Everybody wants to love what they do. If you want to land a job in the strength and conditioning field, you're not alone. The passion, the people, the measurable progress—these are just some of the things that can make a career in strength and conditioning immensely rewarding. But it's also quite a competitive field, so you'll have to put your best food forward if you want to land your strength and conditioning dream job. The following six tips helped me immensely during my own search, and they're a great place to start for anyone looking to launch an SC career.
1. Find the Best Professional Near You
If you are reading this, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want to do in the strength and conditioning field. What I am about to tell you may seem scary and uncomfortable, but it is necessary. I want you to find the best person that does what you want to do near you and seek out their advice. For me, this was Cory Gregory. I lived an hour away from Old School Gym at the time, but I knew that I wanted to work in the strength and conditioning field and also work in the supplement industry. Cory had industry leading experience in both of these.
2. Show Up Consistently
This may seem easy, but it is surprisingly the task that people struggle with the most. Show up consistently. I knew Cory worked out at 5 a.m. every morning and that would be the best and only time to make an impression on him, so I showed up every single day at 5 a.m. ready to work. I did not say that I wanted a job or that I even wanted a mentorship. I just showed up and made it known that I was there. I let my actions speak for me.
3. Add Value
Next, I looked for any way that I could add value. Any way I could make his life a little bit easier, I was willing to do it. This could include sweeping and cleaning the gym, packing orders, paperwork, cleaning the office, videotaping content or any kind of busy work. When you combine showing up consistently with adding value, then you are really getting somewhere.
4. Intern For Free
You may be thinking, "But, I can't afford to work for free, I need to support myself..." Well, you're not wrong. But you're also not thinking correctly. I have had several interns come work for me from all across the country, and they have all made it happen and made the most of their opportunities. They have worked part time jobs in the evenings and done whatever was necessary. When I was working for free, I was driving three hours round-trip every day during the week and then getting home and delivering subs at Jimmy John's at night and also working a weekend job. It just comes down to how bad you really want it. I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill my senior year of college and it was in the second chapter that I decided that I was going to think a partnership with my mentor into reality and that I would do whatever was possible to make it happen.
5. Pitch your Ideas
Once you have been working for free for some time, now is the time to pitch your ideas. It's easy to be ignored, but not if you make your voice hard to ignore. I always like to tell the story of how one my interns, Jeremy Hanna, saved our company thousands of dollars with one simple idea. We were taping labels on packages and losing several every month and were trying everything we could to get it fixed. Jeremy took it upon himself to come up with a cost effective solution. He came up with a hang tag to hang on our burlap sacks, a move that has since saved us exponentially on shipping.
6. Ask the Question
Finally, after you have done all of this and you think you are ready, you can ask about your future. When doing this, always bring numbers to back up what you are pitching, and the value that you are going to bring. This way it is right in front of their face and they are cold, hard facts.
Landing your dream job in the strength and conditioning field takes passion, knowledge and drive. If you're able to find the right professional, show up on time, respect the work place and make yourself useful, there's no telling where you might end up. Continuing to educate yourself on your field and the developments inside it are another critical step to making yourself the best candidate you can be.
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