Deciding on a career path and sticking to it until retirement used to be the norm, but these days, it’s more likely to be the exception. Career changes abound now across a breadth of industries, and for some people, a college degree may be just a starting point.
According to a LinkedIn study, “the new normal” is four job changes before age 32. That’s nearly double the amount of job shifts from the previous generation. Look for those numbers to keep rising as well. A survey from CareerBuilder found that more than 22 percent of employees were planning to change jobs this year.
Why the big changeover? Job satisfaction is a big factor. One study noted that nearly 70 percent of those surveyed weren’t satisfied with their work, and a startling 96 percent were open to new opportunities.
As people are looking for careers that fuel their passion and provide meaning as well as income, the health and wellness industry is fast becoming a top choice. As a growing field, health and wellness is attracting plenty of fresh talent who are eager to explore personal training, group fitness, corporate wellness, nutrition, and other specialties. But that doesn’t mean everyone is making the change without turbulence. If you’re considering a changeover, make sure you’re avoiding these five top mistakes:
1. Going Back to a Traditional College or University for an Expensive Degree
When moving into the health and wellness field, you don’t always need to enroll in a 4-year degree program, or even a 2-year program. A certification from an accredited organization gives you the extensive knowledge you need to excel in your chosen field, while assuring your future clients that you’ve received a high level of training. Plus, it’s a fraction of the price of a college degree program.
Of course, there’s no one education option that’s right for everyone, but it’s nice to know that there are less time-consuming and more affordable routes to earning your credentials.
2. Not Picking a Niche or Specialty
Saying that you’re in the “health and wellness” field is a bit like saying you want to go into “finance.” What does that mean on a day-to-day basis? The opportunities in the industry encompass a wide breadth of job roles. You might want to be a nutritional counselor for weight loss centers, for example, or a personal trainer at your gym. Maybe you want to lead group fitness classes or concentrate on corporate wellness program development. Start by knowing where you’d ideally like to end up, and what niche you can serve.
3. Not Building up Connections in the Industry
Like any field, success is cultivated in part through networking. This can be particularly true if you plan to take on local clients or work for companies in your area, but even if you’re working virtually, you’ll want to connect with others in the industry. There is always a great deal to learn—especially at the start of your career change—and approaching those with experience is a top way to accelerate your progress.
4. Not Doing Enough Research on the Industry Before Diving In
Although it might be tempting to ditch your job and figure out what you’ll be doing in health and wellness afterward, that’s a bit like trying to build an airplane and land it at the same time. Build first, land second. You can do that through extensive research on the industry, particularly your specialty. For example, if you want to offer nutrition counseling services, start by reading the free guides out there:
- Offering Nutrition Advice: What You Can and Can’t Do
- Ultimate Nutrition Professional Salary Guide
- Nutrition Consultant’s Guide to Finding and Winning Clients.
5. Not Determining What Other Skills You’ll Need for Success
Certifications can bring you a long way toward establishing success in your career change, but knowledge of a particular field isn’t all you’ll need. Most likely, you’ll have to cultivate other types of skills, as well as understand your available resources and support. You might need to take courses in accounting, marketing, social media, and time management. It’s helpful to find certification programs that assist with at least some of these other skills.
Hopefully these common mistakes have helped you! If you’re looking for more direction in making a career change into the health and wellness industry, check out our free guide: How to Make a Successful Career Change into Health & Wellness.