9 months of Love, and what 9 months it’s been! It feels like forever (in a good way!) but writing this post has allowed me to reflect on my career journey since I started in the fitness industry over 10 years ago and allows me to share a lot of my learnings from then and within these 9 months with you.
Firstly, if you asked me as a child if fitness was an industry I was destined to fall in love with I wouldn’t have believed you. Truthfully it was never really my thing, I loved to dance, and maybe that’s where it came from, but any other sports or activities just weren’t for me.
Fast forward 15 years, I started my journey in a small Membership team. I spent most of my time being called out to reception to speak with members. Working on reception and with the reception team taught me so much! My first piece of advice when starting a role is spend time with those hero’s. They know everything! Everyone will always “ask at reception”.
This gave me the opportunity to speak to people, and I love speaking with people! Throughout this blog I will highlight the importance of speaking to people and to not be afraid of speaking to people. We are, at the end of the day, all people!
My time in membership was well spent, I enjoyed engaging with members, loved hearing their stories as to what they had achieved so far and looking to achieve starting out on their fitness journey. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t all fun conversations to be had, and if you have ever worked with the public (which I am sure most of us have) I am certain you can relate! But looking back it gave me the confidence to have those challenging conversations and build on my skillset.
From membership Advisor I moved into a Member Relations Manager, my first management role looking after a small team. I loved it and again don’t get me wrong it’s not always fun and games but my General Manager at the time gave me some very good words of advice. He told me to look at the managers I had previously worked with and around, what did I like about their style and what didn’t I like that, this would help shape the way I managed a team.
I was lucky enough to take on duty Manager responsibilities. Looking after the club as if it was my own. My mindset was very much to do and learn as much as I could, get involved with as many different areas as I could, I may never want to go into that area of the business, but the transferable skills come in very handy.
Transferable skills are a massive one that I think people may overlook when looking for new opportunities or wanting to break into a new industry like the health and fitness industry. Don’t be afraid to highlight these, some of the best candidates I have spoken with come from outside the fitness world, but they have a passion for fitness and that along with so many skills they have learnt in previous roles sets them up so well to smash it in this industry!
I guess what I am trying to say is, tell us about them! This takes us back to the purpose of this post, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to us. I wouldn’t be in the role I am in today if I didn’t do just that, but more about that later…
Over the next few years I moved from Member Relations Manager to Club Support Manager, frequently asking what progression looked like for me. Regular reviews with your line manager are so important to pinpoint your strengths but also any constructive feedback that will help you learn.
For me after a few years, progression slowed down. This wasn’t a bad thing looking back, the people in the roles I wanted clearly loved it and that said a lot. This led me to see what else was out there, outside of the industry. I had a pretty good idea of what I was good at and enjoyed and looked at different opportunities that would allow me to do just that.
6 months in a new role and I massively missed the fitness industry, I missed the buzz of the club, I missed the people and that’s what made it home to me. Changing and learning a new role takes time of course but I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that I wanted back in club life.
Learning what I didn’t enjoy taught me so much! Figuring out what you don’t want to do is as important as figuring out what you do want to do.
A few months later and I was back in club land as Assistant General Manager, the progression I had always wanted. Fortunately, I had built some great relationships over the years that gave me this opportunity.
I think we all remember March 2020 pretty well, my role like so many within the industry was in a scary place. Trying to keep my options open, in an industry I knew I wanted to work in I found Love Recruitment. I spoke with Cam so openly about my previous roles and experience and I am SO glad I did. Even though at the time it didn’t lead to a new role, I felt so at ease knowing that I could reach out to him or the team. One thing I make sure of is to create that same experience for everyone I speak with.
I learnt a lot from our call, the workings of a different operator and what they looked for in their team. The culture of the business, success stories and what progression looked like. It felt important to me just to have a chat about these things to know if the role was a right fit for me. What’s the harm in knowing as much as you can from a simple conversation.
Fast forward another 18 months during the whirlwind of Covid19, I can’t quite remember where I saw it, maybe linkedin, maybe it was sent to me via an email from Love - the advert for an Account Manager to join their team. (If you don’t follow us on linkedin or connected to us online, do it!)
I had followed Love for some time, found them super helpful, not only to speak with but I enjoyed their blogs and info shared about the industry and thought maybe this was something I could do…
I had never thought about recruitment, I had heard some horror stories of friends who had gone into all sorts of recruitment after finishing university. I remember talking so honestly about these with Lawrence in my first interview to make sure that this would potentially be the right role for me.
My interview process with Love was hands down the best interview process I had ever had. Something that I try and do every day with every candidate that I speak with. We just talked… as two people learning about one another, the role, and the business. This process led me to recruitment. I felt like I wanted to give people the same experience I had finding their next role. I felt like this was the perfect fit for me and I would never have been in that position or in that process if it hadn’t been from speaking with the team… every single one of them popped down for a chat.
One thing that I love to see time and time again within the interview process is the growing amount of people included within the process. From us as a start who are with you all the way, to line managers, club managers, members of the team, members of the HR team, Regional Managers, Managing Directors, the list goes on, but it allows you to find out so much and I’ll say it again what is the harm in speaking to people.
From time to time, it’s not the right fit and that’s absolutely fine but you know that having all the information to hand.
I hope this blog helps you learn a little more about me, gives you an insight into my journey and some of my takings and top tips along the way, especially for those starting out. Reach out and tell me about yours, who knows where it will take you.