Author:Rose M. Kehoe, M.S., C.N.S, C.P.T
Describe your current job responsibilities
Currently, I teach undergraduate students in lifetime health and fitness which is a wellness course that weaves together exercise, nutrition, and stress management into one class. I also teach an aquatic fitness class on campus and with adults at Donaldson Run Pool in the summer. Occasionally, I train adolescent athletes in body weight exercises and coach 11 year old boys in soccer.
Highlight key parts of your career path, challenges and choices
When I first began my career, I worked in nutrition policy and enjoyed the niche aspect of the job. Gradually, I turned more toward the community and worked in hospital wellness integrating nutrition, exercise, health, and wellness into my job. As I began raising a family, I contracted with local hospitals instead of working full time. I became a certified personal trainer. I wanted to maintain my professional involvement and yet balance my life with a large presence at home. As my children grew, I returned to academia and really enjoyed teaching undergraduate students about the importance of health and wellness in their lives. I would like to increase my hours on campus and contract with a local hospital working in health promotion. That way, I am not overwhelmed with full time work at the expense of my family life.
What has been the hardest part of your journey?
I believe you need to continually reinvent yourself at every stage in your career regardless if you stay in the same job or change positions. You need to challenge yourself with new projects and stay current in your field. It’s important to remain passionate about what you do or choose a different path to keep things interesting and productive. Never let your job control you, but realize that life takes unexpected turns which force you to adapt in very creative ways.
What’s the best decision you’ve made?
So often, professionals will choose to work in either nutrition or fitness. Throughout my career, I’ve been able to marry the two into a health promotion career. I like the cognitive aspect of nutrition education, but performing the physical activity that the fitness part of the job offers. It’s a great mix and sometimes hard to find in a job. I’ve had to follow a creative career path and stay flexible finding part time work in a demanding field.
Knowing what you know now, what advice do you have for others building a career?
Stay flexible in your career choice, but don’t lose sight of what your true passion holds for you. It’s also important to continually educate yourself through certificate programs and continuing education credits so you can stay current in your field of study.