Are you new to the fitness profession? Or perhaps you want to teach at a new studio? Before you commit, you must do your homework. When you apply for a new job, potential employers do everything they can to make sure you’re a good fit for their company. You should do the same. Read on for a list of steps you should take before signing a new contract.

1. Do Your research.

You can find information about most companies by doing a quick Google search. Type in the name of the organization and browse:

  • The website.
  • Review sites like Yelp or Foursquare.
  • Employee blogs & social posts, if available.

Get to know their mission statement, the types of clients they serve, and how they treat their employees. This is a great way to see if you like their business model and if you could see yourself in the community. You can also drop by the studio. Check out the space, attend a free class, and chat with their employees. That way, you get to feel for what it’s like to be there.

2. Know their Values & Yours

Any company you work for should share your most important values. Is keeping a positive attitude important to you? How about proper form and technique? Faith and spirituality? If the answer is yes, make sure studio policies and preferred teaching styles reflect that. For example, if you recommend reverse dieting to clients while company nutritionists recommend restricting portions, you may create problems for management. Clashing values often result in conflict. Know your values, so you can find a place whose values align.

3. Know The Responsibilities Of The Position.

At some studios, instructors show up a few minutes before class and leave right at the end. Others require you to be there 10-15 minutes in advance to greet students. You may have to unlock the studio in the morning, close up at night, attend to cleaning duties, or complete administrative tasks. Common tasks include making phone calls, sending emails, completing client intake forms and performing measurements. Do you need to find your own students and clients or will the studio recruit for you?

These are things to consider. Find out ahead of time what is expected so you don’t bump heads with management later on. 

4. ask about the pay structure

 Some studios vary their rates for a number of reasons. Possible reasons include:

  • The number of attendees.
  • The length of the class.
  • Personal training versus group.
  • Administrative work.

You wouldn’t be happy if you taught a 2 person class for an entire month only to find out you received 25% of the expected pay. There may also be tasks you won’t get paid for, like following up with personal training clients or booking sessions. Make sure you know before you sign your contract, so you can decide the best use of your time.

5. calculate your commute time.

This is one area that beginning fitness professionals often don’t consider. If you plan to work for multiple studios, optimize your commute. Otherwise, you may spend precious time on the road. Here’s an example. Imagine that you work mainly for one fitness center, but you teach one 60 minute class per week at another. If you drive 20 minutes to the second location, then drive back after class, that’s 40 minutes of commute time. Assuming you have to be present 10 minutes before class, that’s nearly 2 hours spent on one session. Is your hourly wage worth it? In most cases, the answer is no

The other thing to consider is punctuality. If you teach back to back sessions at different locations, you should have a buffer to allow for traffic or other situations that may hold you up. Always estimate the commute time from your home to each studio, as well as the potential commute between studios.

Now that you’ve reviewed the steps you need to take before committing to a fitness studio, start applying them in your job search today.

Good luck!





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