I have lived in the Chicagoland area my entire life, but have a 90% chance that I will be relocating to Ewa Beach, HI within the next month. I am a NASM CPT and am completing an internship at a private studio just outside Chicago. I am set on forging a career path as a fitness coach, but am looking for insight and support about starting up out of state in a new place. Has anyone had similar experiences? Suggestions and tips of steps to take before I get out there or when I get there?
I have been both to Chicago and to Hawaii, and though Chicago is a very interesting city, the chance to live in Hawaii is one not to be missed. I hope you have a wonderful time while you are there.
It is true that any move, even the most exciting, does have an effect on one’s career. In 2000 I had my own business in DC, when my husband took a job in Rhode Island. So I shut down my studio and we moved. I ended up taking some years off to raise my kids, and it has taken time to rebuild, so I do understand some of the roadblocks.
You do not say what stage of life you are in, but if you do not yet have children that will make some things easier. I found figuring out child care, schools, and so on to be one of the biggest problems. If you do not have regular help that you can 100% count on you risk having to cancel last minute, which does not help while you are trying to build a reputation for professionalism.
This is just one aspect of the general transition process. A lot of time and energy gets spent when one moves on things you take for granted if you spent a lifetime in one location: how does mass transit work (I had the subway runs and alternate paths down to the minute in DC), where can you get your car fixed last minute, how to find a good electrician, what vegetables will grow in my garden….
If you are in addition trying to rebuild your business this is compounded. Like me, you probably have a wide network in the Chicago area: students to give you referrals, other professionals with whom to network, professionals in complementary fields to give you referrals or information in areas of interest, a knowledge of the best sources for local CECs… You now will have to expend energy rebuilding that network.
Generally speaking I would suggest giving yourself time. It will all come together. Do some research and see what studios and trainers are already there. It can be helpful to start work in an existing business before starting solo, as a way to orient yourself. Take lots of opportunities to meet people in your community. Chat with people when opportunity arises…. you never know when someone could be a possible client, or send you a client, or is just someone you can help find the joys of fitness. See if there is a ‘newcomers club’ in the are. That is a great way to meet people who are also new, and will be going through the same thing (and won’t already have a relationship with a trainer if you are looking for clients) When you get there go visit as many facilities as possible. It is a good way to meet people, and to see what the local standards are. See if the local schools or senior centers have someone doing after school, or afternoon classes.
But do give yourself time. It is work, but it will all come together.