RD Career Path: Wellness and Weight Management
SCAN Career Tip Sheet Series
The sky is the limit in the field of nutrition for Wellness and Weight Management. As the expert in food science you can offer your services to any institution, as well as, any individual. Here are some tips for the entrepreneur:
Brush Up on Areas You May Be Weak In.
You may not know how to write a business plan or what should be in a contract when you seek wellness and weight management business, but you can find out. Check out your local community college and see what business classes they offer. Use the great references already available on the eatright.org web site about legal and financial advice for integrating a private practice into physician’s offices and how to structure a business and manage money.
Practice What You Preach.
You need to be fit to practice in the field of health. If you don’t exercise, start. Educate yourself about fitness from experts in the field if it’s not your area of expertise. Join the American College of Sports Medicine and learn their fitness recommendations and practice them. Share their information with your clients and refer your clients to certified fitness experts, just as they are referring their clients to us.
What are your strengths?
Accentuate the positive. If you have cooking skills, go after businesses with the flavors you offer. Cooking demonstrations are very popular. If grocery shopping tours are your strength, highlight that aspect of your business.
Are you linked in, have a business face book page, tweet, send out an e-newsletter, have a web page? If not get started. It’s the best way to get your name out there. You will discover that these sources get you in touch with the masses for very little money. It would be worth it to hire an independent PR person to get you started.
Become the Local Media Nutrition Expert.
Find out the names of the producers at your local T.V. and radio stations. Write up a one page resume and submit suggestions for nutrition topics you would be willing to do on their show. Let them know you are available whenever they need a nutrition expert. Consider dropping off a beautiful basket of food along with your resume to get their attention.
Use Your Volunteer Time Wisely.
Consider contacting organizations and volunteering time that could turn into potential business for you. Get to know the health and fitness coordinator or health promotions person for a school district. Volunteer your time and also let school officials know you are available if grants acquired by the district need a nutrition expert. Find out the pet projects for corporations in your area and volunteer and network at the same time. It’s a win–win situation.
Be Creative. Look to Offer Something Original.
Consider offering nutrition counseling through skyping or some other unique way. Let it be known that you can work with hard to reach employees, whether they are on an oil rig in the ocean or another isolated area.
Look to Other Organizations That May Need You.
Consider joining your local restaurant association, they may need menu analysis. Does your city have a Wellness Council that you can join? Does your school district need a wellness committee person?
Keep networking and stay enthusiastic. Your skills are needed. Just get your name out there.
Updated September 2011
Carol Lapin, MS, RD, CSSD- co-director for SCAN Wellness/CV RDs.