In the Job You Like or the Career You Love?

I read a post by Cory Muscara that stopped me in my tracks last week.

“Not being willing to let go of a life we like is often the reason we don’t have a life that we love.”

Does that resonate with your current job in the fitness industry? I know the reason I stayed at a few jobs was because I “liked” it: the work, the people, the salary. The push to move away from those jobs just wasn’t enough and I didn’t have anything much better lined up. So, I stayed, sometimes longer than I should have for my feeling of accomplishment and what my employers and clients deserved. Sound familiar? 

It’s actually a conversation that I bring up frequently with my career coaching clients; they feel stuck in the current job(s) but aren’t sure they’re ready to take the leap AND risk towards something different even if it might seem better. They’re languishing… you might be too…and it sucks. 

There are oodles of opportunities in fitness and gyms are recruiting heavily to meet the demand caused by all the changes that have taken place since 2020.  However, leaving steady employment, or truly what we’re comfortable with, can be scary and should be done mindfully. Here are a couple of ways to consider your potential next move based on the two types of motivating factors we experience.

1. Moving Away From Pain.

This is the one we most often hear. You can often quite clearly share what you dislike or even despise about a job:

  • You’re not paid enough to train/teach/coach
  • The work environment is demotivating or even toxic
  • Your boss is a horrible communicator
  • Your peers get away with way too much
  • You don’t feel appreciated 
  • You’re not getting enough clients/classes

Getting clear on how this impacts your motivation and performance is key as it will help determine if it’s the specific location or boss or company culture that isn’t a right fit for you. But in order to know where to go from there you need to dig into:

2. Moving Towards Pleasure.

This is where the true magic happens but is challenging to reflect on when you’re languishing or frustrated with your job. Here are some tips:

  • Describe the clients or classes you happily spend extra time preparing for. What are their goals, what’s the most fun part? 
  • Think about the last staff meeting you enjoyed; what was different about it? What was special about that workplace, that boss, those colleagues, that gym, that made it memorable?
  • What’s the best compliment you can get after a class or training session? What’s your favorite type of feedback to get from your boss? 
  • What would your answer be to the question “why did you become a fitness professional?”

Defining the source of your professional pleasure then makes it much easier to start pinpointing the type of workplace, style of leadership, and clientele goals you’re a fabulous fit for as opposed to just looking to get away from a bad situation. 

If you want to know more about building a career you love, mark your calendars to join Jessica Maurer and me as we hop into bed again on September 20th at 11:30am ET. We are going to be sharing with you tips to take you from a job you like to a career you love while answering your questions live. Register for this event here.


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