Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this article, a part of you is flaunting with the idea of a career change, but sometimes it’s difficult to see from the inside that we’re caught in the wrong profession and the time for a switch is now. Fit Futures Academy’s National Recruitment Manager Zara Robson highlights some of the recognisable signs that indicate you need to start exploring other career options now.
It was 10 years ago, when I relocated to New Zealand from the UK, that I realised I was due for a career change. I had worked in hospitality as a chef before moving into management of bars and restaurants. It was during that time I began to feel unfulfilled. An accumulation of work moments highlighted that I needed to feel like I was having a positive impact on people’s lives; the health and fitness industry seemed like the best way to go. I haven’t looked back since.
- You’re coasting and feel like you can do your job with your eyes closed
There are certain comforts of feeling competent and in control, but most people only enjoy this for a short amount of time. As human beings we are energised by challenge and learning, so if you have neither in your current role then it will only be a matter of time until you resent what you do.
Your options are to speak up and ask for something more testing at work or find your next challenge somewhere else.
- You’re bored and lacking energy
Boredom is the consequence of coasting and disengagement, and will have an impact on your life outside of work. Boredom (are you cruising stuff.co.nz or taking Buzzfeed quizzes?) at work takes the joy out of other things. If you find you’re avoiding catching up with friends and family or going to the gym (or other things you usually enjoy), because “you’re too tired” or “don’t see the point” it’s time to shake up your work routine.
- You don’t look forward to Mondays (or any day)
Here’s some eye-opening figures. If you don’t take any annual leave (and don’t include public holidays), you spend 2,080 hours every year at work (around 50% of the hours we spend awake). That’s too long to not find enjoyment at work.
The bottom line is, if you consistently feel that ‘dread’ on a Sunday night as you prepare for a Monday at work, start asking yourself ‘why’ and ‘what can I do about it?’
- You clock watch and won’t invest any extra minutes into your role
Have you reached the stage where you know the true value of a minute? Are you packed up and ready to go as soon as the clock ticks 5pm or 5.30pm? In my experience, losing track of time seems to be a reliable indicator that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. As I said above, 2,080 hours are spent at work (40 hours per week) – this will feel more like 80 hours if you’re watching every minute tick by. Clock watching is a sure-fire way to identify boredom and again that you’re in cruise mode.
- You don’t care
Apathy is a big red flag when it comes to your work life. If you find you don’t really care about the work you’re doing or the success of the business for which you work, it’s time for a change. Many of our current students have found that apathy has been a catalyst for their change in career – especially as for many of them their motivation to become Personal Trainers is to help others enjoy health and fitness, realise their potential and achieve their goals. Basically, they are desperate to do something about which they care.
- You feel stuck
Not feeling in control of our own progression can make us feel redundant and stuck in a rut. Maybe your salary hasn’t increased in a while, or you’ve had 1-2% a year for as long as you can remember. Alongside that, you’ve stopped learning and you can’t see what your next step is, perhaps there isn’t a next step at your company. In my experience, talking with students recently, it was the control they could get from being a Personal Trainer that really appealed to them – they can decide who they work for/with, when and where; their money is their own and their self-development is in their own hands.
- Your work doesn’t make you glow
An enjoyable and healthy work life has a positive impact on your life – you should feel confident, enthusiastic and empowered. Does your current employer and role suit your values? Does it make you feel fulfilled? Can you be yourself? Our graduates who go on to work as contractors for gyms regularly report that they enjoy being their own boss, building their own brand and being true to themselves.
- You’re feeling jealous – and it’s not your best colour
Jealousy doesn’t look good on anyone, and it doesn’t feel good either. Do you find you’re often thinking about a friend and/or family member and feeling envious of their career path or job? Are they glowing when they talk about work? Put a stop to this by exploring what it is (and why) you feel jealous of them. Is it the role they do or how they feel about that role? Start exploring what it is that makes them feel so good about their position.
- Your current workplace culture isn’t for you
If we’re at work for more than 2,000 hours a year, then the workplace culture is key to our satisfaction and enjoyment. If you feel mistrust for your organisation, it’s difficult to muster motivation. Know there are other options out there for you that might better suit your family, lifestyle, values and goals; you just need to consider what you want in an employer and go looking for it.
- Every year blends into the next
If each day, week, month and year blur into one, without any standout moments, it could be a sign you’re stuck on the hamster wheel. If this sounds like your life, you probably feel like you’re not fulfilling your purpose. Start by setting new or existing goals (make sure they are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed) and then begin mapping out a pathway for how to get there.
If any (or all) of the above apply to you, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to a professional about career options that could be open to you. If you feel as though you need a change and would consider a career in the health and fitness industry, and would like to become a personal trainer, contact Fit Futures at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 99 88 98. Our flexible courses allow you to get certified in your own time without leaving your current role.
- Zara Robson is the National Recruitment Manager of Fit Futures Learning Institute, which offers people a flexible online and face to face evening class options to achieve their Certificate in Personal Training. She transitioned from an unfulfilling job in hospitality to a rewarding career in the health and fitness industry. She is a qualified Personal Trainer, experienced gym manager, facility owner and now a leader in the exercise education realm. She says transitioning to this industry has sparked a drive she hadn’t experienced anywhere else.