A career as a Personal Trainer – The right fit?

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Personal Trainer – Looking for a fit


As an executive and leadership coach, clients often seek my help about critical decisions regarding their careers. So, let’s say that you are considering a career as a personal trainer, or that you already have a career and want to embark on a new path as a personal trainer. And let’s say you are asking me for guidance on your career choice in order to assess if it is the right fit for you.  Well, I would keep it simple and invite you to reflect on three things: Thoroughly researching your areas of interest; understanding who you are, and; determining who you’d like to work with.

Areas of interest

On April 14, Vania Hau published a post on this site where she tackled the topic of personal trainers’ salary. In her article, she identified factors that influence how much you can expect to earn as a personal trainer. But what she also did, was to offer a way to go about making informed decisions regarding career fit; Researching your areas of interestWhen it comes to personal training, there are a multitude of areas you can look at in order to determine if it is a good career fit for you. Assess the economic situation of the fitness industry. Find information about growth projections, market conditions, legislative or regulatory environment, business models, and more. Extend your research to include the health and wellness sectors.  Note that researching areas of career interest is, at this time, external to you. It does not involve your personality, perceived talents or skill sets, likes and dislikes.

Understanding who you are

Once you have done a thorough and objective search for career opportunities, it is now time to put yourself in the picture. Again, a member of the Free Form Academy’s team has contributed deep and intuitive understanding of the decision-making process when it comes to career choices. On April 29, Jean-Luc Boissonneault shared his personal journey leading to his choice to become a personal trainer.  Jean-Luc is passionate, intuitive, curious and dynamic. It is not surprising that he chose his career based on those personality traits. He was able to identify his passion early on. He intuitively understood that he could transform his passion for weight lifting, and more importantly, caring for others….., into a livelihood. He was curious about his chosen field and therefore became an informed expert, through hard work. The point here is that you need to understand who you are to ensure that there is as good a fit as possible between yourself (internal) and your job (external). To become a great personal trainer, there are certain attributes that need to be seated deeply in your beliefs and personality in order for you to succeed. Examples include:

  • Healthy living is part of who you are, of your core beliefs;
  • Empathy. You can relate to others by putting yourself in their shoes and seeing the world as they see it;
  • An ability to learn. You are in a constant state of learning and are open to the ideas and expertise of others. If you are not “trainable”, you will not be able to train others.

There are of course many other attributes that can apply. And they are not exclusive to the field of personal training. But they have one thing in common; they speak about who you are.  The more you know about what you like, what you are good at, and what you deeply believe in, the more likely you will be able to find work that is the perfect fit for you.

Determining who you’d like to work with

When assessing career fit, an often neglected area is the social interaction that will occur in your field of choice. Get ready here for my incredible revelation (drum roll please) – In fitness, you will meet…. clients.  While clients may share a common goal in getting control of their health, if only for a time, they will come with all kind of personalities.  So you need to ask yourself this basic question: Can I work with clients?  As a personal-trainer-to-be, you may be able to provide exquisite instructions about how to perform an exercice.  But it is irrelevant if you get impatient every time a client perform it poorly…. By assessing the nature of social interactions related to your carrer of choice, you will be able to better evaluate  if it fits the social aspects of your own personality.  If there is adequation between your social self and the people you will meet along the way, you are likely to grow, and thrive in your work place.

If you read these lines, I know you are interested in fitness.  Well, there is the notion of “fitness” in career choices as well.

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