The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Job Focus -

THE num­ber of people work­ing in fit­ness has more than dou­bled in the past 10 years and fur­ther growth is fore­cast.

There are 26,200 fit­ness in­struc­tors and per­sonal train­ers na­tion­ally, ex­pected to in­crease to at least 28,000 in 2017, but those who en­ter the in­dus­try straight out of school may strug­gle.

Anne Cal­la­han, 59, cred­its her busy work­load as a YMCA per­sonal trainer to the fact she has life ex­pe­ri­ence.

“If a lady wants to talk to me about their preg­nancy, well I’ve had five chil­dren,” she says.

“Per­sonal train­ing is about a re­la­tion­ship that you set up with the clients.”

Cal­la­han had been in the fi­nance in­dus­try for 20 years when she had an epiphany.

“When you look af­ter people’s money, it’s a very amoral sit­u­a­tion,” she says.

“I wanted to do some­thing worth­while.” She now earns a third of what she did as a fi­nan­cial plan­ner but says it is the best thing she’s done.

It took Michael Byrne, 34, about a decade af­ter he fin­ished school to fig­ure out what he wanted to work as.

He fell into hos­pi­tal­ity but it did not sat­isfy his crav­ing to make a pos­i­tive im­pact on people’s lives. His next choices were be­tween be­com­ing a plumber, work­ing at a fuel sup­plier or study­ing fit­ness.

“At one stage my par­ents and fam­ily asked me, ‘Can you make a ca­reer out of (fit­ness)?’,” he says. “I said I’ll try it for a few years and see how I end up. I think it’s im­por­tant to have a plan of at­tack if you de­cide to do a ca­reer change.”

PEOPLE POWER: Michael Byrn­erne and Anne

Cal­la­han with client Ashlea Michau at a YMCA

re­cre­ation cen­tre. Pic­ture: STEVE TAN­NER

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