How to become a director of the fitness club? “It’s a poor soldier that never wants to become a general,” says a well-known saying. In the same way, many trainers, administrators or managers, who come to their initial positions dream of becoming a director of the fitness club or even a whole network of clubs. However, it’s worth dividing the line between initiative, responsible and ambitious employees and those who aren’t interested in career growth. This article is intended for the first type of employees. For those who don’t want to stay for 5, 10 or 20 years in the same position with the same salary, but sets a high and ambitious goal to reach the level of their superiors and even surpass it. So now we will talk about how this can be achieved.
Earlier, in a series of articles on how to become a fitness trainer and administrator of the fitness club, I talked about how you can get into the fitness industry to the initial positions. Today I will try to talk about how the consistent way of promoting an ordinary employee from a beginner to the position of a director of the fitness club looks like. This path can fairly be compared with climbing the stairs. But this isn’t so much about a career ascent, but about the internal ascent that occurs in your head, begins at the moment when you just enter a new position for yourself and ends when you reach perfection in it.
Each time you go to a new, higher level, you are perfectly coping with your job responsibilities, you know what and how you need to do, you understand what tasks you are facing and always try to find the most effective way to solve them. In other words, reaching a maximum at the previous level, you are ready to move to the next, higher level and so on up to the highest position. It would seem that everything is simple and logical, but once you are at the top, be prepared for the fact that sooner or later you will be asked “How did you made it?” Well, let’s finally try to figure out how to become a director of the fitness club.
How to become a director of the fitness club
You just got a job in a fitness club and begin to perform your job duties. Whether it’s work as a fitness trainer or a junior receptionist (administrator), at this stage you are only interested in such basic and fundamental things as a list of duties, salary level and / or duration of the probationary period.
At the initial stage of an ordinary employee’s career, he’s usually bothered only with two questions: “Do I know what is required from me?” And “Do I have the necessary experience, knowledge and skills to carry out my direct duties?” If you clearly know the answers to both of these questions, have the necessary experience, knowledge, do your job well and set a goal to progress and grow up the career ladder, it’s time to move on to the first stage of the ascent.
Stage 1. Junior trainer / administrator
After working for some time, getting used to the role and getting accustomed to the job duties, you expand your horizons and begin to ask other questions. Now you are already wondering how well you are doing your job. Are you able to reach your full potential in this position? Do your colleagues or superiors consider you to be a good specialist, and what do they generally think of you? At this stage, you, as an ambitious employee, are already concerned about the level of personal contribution to the common cause and how the whole team of the club evaluates you.
If you still have no doubt that you have chosen the right profession or not, you must give yourself answers to the following questions. Do you have the opportunity every day to do what you can do best? Does your supervisor notice any of your successes and accomplishments? Do you feel that you’re treated as a person, and not just as an ordinary employee? Does the club management help you grow and develop? If you give a negative answer to all or some of these questions, probably you are unlikely to succeed in joining the team, becoming part of the “family” and moving up the career ladder. Otherwise, if all the answers are positive, you have every chance to reach your potential and occupy a higher position.
Stage 2. Senior trainer / administrator
So, you continue to grow and move up the career ladder. Tasks are getting wider, responsibility is getting bigger, and salaries are rising higher. Now you are increasingly looking around, asking yourself the question – am I really part of this “family”? Am I surrounded by like-minded people? The team in which I work is aimed at lofty goals and ideas, or simply at primitive pulling money out of clients? Regardless of your value system, at this stage it’s important to understand how much do you fit into the team in which you’re working.
You can establish this by asking yourself the next few questions. Are they considered at work with my opinion? How important is my contribution to the common cause? How responsible are my colleagues while doing their job? Can I recommend this place of work to my best friend? These simple questions will immediately put everything in its place, and already at the second intermediate stage of your career you will be able to conclude for yourself whether this is a place where you should work or your paths with the team and management should divide. However, if all the answers completely satisfy you, then we going to move forward.
Stage 3. Department manager
Having risen to the next step of the career ladder, you understand that you and the team are one whole and you and your subordinates need to somehow develop and progress. You want to streamline processes, innovate, improve, develop and train. You can become an innovator, generate and implement ideas only by understanding the expectations of your job (beginner), being fully competent (junior employee), and also understanding in advance how your decisions will be perceived by the team (senior employee).
At this point, you should ask yourself the following two questions. Over the past half year, did my supervisor discuss the extent of my progress with me? Have I had opportunities for education and development over the past half year? At the third stage of your career, as well as at all previous ones, it’s important to evaluate how much your supervisors are interested in your development. If your growth isn’t discussed with you, initiate a meeting with them by yourself and discuss the prospect of a further rise to a higher position. If, for biased reasons, the conversation is constantly rescheduled, postponed or they evade the answer, the conclusion for you is obvious – they don’t want you to grow. Otherwise, if the supervisor himself initiated the meeting and suggested promotion, you proceed to the next level.
Stage 4. Director of the fitness club
As you already understood, at each stage it’s important to ask yourself the right questions and make appropriate decisions. If you answered in the affirmative form to all the questions that I brought up at each stage, then you either have been already promoted to the position of a director, or you are one step from the promotion. You clearly see your goal, you are well versed in the processes, you know your job responsibilities and understand what is included in the duties of employees at each stage of the career ladder.
The path to the position of a director of the fitness club in each individual club or network of clubs is often different and depends on the internal hierarchy of posts. There may be more intermediate stages from the initial to the leading position, but however it be, the essence of the above is that in each new position you should always ask yourself proper questions. Do you feel yourself on the right place, do you feel comfortable with these people, what’s your contribution to the common cause, does management encourage your growth, and so on.
The main principle of climbing the career ladder is to go through all the intermediate stages, no matter how many there are. How much your answers are positive or negative greatly affects your progress. And here everything is fundamentally simple. The longer or more unmet needs remain at the basic level, the higher the likelihood that you will lose enthusiasm, which in turn will reduce the effectiveness of your work, which in turn will be the signal to management that you aren’t the kind of person who should be promoted.
As you know, you can’t build a house without laying the foundation. Also in our case, the importance of the initial stage is simply impossible to overestimate. If your needs aren’t satisfied already at the first stage, your entire future career is at risk, but only in this club. Go to another club, if you don’t like the conditions. If necessary, go to the third one. But if the first and second and third clubs don’t suit you, perhaps you should look for a problem in yourself. Is this really the thing you want to do? Have you studied your job description well? Do you understand what result is expected from you at work? As I said earlier, the ability to ask yourself proper questions helps to solve many problems at the initial stage.
In the end, the most important question that goes like the red line through all the steps of a career ascent – does the supervisors encourage your growth? If at any stage, literally from the very first, they make it clear to you that you will not grow here, then you will not become a director of the fitness club. You can still close your eyes to the workplace, to the working conditions and a team for the sake of building your dream career, but you never will be able to close your eyes to the supervisors. Never! Either they help you to grow, or not. If not, you have nothing to do here.
In the end I will give a small insight. If you want to become a director of the fitness club: first, get a job in a network that is growing, because every new club requires a director. The second – focus not on the salary, conditions or team, but on the leader, since it depends on him whether you will become a director or not, and if you do, you can improve both your salary and conditions and the team. Third, never perceive your current supervisor as a monster. Don’t be afraid of him. He’s as much a human being as everyone else. He has two arms, two legs, one head and he also once started from the scratch, which means that you too have every chance to succeed.
Author – Felix Palmer