6 weeks, 6 insights.
Updated: Oct 3, 2020
I've been working full time as a fitness instructor for a little over a month now, and I'm very happy I chose this as a career. I love my job because it's challenging and keeps me active, but I certainly underestimated the amount of stress that comes with the transition from full time student to full time personal trainer (or whichever career you've chosen). No matter what job you end up in, there's going to be a huge learning curve, and you're going to have bad days, and you're going to make mistakes and that is not only okay, but necessary.
Transitional periods are hard. On top of the learning curve you're going to have to deal with, there will be a lot of lifestyle changes that come with starting a new job, especially when you're fresh out of school. New schedule, different expectations, new environment and new culture to adapt to; you'll essentially have to rebuild your life. With all of this happening, you're bound to have some difficulties, and you'll have to deal with some failure and it may be a bit of a shock at first. With that being said, any successful person will tell you that the essential ingredient to success is failure. It doesn't feel good when it happens, but it's important to take it in stride, use it as a learning experience and move on.
Naps are necessary. I get to work at 5:30am, I usually get home around 2pm. More often than not, I cannot physically keep myself awake until 9-10pm without taking a nap. I'm typically out of commission from 3-5pm, I may not be asleep that whole time but probably for at least 20-40min. I'll probably spend the rest of the time reading or watching a movie. I need to completely regroup during that time to prepare myself for the next day, and usually an evening workout. Sometimes naps can backfire because it may be more difficult to sleep that night however, if you're barely able to even keep your eyes open, go to sleep. Don't deny your body the rest it's begging you for. Take note of how long you're asleep and how you're feeling before bed, adjust accordingly.
Meal prep is a life saver. I'm still working on this, I tend to be inconsistent with packing lunches but it's right at the top of my priority list. Not only is purchasing food expensive, but what you buy will probably not be as good for you or as filling as food you could make at home. Whether you get up 30 minutes earlier or add 30 minutes to your bedtime routine (depending on what you make), make this number one on your list of things to master for both financial health as well as physical health. There will also be benefits for your mental health due to the reduced stress and increased nutrients.
Your job and your passion may be best kept separate. Some people are okay with working 24/7 and if that's you than power to you! keep going! As for the rest of us, it may be beneficial to keep the type of job that you can sort of just go in, do your thing, and go home without another thought. Up until very recently, I felt like my job was consuming me (hence the lack of new posts) but that was only because I'm still new to the industry and learning. Since I've become more comfortable, I'm able to give myself a breather between shifts, and it's really nice to have that distance between my work and my personal life. By keeping that distance, I have time and energy to do things that I really love like reading, or taking an online course. I do love my job and I'm excited about it, but it's a job; there are many other things I value just as much as my work and that I want to do in addition to it, so it can't be interfering with different areas of my life.
Meditation is not overrated. During these last 6 stressful weeks, I started using my favourite meditation app again (Shine), and I immediately remembered why it was the only app I ever liked. You're able to be guided through meditations while washing you dishes or doing your makeup, and it's so helpful in keeping you present. I highly recommend it to everyone, especially those like me who don't generally find meditation appealing.
Impostor Syndrome is a thing. To keep this short and sweet, feeling like you aren't qualified to be doing what you're doing, is something that everyone goes through (and should go through). If you don't feel that way then you're either not pushing yourself, or you need to double check your ego. Everyone is figuring life out as they go, we all feel like we have no idea what we're doing sometimes but that's no reason to give up. Keep challenging yourself, keep learning, keep growing.