Should I or Shouldn’t I… Look for a New Job in the Fitness Industry?

Alan Cohen

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Definition - Cambridge Dictionary: take stock. C2 to take stock (of something) is to think carefully about a situation or event and form an opinion about it so that you can decide what to do. Now that you know the formal definition of “take stock of your career”, if you are asking that question, you may be ready to explore your options. Your tenure and position you hold in the health and fitness industry may determine your course of action and strategy.

As an example, if you have 1-2 years of experience working in a health club or fitness studio, you will be able to make an easier and quicker decision, than someone with 10-15 years of experience. The reason being is quite simple: There is an abundance of entry-level positions compared to management/leadership positions available.

Additionally, if you are hooked on fitness and see yourself with a career in the industry, then early on, it is easier to make decisions that may involve some risk. You may not have a mortgage yet and you may not have additional mouths to feed, etc.

Did I say RISK? Yes, I did. Any career move regardless of your position involves risk. You may be enamored with a competitor. You love their facilities, their marketing is slick, and everyone seems to be making great money and happy as can be. You say to yourself, “I want to be part of that company”. Sounds good but….

Below is an exercise you can do to help you minimize your risk versus making an emotional decision regardless of your time in the field or position. In any career change, you want to minimize the turbulence in your life.

Job Dynamics

It is extremely important to understand your strengths, weaknesses and career aspirations when evaluating job opportunities. Below is an exercise that will help you think about the process of deciding what a good career fit would be and what would not.

You are an experienced club manager with 3 years of club management experience, but you have “fallen out of love” with your boss and company. Because of broken promises, poor service, maintenance and ethics, you want to change jobs.

You have interviewed with a new organization that wants to hire you as a general manager. The salary is 25% lower, but the commission and bonus plan is 50-60% greater and the opportunity to exceed your current income is significantly higher.

The decision depends on numerous items:

- How badly do you want to leave your job?

- How long have you been looking?

- Have you done in-depth research into this company that wants to hire you?

- Is the compensation/benefits plan acceptable to you? Can you meet all of your obligations before commissions and bonuses?

- Do you fully understand the commission and bonus plan? Have you seen copies of – financials? Have you reviewed the expenses in detail, paying very close attention to payroll, advertising and maintenance expenses?

- Will you incur additional moving expenses and other expenses by accepting this position?

- Who will you report to and will they be a mentor for you?

- Would you be better off holding out looking for a position with another company?

- Does the company offer staff development and training that would be invaluable to you?

Job Dynamics:

- What will I do every day at my job?

- Is this a good fit for my personality?

- Have my previous job experiences provided me the training/insight to succeed?

- Will I enjoy this job and going to work every day?

- Are the hours a good fit for my life?

- Are there transportation or parking issues that will impact my life with this job?

 Opportunity Evaluation:

If you honestly answer the above questions when you are looking at new opportunities, this exercise may help you make a more informed decision instead of an emotional decision. Sometimes when you are searching for new opportunities, we are flattered that another company is interested in our services. Make sure you make an informed decision and don’t go from the frying pan to the fire!

Alan Cohen is the founder/President of and a career expert in the health and fitness industry. He can be reached by email at or by phone at 800-259-4397.


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