I think all of the above answers are fantastic and make a great point.
I am in the same boat as Nancy. I am a mom first and then a personal trainer second. I work at a buisness that allows me to make my own hours and it is fantastic being able to make my schedule and to work around getting my boys on the bus, my clients schedules, and getting home to get one of them off the bus. Two days a week I work late to accomodate my clients who need to come in after school. I only work part time hours but I find a way to make it work for everyone.
Once all three of my kids are in school I hope to be able to do this more “full time” and eventually I would to work more for myself but for now this works out great for my family.
All that being said like Nancy I am as professional as I can be. I dress professionally, I am constantly stirivng to learn more about the profession, and I am getting at least once new certification a year..lol. (One isn’t enough for me). In fact, I am currently studying for my Health Coach certification and also about to sign up for some workshops for NETA’s Fit Fest.
All in all I am passionate about this field and maybe I am just really good at juggling, as most moms are. Either way the main point is if you want to do something part time I think that is fine just as long as you are good at it when you are there and it is your priority to give your very best to your clients then it could work.
I have built my business though out the years because I chose it as my career.
I think having personal training as a secondary career would show! Your time would be limited as well as your desire to create a viable business
However, it’s up to you to decide what works best in your life and your desires.
One thing I probably should have mentioned is that although my #1 job is mom, I still treat this #2 job as a career. I act professionally. I earn many more CECs than is required to maintain my certifications. I network. I attend staff meetings at our gym that has them. And most importantly, I treat my clients professionally.
But I started out as a hobbyist. 2 classes a week at the local gym because I’d graduated from college and I missed the choreography / dance / teaching I’d done for high school and collegiate dance teams. Teaching a hi/lo class a couple times a week, although I treated it professionally, was fun and was good for me. There’s nothing wrong with being in that space. I have many fitness friends who are in exactly that space.
If I hadn’t started as a hobbyist, I would probably never have entered fitness. I had a career position in another field and didn’t need the money. For me, it was about the sheer joy of movement and teaching movement, and the shared energy. It was “enough” for me to make that small contribution to the health of others. It was many years before I could drop my full time income to do fitness and raise kids.
You never know where fitness will take you. If you want to work in fitness, it’s a very competitive industry and you have to be really honest with yourself about what you’re good at and how you can package and sell yourself. Not all jobs are glamorous and not all of us are superstars. But many of us love what we do.
to me, being a fitness professional is my full time job, like Harris.
When I look at my colleagues, though, I see that most of the group fitness instructors have fitness as a side job, and that seems to be working really well for them. Most gyms want you to teach a regular schedule, and that will enable you find a predictable balance between your work schedule and the group fitness schedule.
Theoretically, the same could apply to personal training but unless you have clients who will get out of their way to accommodate your schedule, it will be difficult for you to make the adjustments that are often necessary if clients have conflicts and need to reschedule their appointments. It could be difficult to provide continuity of training between your schedule and theirs. You also mention that you plan to go back to school to take classes. Those class times can change from semester to semester requiring readjustments.
You may be able to make something work. Frankly, I doubt whether it will rise to the level of a second ‘career’.
I wish you good luck whatever you decide, and a very happy New Year.