How to become a fitness club administrator? Increasingly, people who want to be involved in the fitness industry are interested, how the work of a fitness club administrator differs from that of an administrator in any other industry. Of course, there are some general provisions of labor legislation that summarize and reduce the functions of a specialist to a very specific list of rights and obligations, however, in each individual case, the path to the profession often turns out to be completely different. Today we will talk about what path the future administrator of the fitness club should take before applying for this particular position.
Setting out to find a job of an administrator of a fitness club, it’s quite logical first of all to go to the job search website and start collecting information on the vacancy that interests you. There can be 100, 500 and 1000 such vacancies within one city, and even more, depending on the size of the city, on how developed the industry is in it and how high the demand for specialists is. Having opened literally the first five to ten announcements, you can already make a general impression of what requirements are imposed on the applicant. To say that they are all uniquely extremely important and necessary are not entirely correct. By and large, they can be divided into desirable, necessary and mandatory. So let’s discuss them one after another.
TIP. This article is the third in a series of articles on the work of a fitness club administrator. In addition to this article, I also recommend to you to read these: “Who is a fitness club administrator” and “Profession of the administrator”.
- Desirable requirements. Very often, when looking for a job as an administrator of a fitness club, you can meet such template requirements as: literacy, punctuality, tact, organization, friendliness, decency, ability and desire to work, and so on. Without at all diminishing the significance of all these skills, it’s worthwhile to say that these are rather vague concepts, indicating that in the CV, you will still not make any impression on the employer. Whether you want to work or not, he can only check in practice, as well as all the other listed qualities and skills.
- Necessary requirements. In addition to the general concepts that most applicants fall under, there are certainly more specific ones, such as knowledge of MS Word, Excel, CRM programs, the ability to work with office equipment, such as a printer, scanner, or fax. You may also be required to know one or more foreign languages. These more specific requirements already narrow the circle of candidates somewhat, since earlier, for example, you might not have the need to use office equipment or CRM software. But the knowledge of a foreign language is increasingly becoming a kind of barrier through which many cannot pass. However, these requirements are not strict, they can most likely be called desirable, since knowledge of foreign languages in the work of the administrator of a fitness club may not be necessary at all, and you can learn how to use office equipment in just a couple of days.
- Mandatory requirements. In fact, the most really stringent requirements for a person who wants to become an administrator of a fitness club are: experience in a similar position (minimum 1 year), the presence of a higher or at least secondary specialized education. The first indicator tells the employer that you have work experience, communication skills and sales skills. The second shows that you are a socially adapted person who can read, write and communicate competently. No more and no less.
TIP. By and large, none of the desirable, necessary or mandatory requirements can reflect the real situation. There are people with higher education, but completely illiterate. At the same time it happens that a person has no experience, but when become hired, he manages his duties better than his more experienced colleagues. Also it happens that a person seems closed at the interview, but in the process of work he becomes so much opened that customers goes only to him and he closes more deals than any other of his colleagues. So if you don’t have any of the skills listed by the employer, it still doesn’t mean that you are not suitable for this job. You always need to try.
- Work experience. The best helpful factor when applying for a job as an administrator of a fitness club will be experience in a similar position. Besides it really can be literally any job in which your main tasks were communicating with customers and selling goods or services. Such experience gives an advantage in the sense that you already understand how communication with clients is built, what they usually ask first of all, what arguments they bring, what objections you have to face and not only. Having experience, you also understand how sales work. Whether this was the job of the administrator of a mobile phone store, railway ticket office or an amusement park, whatever you sell, this is an experience that certainly counts for you. At least in general terms, you imagine how you need to describe your product, how to properly present its advantages, how to identify the needs of the client and how you can close this need in the most optimal and beneficial way for him. All this is already an experience that you only need to modify a little while working as the administrator of a fitness club, since the fundamental principles of interacting with clients in any business are almost identical.
