As an ACE Certified Professional—whether you are a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or health coach—your career will likely be marked by moments of reinvention. In some cases, you will be in full control of the evolution; in others, outside forces will dictate the timing or direction of change. The catalyst may be something as dramatic as a global pandemic, but it can also be as simple as an injury or cross-country move.
Longevity as a health coach or exercise professional requires a willingness to be dynamic and remain open to new opportunities. Consider implementing the following strategies to become the driver of change in your career rather than waiting for success to come to you.
Find Your “Why” and Let It Guide You
The first step in setting your own course in your career involves reminding yourself why you chose to become a health coach or exercise professional in the first place. Once you identify your “why,” you know what fuels your passion for fitness and wellness. Then, you can channel that passion in a way that allows you to make a living and continue to do what you love.
Don’t be afraid to look inward and do some true self-evaluation, and then empower yourself to make changes that drive not only your success, but also your personal wellness and joy.
Diversification means different things to different professionals. If you’re a group fitness instructor, it may mean branching out into teaching new modalities or exploring new audiences. For health coaches and personal trainers, it may involve offering virtual coaching sessions or outdoor workouts. In other words, diversification does not mean being all things to all people and losing what makes you unique but rather uncovering new ways to deliver your expertise and passion to those who would benefit most.
Don’t overlook the importance of marketing yourself. Spending the time and money to earn a new certification or specialty certification and then not marketing that new expertise is like inventing a new product but failing to tell the world about it.
Be Open to New Opportunities and Be Willing to Be a Beginner Again
Another key to long-term success is to remain open to new opportunities. Whether you identify a need in your community or hear concerns from your clients, it’s up to you to jump at that opportunity and position yourself to succeed. Don’t always let the facility where you work determine what classes you teach or specialty certifications you pursue. Instead, follow your passion and be on the lookout for opportunities that will allow you to stay ahead of the curve.
And don’t be afraid to be a beginner again. Some people talk themselves out of pursuing new directions before they even get started because they’re intimidated by having to start over as a novice again. That said, don’t discount the expertise and experience you will be bringing to that new pursuit. Finally, it’s important to remember that stepping out of your comfort zone and then succeeding in new ways can be tremendously gratifying.
Whether you’re struggling in your career or are at the very pinnacle of your success (so far!), always think beyond what you’re currently doing in your career. You never know where you may find that next great opportunity.