If you're thinking about getting your foot in the door of the health industry, now is the time! Naturopath and Nutritionist, Renée Leonard-Stainton shares 8 tips for a successful career in wellness.
The healthcare industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Jobs in this field are increasingly sought after, with growth driven by more and more people worldwide adopting lifestyles that promote well-being.
Health and wellness occupations differ widely, but what’s common to all is that they’re focused on health - preventative, curative, rehabilitative, or palliative care. So what exactly does it take to have a successful career in this booming industry? Here are 8 tips for a healthy career in the wellness industry.
1. Get digitally active
The digital world and health and wellness industry don’t instantly seem like the most natural of pairings. However, the online wellness industry is booming and no matter what area of health you are working in, there is bound to be a focus and community dedicated to this online.
Even if it seems like a distraction from your primary job, say treating patients or developing supplement ranges, it will keep you connected, relevant and open to opportunities.
2. Get educated and certified
Education and certification are essential to be able to provide patients or clients with accredited information and practices. Take time to complete the standard requirements of your training, in order to gain the knowledge you need.
However, being successful in the health and wellness industry doesn’t mean you have to be a practitioner or wellness expert. Remember, people are also needed to run these booming wellness empires, so explore business and finance courses as well, as these could be highly valued skills to take into your chosen industry.
Also attend conferences and workshops to further enhance your skills and learn about current wellness trends and new health research.
Read more health and wellbeing career articles from our health, fitness, nutrition and personal training experts here.
3. Find a mentor
Having a seasoned professional show you the ins-and-outs of the industry and business is important. Many people learn best when they practice hands-on training.
If you don’t know anyone you can contact directly, start following a professional wellness expert that you admire on social media (such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn), engage and respond to their content (i.e. like their posts, or comment on work achievements/awards), then send them a direct message commending them, outlining who you are and your goals and offer your services as an intern.
Working with someone you respect will also assist you to develop the necessary standards you want your colleagues or clients to experience.
4. Believe in yourself
Know that this new career path will be full of change and growth. More and more people are wanting to enter the wellness industry, which means there is more competition for coveted positions or attaining clients for your practice. However, perseverance and positivity is important to have to keep on going.
Have faith that you have chosen a niche suitable for you and your skill set. While social media is a valuable tool in this industry, remember that these individuals/businesses are only showing their ‘polished’ side, and they too are putting in huge amounts of work behind the scenes.
5. Look after yourself
Constantly putting other people’s wellbeing first or looking after others can be physically and emotionally demanding and draining. Self-care is essential for the health of wellness practitioners and business owners in the wellness industry.
When caring for others or developing health strategies and solutions for your community, we can often neglect our own health. Implementing self-care practices is vital to survive the long haul in the health industry. This may mean scheduling in exercise, speaking to a mentor, keeping a journal and most importantly, making time to rest and re-energise.
6. Keep up-to-date on technology in the industry
In today's world, both natural and pharmaceutical healthcare is advertised on TV alongside fast-food, supplement adverts or endorsements. They populate our social media streams. People even shop online for healthcare products and services just like they do for the best deals on technology and travel.
Amid this evolving environment, it's becoming clear that providers need to adapt in order to be financially and operationally viable. To thrive (and not just survive) for the long-term, healthcare providers and organisations must operate more like businesses than they have historically to cater to consumer preferences around healthcare.
Keep on top of apps related to your niche, software catering to your business needs and emerging technology for your health practice. Traditional knowledge is now being passed on through modern media. It is essential to tap into this platform to share your personal or business messages.
7. Learn to embrace regulation
Whether it be the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) guidelines, pertaining to supplement export regulations or indemnity insurance policies, healthcare comes with a host of regulations and responsibilities. It’s an industry full of rules, and when it comes to healthcare, it’s dangerous for anyone involved to bend the rules.
However, rules can be an entrepreneur’s friend. A lot of people feel daunted by the concept of regulation, but the reality is it’s just a process to work through. And if you know how to work through that process (or ask for help where you need it!), it’s not that difficult. It can be a competitive advantage for your practice or business.
8. Network, network, network
Despite healthcare having an increasingly digital focus, it still relies hugely on word-of-mouth. To succeed, it’s vital to connect with and support like-minded people in your specific niche and in the wider wellness community. Two key elements make a successful healthcare entrepreneur:
- Being collaborative
- Being coachable
It’s impossible to know everything, and you need to be open to being coached and taking advice from peers. Be open to other experts, ideas and suggestions and offers for collaboration.
Your perceived competition can often be your friend if you work at cross-promoting and referring each other. In this sector, it can really help to be part of an army of experts and entrepreneurs working together. Read more tips about creating partnerships with the right people here.
Health and wellness is an in-demand industry
And there are no signs of slowing down. We're at a pivotal movement where people worldwide are taking steps to change the way they live, work, and play, while at the same time governments are finally recognising the value of investing in prevention to lower healthcare costs.
With consumer demand for wellness services and products higher than ever, a career in the health and wellness industry has never looked more appealing!
Want more advice about working in the health and fitness industry? Check out top tips from 18 of Australia's leading fitness experts here.