- Workout experience. An equally important help when applying for a job as an administrator of a fitness club will be the workout experience, whether it is a gym, group classes or aqua fitness. And we are talking here not so much about the level of physical fitness, but about the fact that when you visit a fitness club you can simultaneously monitor how it is organized, how the staff works, how the training process is going on in different areas of the club, what stations it has, for what purposes they are intended and how exercises are performed on them. Experience shows that on average, an ordinary visitor needs from 1 to 3 months to fully understand the organizational structure of a fitness club. What are the main types of services it provides (gym, fitness, swimming pool, martial arts), what additional services you can use (massage, spa, manicure, solarium), how many trainers work in the club, what their experience is and what trainings they lead, how many administrators work at the reception and how their shifts are arranged and so on. In case when you came to the fitness club as a client with a clear goal to observe and remember, it will take less than 1 month.
How to obtain the knowledge
So, you have experience in communicating with people and also in sales. How does a typical fitness club work you already understand. In fact, you could already send your CV and expect that you will be invited for an interview. However, in order to increase your chances for success, you decided to reinforce your skills with relevant highly specialized knowledge. How can this be done? Two options are possible here. The first is to learn from a person who is already working as the administrator of a fitness club, the second is to take appropriate training courses.
- First option. If among your acquaintances there is a person who has already been working as the administrator of a fitness club for at least a year, consider that you have an incredible opportunity to get acquainted with the inside of this profession. From this person you can get comprehensive information about the fulfillment of the duties of the administrator, how the work with potential and existing clients is organized, how the work is done with the computer, on the phone and via the Internet. How administrators interact with fitness trainers, managers and directors. Who is responsible for the purchase, delivery, advertising and so on. Of course, the transfer of experience takes place in general terms and principles, without disclosing any company secrets, which is often prohibited by the job description of the administrator of the fitness club. However, even the information obtained in general terms will already give a fairly complete picture of how the administrator’s work looks and is put into practice. By absorbing knowledge in this way, you will firstly learn a lot of those aspects that are usually not discussed in training courses, secondly, you will learn about the features of working as a fitness club administrator, and thirdly, you will understand whether this profession is interesting to you at all.
- The second option. In terms of gaining knowledge, it is preferable in the sense that at the end of the training courses you will receive an appropriate document confirming your qualifications. At the interview employer may not believe that some friend taught you, and he not gonna call him and check it. In the final analysis, it remains unknown for the employer how much the qualification level of the person who taught you meet the requirements of the industry. At the same time, passing training courses gives you a much greater chance of getting the job of a fitness club administrator, because the level of your qualifications is confirmed by the most official document. However, even it doesn’t always guarantee you employment, since the active growth of the fitness industry also generates the active growth of institutions, schools and training courses, in which the quality and quantity of the knowledge provided is very different. In other words, to evaluate how necessary, important and relevant knowledge these courses give is quite difficult, and if everything can go quite smoothly during the interview, then it is far from a fact that this knowledge and skills will be relevant in the work and that they will be useful in general.
So, if your goal is to become a fitness club administrator, you should keep in mind the following. Firstly, there are no strict requirements for this position, which is often confirmed by the column “We consider candidates without work experience” in the employer’s announcement. Secondly, the training of this profession with both an experienced employee and training courses takes no more than 1 month, which makes it possible to quickly master the basic theoretical set of knowledge. In some cases, you may be required to know some foreign language. Also, knowledge of specialized accounting and reporting programs may be necessary, but as a rule, the former may not be necessary at all, and the latter can be quickly learned during the process of work.
TIP. How can an employer distinguish an experienced professional from a charlatan who is just well prepared for an interview? In fact, it is very simple – just hire him. A person embarking directly on the performance of duties receives a chance to either confirm his qualifications or show his incompetence. Sometimes a trial period of one or two months is enough for this. An employer is kind of a gold digger who flushes through a sieve (human resource department) a lot of stones (job seekers) in order to find gold (specialist). No employer wants a bunch of stones to be his employees. Each of them strives to ensure that any employee is a gold nugget.
So if you were hired, then you were given a chance. Now you have 1 month, either to show yourself as a stone, or to prove yourself as a gold nugget. It’s all in your hands.
Author – Felix Palmer