Completing your Pilates Certification is a huge accomplishment, but it is just the beginning of establishing your Pilates career. How are you going to make yourself eye-catching to potential employers? What sets you apart from other Pilates graduates? Do you want to be an independent contractor, employee of a larger organization or open your own studio?
Pilates is an ever-growing industry with many fulfilling career opportunities available and can be financially rewarding if you know how to market yourself. Here are a few keys to beating out the competition and building a successful Pilates career:
- Write and polish up your Pilates Resume. Have a professional edit it and be sure that you update it regularly. Add details from past employment that may not be related to Pilates, but demonstrate a specific skillset as well as volunteer experiences.
- Letters of Recommendation: Have your Certifying Organization, Teacher Training Instructor and eventually your clients write you a letter of recommendation. Employers always appreciate and enjoy those personal endorsements that fortify your resume when it’s sparse and even when it’s full of experience.
- Create a LinkedIn profile immediately. It is the way of the future and most mainstream employers are using LinkedIn as a tool to recruit. It is also a valuable resource to broaden your fitness, health and wellness network.
- Internships are an excellent way to build report with a studio you would like to work for as well as a safe way to get some real life experience teaching outside of the safety net of your apprenticeship and teacher training environment. Observing and taking class with other Instructors who have been teaching for years is both inspiring and sobering. You realize how much you do not yet know and that should excite you! Surrounding yourself with experienced and master Teachers will build you up as an Instructor and broaden your Pilates toolbox.
- Social Media is an incredible, cost-free way to promote yourself and your work. Create a strictly professional Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account. There are other social media outlets that are gaining popularity, so choose the mediums that are most aligned with you. Remember that the Internet never forgets and as such be mindful of what you post. You will find that the online Pilates community is very supportive, welcoming and encouraging.
- Your Brand: Especially if you would like to “be your own boss” or independent contractor, develop an identity which includes a logo, a website and a vision. Decide if perhaps you want to highlight a particular aspect of Pilates training you’re going to focus upon: Pilates for Mothers, Golfers, Athletes, rehab? Promote yourself to the demographic that interests you most.
- Prepare for Interviews: This is a deal breaker. Many candidates do not take interviews seriously. First impressions can make or break your employment chances. If you are interviewing for a studio, gym, physiotherapy clinic or larger organization, Google them and learn as much as you can about their business. Also be ready to talk about yourself and have key sentences ready that best describe your acumen. Even though you may live in stretchy-pants, dress well for an interview in business casual. It shows you’re serious, polished and professional.
- The Big Question: Can you answer the simple question: What is Pilates? I know, you just gasped! Having the ability to concisely and clearly describe Pilates in your own words is a must. The way you answer that question to would-be clients, employers and people in your network will greatly determine your success. Think about it, memorize an answer that feels right to you. It will probably change over time and often until you refine in your own heart and mind what the practice of Pilates is to you and how to best articulate that to others.
Wishing you endless success and fulfillment in your Pilates evolution!
Natalya Sebastian is the Pilates Coordinator for Equinox Yorkville and is also the creator of her own business “Pilates Body Workout,” with a robust following on Social Media. Natalya has been a fully Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor since 2002 which has given her over a decade of experience in the Fitness and Pilates Industries as a teacher and innovator. Natalya studied Kinesiology, with a special focus on injuries and special populations. Her teachings have been featured on eTalk, in Sweat Equity, Tonic magazine and Canadian Living magazine. Above all Natalya is a proud Mother to her two year old daughter.