I have mentioned a few times in previous posts that I am currently studying towards my Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification. I have also signed up for the Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification as I hope to follow this career path in the future (it was cheaper to enroll for them both together!).
At the moment, I work as a Trainee Floor Designer for a relatively local company. I enjoy my job and I have some great colleagues. My hours are set at 8:30am until 5pm. There is no overtime and I don’t have to work weekends. I get Bank Holiday’s off and then 22 day’s holiday (although I have to keep 4 days for the Christmas shutdown). Yet, even with the positives, I don’t see myself working here until I retire!
I’m not looking at a career change through rose-tinted glasses! I know that there are downsides to changing career and working as a personal trainer. I know that I will have to make sacrifices (different working hours, further travel, longer days, weekends, etc). Still, it’s something that I want to pursue, and the main factors behind my motivation for wanting to work as a personal trainer are as below:
Whenever I have been asked what my “ideal” job would be, my previous responses would have been “lawyer”, “police officer”, “teacher”, “counsellor”, etc. These may seem like a varied bunch of roles, but in my mind they all share a similarity. That similarity being that they all have an essence of helping or empowering others.
Although I started studying towards my LLB (Law) degree in The Netherlands, I soon realised that the image I had of the profession wasn’t quite as accurate as I had hoped! My vision then switched to joining the police force. However, upon returning to England it turned out that I had to have resided in the country for a minimum of 3 years prior to applying. At this point I had only just returned to the country after spending 5 years abroad.
With my plans changing again, I started studying towards a Psychology degree with the Open University. The intention was to complete my degree and get into teaching or counselling after following further certifications. I completed my Certificate of Higher Education in Psychology but then decided to take a gap year from studying. I had started a new job and had a lot going on, so I wanted to re-evaluate.
Not long later I discovered my passion for fitness. Seeing how it helped me manage my anxiety and depression made me want to inspire and help others. Not only did it help my mental health, my physical health improved and I lost over 3 and a half stone. My self-esteem and body confidence reached levels that I had never experienced. I now want to try and help other people achieve their goals, whether it be to lose weight or improve body composition, improve fitness, manage mental health, or any other milestone that they may want to reach. I want a career where I wake up each morning feeling like I can make a difference.
Passion / Job Satisfaction:
Fitness soon became more than an interest or hobby, it became my passion! When I wasn’t running I was investing time into researching and reading about training techniques, nutrition and everything in between. I then went from just running to incorporating Yoga and strength training into my routine. Before I knew it, I went from an overweight couch potato to being in the best shape of my life (both with regards to my weight and also my fitness). I used to struggle to motivate myself to work out, but now I hate missing a day or two of training!
I want to use my passion to inspire others. At work I get asked for advice and tips on dieting, nutrition and exercise plans. I love it when I see colleagues losing weight or improving their fitness and feeling better about themselves. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see other people improving and hitting their goals. I would love to have a job where I get that kind of job satisfaction every single day. Being able to inspire and push people to be their best… that’s where I want to be!
Don’t get me wrong, having job security, set hours and knowing exactly how much money you will be bringing in each month are definite positives to being employed! With that being said, I want the independence of being my own boss and having more say over how I spend my working hours. I want to be responsible for negotiating goals with clients and sourcing my own work. In the process I want to build up a business and a brand that ties in exactly with my morals and ethics.
Meet Like Minded People:
Getting to meet new people is a perk of any customer facing job role. I think this gets amplified for me when it comes to being a personal trainer or working in the fitness industry as a whole. Meeting new people, both colleagues and clients, who share some enjoyment of exercising is a big plus for me. I can talk about training routines, dieting, running, and everything in-between, all day every day! This is one of the reasons that I wanted to join a running club; to find people with the same interest. Constantly being around people who want to push themselves and improve is a win in my book!
I’ve learned a lot in my current job. Before I started I knew nothing about the industry or products. I had to learn the in-house systems and procedures, as well as the customers and product lines. During my time here I have tried to learn everything that I can. My new role has given me more to learn and new challenges to face. It’s definitely not somewhere that I get bored!
So, what do I mean with “improve myself”? Well, I have some lofty ambitions with my running. From competing in the Master’s age category when I reach 35, to qualifying for the Boston Marathon so that I can complete all six Abbott Major Marathons. I know that these are tough goals, even if I only worked part-time and had more time to spare.
I think that becoming a personal trainer would help me reach my goals. Working in an office environment can be tough. The long hours of sitting, being able to graze at your desk, being drawn in to eating sweets and junk which are brought into the office… it’s tough! Being a personal trainer would give me flexibility over my timetable and when I could exercise. There’d also be no-one around to tempt me with food!
I’d also have extra motivation for wanting to be the best version of myself. I wouldn’t just be working hard for myself, I’d be acting as a role model. How can I push them to achieve their best if I don’t give it my all also?
I’m not under the illusion that working as a personal trainer is going to be easy. It’s not a career change that’s going to solve all of my problems. I know that there are downsides and things that I would miss from my current job if I were to change roles now. As with anything in life, it’s a matter of deciding which positives are more important to you and which negatives you can live with.