The more I think about professionalism, and my career, the more complicated it gets. Though I think I’ve unraveled a lot of the twine. I’ve heard some good bits of advice, and I’ve heard some not so good ones. Here’s my take on the most popular bits:
If you are really good at something, never do it for free.Well that’s not always applicable. Donating your time, experience and know how towards worthy causes is always worth it.
I totally want this shirt.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T.Aretha Franklin sang it ! You should respect everyone you encounter. They may not ask for it, and they may frustrate you to no end, but everyone deserve respect. Whether they are a super douche or someone who just doesn’t know. This goes for other professionals, students and anyone willing to learn how to do something better. Just because you don’t agree with them, or you don’t think they have validity, that does not warrant a lack of respect. I’ll be honest and say I am still working on this. My varying attitude gets the best of me some days. I typically feel bad about it later and wish I could get a do over.
Modesty is the best policy.I really have to agree. You can be the best in the world at something but the moment you think you deserve something for it, or deserve attention, you no longer are the best. I have this nasty habit of wanting to kick the legs out from under people so high on themselves that they expect everyone to know their name and praise them. I know that’s not attractive of me, but it’s really obnoxious. I lose a little bit of respect and admiration for those people when they reach a point of lacking modesty.
Fake it till you make it. This approach can work in the long run, you’ll get there one day and not have to pretend you know what you’re talking about, if no one ever knows the wiser. But on some level I feel like this is lying. I’d rather tell someone, “I’m not quite sure but I can definitely find out for you!” than get caught not being honest with them.
Do what you love, and love what you do. This is the best advice I’ve ever heard. If you don’t like what you do, why do it? Why gruel over it. Why push yourself towards something you dislike? If you like what you do, you’ll be happier doing it.
Make it a priority. One thing that is pretty typical in every profession is the fly by night or part-time people. People who only do something for the title, the pay or the glamor. I’ve met those who don’t want to be personal trainers for life, and do it while they go to school, or do it just to make money on the side. IMO those people who don’t take the career seriously are why there is a distrust floating around about Personal Trainers. There are trainers in the gym that stand there and text while their client is doing their reps. Really? Is that professionalism? For my career and the community of professionals, I have to say… get out of my field if you aren’t serious about what you do. You wouldn’t want your doctor just practicing medicine till he becomes a rock star, would you? Stop wasting positions for people who genuinely want to be there, so you can make a buck.
Passion!! Be passionate! Find something in what you do that you love, something that moves your heart and soul. I love helping people. I like feeling proud of people, I like to share in an emotional achievement. I love it. I love that feeling. I like getting so moved by someone I tear up. And I love when they feel the same way. THIS is why I am a personal trainer. Changing people’s lives.