Maiken explains how she got her job as a fitness centre manager at a medium-sized independent gym and what the role involves
How did you get the job?
I got the job through a friend who heard about the vacancy and recommended me. I had to attend a couple of really challenging interviews with some practical assessments before they offered me the role. It was a tough process but totally worth it - it's an amazing position that I absolutely love.
What's a typical day like as a fitness centre manager?
A lot of my time is spent analysing various measures and metrics to make sure we are constantly learning and developing.
The diverse mix of clients means that one day I might be overseeing a tailored programme for someone with special requirements and the next day dealing with media and press for a campaign we are running for one of our more 'recognised' clients.
It's a lot of work that constantly requires great people skills and a deep understanding of the kind of journeys that people often go through in their quest to reach peak fitness. But it's so rewarding when everything goes well that I wouldn't change it for the world.
How has the role developed?
Over the years it's amazing how scientific and data-led the fitness industry has become - it's very different now to when I first started.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
The people. I deal with so many inspiring, driven people with larger than life personalities from a range of backgrounds.
What are the challenges?
Obviously the long and unsociable hours are not for everyone, but it's not something that bothers me as I've never been into the typical 9am to 5pm working day.
It can be frustrating when you think you have a really good initiative that you want to implement but it just can't happen for one reason or another.
Also it's difficult keeping up to date with the latest scientific developments within the industry. Things are constantly changing and it's a big part of my job to be at the cutting-edge of everything. This requires a real passion and love of the industry which luckily I have.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a fitness centre manager?
Go for it but don't go into it lightly. It's an awful lot of work and I have so many challenges and various things to deal with that for some people could become a little overwhelming.
If you have a real passion for the fitness industry and love constantly trying to inspire and develop people then this is the perfect job for you. I honestly couldn't recommend it enough to anyone who has the right personality and mindset to handle the constant challenges that are thrown up every day.