in touch professionally. Attend conferences and introduce yourself to the presenters. Offer to speak at functions in your local community. Set up a LinkedIn profile.
- Assess your training and experience. Health Fitness combines in-depth knowledge of the human body, coaching skills, business skills, and sales skills. Are you strong in all of these areas? If not, consider taking additional courses or finding experiences to help meet your needs. Developing strength in all of these areas will help lead to life-long learning and fulfillment in the industry.
- Know your limits. Many careers in health fitness are commissioned. Set boundaries on your work versus personal time early on and uphold them. The industry can have a high burnout rate, and knowing your limits when you start and re-defining them as needed can lead to longevity.
- Know your “super why.” Ask yourself why you are in this industry. What motivates you? How do you receive professional fulfillment from it? Write this down and review it monthly. Coaching others can be stressful, and remembering your passion can help you re-ignite your motivation so that you can bring your passion to helping each client every day.
Use the same advice you would give your clients, have a plan and work it! Follow these tips and build your career.
Contributed by Meredith Butulis, DPT, MSPT, ACSM HFS, CPT, Health Fitness Program Chair – Minnesota School of Business Online