After working in the gym for less than a year, you woke up one day and decided YOU wanted to become a gym manager.
Your current fitness career path isn't what you thought it would be or SHOULD be. It doesn't matter if you started at the front desk, the juice bar, the fitness floor or membership sales, you want to be the BOSS!
Well, I say GOOD for YOU! Glad you didn't take three years to figure that out. Below are 7 strategic steps to get you to the promised land quicker than by trying to get there without any plan at all.
1. Become well versed in club operations. Learn everything you can from every department in the club. Volunteer to help any chance you can. Watch, listen and learn.
2. Become a ferocious reader. Read books on leadership, management, sales, marketing and subscribe to as many online fitness industry newsletters as you can. Recreation Management, Club Solutions, Club Business International and Athletic Management are all sources of great content.
3. Determine if your organization will invest time, energy and training in your career. Talk to your immediate supervisor about your aspirations. If your company isn't going to be your springboard, take your time to find the best organization that will invest in their employees.
4. Plan on building your resume and show job stability with increased responsibility.
Make certain you gain valuable experience from the membership department. Even if you had to work the worst shifts available part-time, to get your foot in the door, it will be worth it in the long run. Owners appreciate employees that know how to sell memberships and personal training at the point of sale.
5. Always create top-of-the-line resumes. That and your cover letter will get you interviews.
6. Try to determine what type of gym you want to manage. The bigger the gym, the more employees and members they have, the more experience you will need. Be realistic. Look at it like a major league baseball player who starts out at rookie ball, goes to Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A to get experience and seasoning before going to the big-time.
7. Remember this as well: All employers, supervisors, and companies are not created equal. Do your research on the front-end to minimize future problems. It's also o.k. to fail. Just get back up again and make it happen the next time!
Alan Cohen is the Founder/President of FitnessJobs.com and a career expert in the health and fitness industry. He can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-259-4397.