Making a career change is something a lot of mums want to do but never take the first steps. Melly tells us here how she made that change, retrained and as well as getting (super fit) changed her life.
A bit about you? My name is Melly Carabott. I’m German/Malaysian. I’m 33 years old, Married and have 2 children. An 8 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. I moved to England when I was 18 years old and have been here ever since. I now live in Radlett.
Your job title now? Personal Trainer
What did you do before? The last time I had a job was in 2004 when I was a field sales representative. I have always been in a sales role before then. I left work in 2004 to start a family and haven’t been back to work till 2013.
What made you go into your new chosen career? Was there a eureka moment or is it something you have always wanted to do?
To be totally honest, it was never something that ever even crossed my mind whilst I was growing up. I’ve always imagined myself to be in sales. However after giving birth and gaining weight, plus having to give up work to be a full time mother, i found myself lonely and without purpose. I was fortunate enough that my husband was in a position to support us as a family and so I didn’t need to work. However once the kids started going to nursery I had more spare time so decided to join a gym to try and lose some weight. I found the gym intimidating and I felt embarrassed as I didn’t have a clue what I needed to do to achieve my goals. So I decided to hire a Personal Trainer and he has helped me so much and it made me realise that I wanted to do the same for other women out there who are in the same position as me. Ever since I started understanding the gym and exercises, and I’ve seen how it has changed my body and my mind, I feel that i have found my passion in life.
What you needed to do to change career? I Had to go back to college to do my Personal training course. I did this at Premier Training in London. I opted for the full time crash course which I completed within 7 weeks.
I decided to hire a Personal Trainer and he has helped me so much and it made me realise that I wanted to do the same for other women out there who are in the same position as me
Any qualifications gained? I did my level 1 gym instruction certificate and also level 2 diploma in Personal Training and Nutrition.
What was involved with study ? It was 7 full weeks of very long days with lots of studying till late at night.
How hard was passing your course? I found the course very intense. Didnt help that I left school so many years ago and haven’t had to study for anything for so long. I did find it very hard and I studied till late hours for it. I was up at 4.30am every day and didnt go to bed till 1am. But knew it was only for 7 weeks and I wanted to do my best. And I’m proud to say I got very good grades. So my hard work paid off.
Is your new career what you imagined it would be? Im still quite new at my gym so am not as busy as some of the other trainers there. Though I know its just a matter of time for me to start increasing my client base. I love what I do. I want to help other women achieve their goals and make them feel good about themselves. I believe that everyone should be the best version of themselves and I want to help them achieve that.
Are you glad you have changed? Yes, its the best thing I ever did. 5 years ago, I was just a full time mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mum, but me having my own career and having a positive lifestyle and looking and feeling amazing, helps me be a better mother and wife than I could ever have hoped to be. I feel fulfilled.
Can you tell us about your average day? I wake up at 6am. I go for a quick 20 minute jog near my house. Then I get home and have some breakfast and prepare my meals for the day. I wake the kids and my husband at 7am and we all shower and get ready together. After breakfast I take the kids to school and then I go back home to tidy up. I Then go to the gym around 11am to train my clients. I tend to fit in a workout for myself too at the end before I pick my kids up from school.
Does it offer a good work/life balance?: Yes it does. I am able to structure my work around the kids school times. I rarely train a client in the evenings or at the weekends as most of my clients are mothers who like me, are only available between the school hours. However, there are times when I need to fit a client in around the evenings and I do this when I need to. But its rare. So I do get to spend the evenings and weekends with my husband and children.
How does your new role work with child care? It works well. Sometimes I do get stuck and for the times I do, I get a babysitter to help me out. During half term holidays most of my clients are away or they have their kids at home so they don’t train and I take these times off too to be with my kids.
What is the hardest thing about your new career? To be honest, there really isn’t a hard part to this career. Well, not for me anyways.
What is the favourite part of your role? Helping someone discover themselves and helping them change their lives for the better.
How long have you been doing your new role? I’ve been training myself for the last 4 years, however I only qualified to train clients in October 2013. So its all fairly recent.
What advice would you have for others thinking about embarking on the same career? I would say, Go for it! The only thing standing between you and your dreams is you! So don’t hold back and go for it.
Do you have to have a certain level of fitness before you embark on fitness training? I train clients who are fit and clients who have never been to a gym in their lives. As long as you are healthy and do not have a medical condition that prevents you from performing physical activities, then you should be able to train. Those in doubt should seek medical advice from their GP’s before taking part in any physical activities.
As you do a physical job during the day do you lack energy in the evening or does it give you more energy? Like everything, practise makes perfect. Initially, I found it tiring. But after a few weeks, your body gets used to it and you feel better for doing it and yes it does gives you more energy.
Is it hard to set up a business working for yourself? No, its not. The college actually advises us on how to go about starting our business up once we complete our training.
Did you have any business support in the beginning? Yes, my husband paid for my course for me. And I also needed to pay for a babysitter to do all my school runs for me for the 7 weeks I was at college as well as cook for the kids etc when I wasn’t around to do it. Having no family in this country I wasn’t able to get any family member to help me out with this. So it did get a little expensive for us during that time.
Was there a risk involved in changing career? (Either financially or from leaving your old job) No.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you had known before embarking on this chosen career? Yes, I wish I did it 3 years sooner.
Do you have any other comments you would like to make? A positive body makes a positive mind. A positive mind gives you a positive lifestyle. Im not saying its going to be easy. Im saying its going to be worth it.
Would you be interested in offering advice to anyone thinking of doing the same things?
Yes, of course. Im always happy to help. Anyone who would like some Personal Training with me or even advise on anything, can contact me via email on Facebook. My page is facebook.com/melbarbell or on firstname.lastname@example.org