By the year 2020, the number of Americans over 50 will increase by 73%. And if you are a fitness professional at any age, serving and/or being a part of this massive group, it’s going to require some fine-tuning. We are so fortunate to live our passion and work in an industry where we can serve in ways that positively impact the lives of others. And for those of us who’ve grown up in this business, leading and teaching 20+ years, how do you want to think about your longevity, relevance, and credibility for Part 2 of your career?
Experience – How do you continue to lead more fully knowing what you know about this aging demographic that most likely includes you? Let’s acknowledge the reality of ageism. There are potentially limited employment opportunities, especially in an industry that is as image-focused as fitness. But with age comes life experience, credibility, refined skill sets, informed intuition, and wisdom. These unique qualities differentiate you from others and are most often the reason for so many sustained, connected relationships. You make a difference in people’s lives. The power of human connection can’t be underestimated.
Values – What a perfect time for self-reflection and career re-evaluation. This takes some thought, so give yourself adequate time. What still gets you out of bed every day? Maybe you want to try something new? Now might be the time to revisit your values. Here a link to a simple survey https://www.valuescentre.com/tools-assessments/pva/ to get started.
I’m a caregiver and find purpose in serving others. Discovering a new and different way to leverage my strengths and professional value proposition took exploration, focus, and patience. But if you start with the top 3-5 things that ignite your passion and/or purpose, you are already on your way. Invest in your “assets”. Consider scheduling time in your calendar every week to focus exclusively on personal think time. Create your first few action steps to narrow down your new reality. Engage your colleagues, mentors, and friends for feedback and support. Then, choose to do what you love and do the work. Do it well, deliver it impeccably and let go of everything else. This is your time. You’ve earned it.
Mindset – Many of us chose this career because we are committed to serving, and most importantly, to our clients’ success. We may not look the same as we did 10 years ago. Our bodies probably don’t move the way they used to and don’t necessarily want to anymore and it’s called life. We all age and can celebrate this in new and different ways, not good or bad, just different. When we re-frame our perspective, embracing age with ease, grace, joy, and acceptance, we offer even greater value for our members and ourselves. When you rise up, so do opportunities. You can’t “google” experience (one of my favorite quotes).
Leverage your strengths and use your gifts to embrace this transition and design your next dream. It’s your canvas. Use your colorful palette to tell your story. Create your next masterpiece!
Author: Carol Espel