Taking the path to a self-employed career as a nutritionist is increasingly becoming an option for more and more people in order for them to work on their own terms and, thus, independently from others. It is less known, however, that such a goal can also be achieved the roundabout way.
Using the examples of graduates of the International Institute of Naturopathy (InN) who successfully completed their nutritionist training to become an Integrative Health and Nutrition Consultant, thereby having made a big leap forwards to their self-employment, we want to tell you about the various possibilities to attain this goal. Today’s topic: The Nutritionist – Self Employed and Successful
What inspired her to become a self-employed nutritionist and natural health practitioner (in Germany known as Heilpraktiker). The answer comes as quick as a shot: “I simply made the decision to do what I love, in order to support and help other people to become – and stay – healthy!”
Supporting and helping other people – that’s Julia Vaimann’s mission. When talking about her work as a nutritionist, the integrative health consultant from Stuttgart, Germany exudes a very special enthusiasm that is so rare these days.
“That’s the beauty of my job. The human diet, the way we eat and live, is related to so many other important areas of our life, such as the sensible approach to using resources, environmentalism, ethical animal husbandry, and fair trade. Simply, it never gets old!” Aren’t these the words of someone who understands her profession not as a mere occupation but rather as a mission, a calling?
She had been engaged in naturopathy and healthy nutrition for many years before she finally decided to become a dietary consultant, says Julia. But prior to her career as a self-employed health practitioner she studied International Economy and worked for a big company in human resources management. In hindsight, this job hasn’t been a satisfying experience, she explains. There were the many work-hours that led to frustration and disillusionment. And there was both physical and psychological stress that, in turn, led to a deterioration of her health, thereby promoting several afflictions.
“My health problems extremely worsened due to my occupational situation. I began to search for holistic, natural methods to restore my health.” In this way, she came across the Institute where she immediately enrolled in the training program to become an integrative nutritionist – completing it successfully a couple of months later.
In the course of this training it finally became clear to her that she “had been working in the wrong profession for so many years and that nothing would change in my life if I wouldn’t quit.” Thus, she made the decision for a career-change – and became her own boss. To do what you love for a living while at the same time being helpful to other individuals – what more could you ask for, honestly?
It has to be said that this path has been anything but a long-cherished dream of Julia. Not before she became aware that the “typical nine-to-five job in a large company” wouldn’t be the right thing for her, and that working in HR wouldn’t eventually give her the opportunity to help and support others, she worked toward her new goal. In the meantime, she owns and leads – quite successfully – a practice, called “VitalWert”, in the southern German city of Stuttgart.
“It goes without saying that it took some time before my services were appreciated and accepted,” she smilingly says. “But now I can say that the marketing operations – and especially the word-of-mouth advertising – have finally come to fruition. The positive feedback of my clients who were satisfied with my work are both the best argument for making use of my services and my own, individual reassurance that I took the right decision a couple of years ago.”
Her master in International Economics and her work-experience in HR were certainly helpful when she started her self-employment, especially with regard to issues like setting up the business, marketing, accounting, counseling techniques, presentational skills, and motivating others.
Nevertheless, the decisive factor for her successful activities was the nutritionists training at the Institute. After she completed the distance learning course to become an Integrative Health and Nutrition Consultant, she decided to additionally take a training in naturopathy which allowed her to practice as a natural health therapist. Is that a combination of qualifications which is second to none? “Well, I found my absolute dream job that fulfills me and that makes me happy. What more could I ask for?”
But enthusiasm and excitement, as well as constant professional interest can only occur if you comprehensively and intensely deal with those aspects that are an integral part of your profession while “having fun to do so, as joy and fun are – at least in my book – the most important driving forces to success.”
An eye for the detail, enthusiasm but also critical distance to new trends and fads in the realm of nutrition and new therapies: Julia Vaimann lives up to her own advices and follows the latest developments in the field with due attention.
The use of medicinal fungi, Ayurveda, applied kinesiology, phytotherapy etc. – all of these approaches (and a couple more) are being utilized in Julia’s practice. For good reasons. “It is of utmost importance to convey to the patients that, in the long run, it is only the holistic approach that will eventually lead the way to health and well-being. Both of these terms are constantly being re-defined these days. Today, living healthy is a particular, even fashionable lifestyle that requires permanent enduring changes in all areas of life.”
This is not to say that it would be enough to silence one’s conscience by implementing a one-time “detox week” or by visiting the “spa for a couple of times”. Rather, it is critical to take the responsibility for one’s health by adhering to a health-promoting lifestyle with regards to all areas in life. According to Vaimann, there is no doubt that a lot has to change concerning this matter; still, a positive development is clearly recognizable.
In her Stuttgart-based practice, Julia does everything she can to equip her clients with the knowledge needed, the most recent developments, and the indispensably important motivation to adapt dietary changes.
“This includes, for instance, information on various ‘superfoods’ that are increasingly available in your local stores, such as chia seeds, but also on seasonal products or those products that are only locally available, e.g. sea buckthorn, aronia, diverse wild-growing herbs, or even hemp. It’s just an exciting topic.”
For Julia there is no question that holistic nutrition and individualism can build on each other. According to her motto “You are what you are able to digest”, she is certain that there are numerous factors which play an important role in dietary changes, besides slavishly adhering to a particular diet only because the media tout it as the non plus ultra.
Fancy an example? “Veganism came to stay. It is a mega-trend in nutrition and health; however, this particular trend can indeed become quite dangerous for those people who do not take care for the optimal supply with nutrients by following a balanced nutrition, but rather careless- and thoughtlessly adapt to the newest fad diet.”
Those people would completely lose sight of the most important rule of holistic nutrition: Every person is different. What may be good for one individual may not be the most ideal solution for others.
In today’s media-controlled world it is more important than ever before to be and act clearheaded, and to keep track of the life that surrounds you. Recommendations like those that are being given during the training at the Institute may be powerful tools for orientation in this regard.
“Yes, the recommendations by the Institute are very well implementable – provided you are disciplined, don’t get lost in details, and find the perspective for the big picture.” According to Julia, these aspects are also major ingredients for a successful career as a self employed nutritionist. “Success is based on discipline, perseverance, and confidence.” Julia Vaimann led the way. Now it’s your turn.
If you liked this article and if you are now interested in starting your own, self-determined, and independent career as a nutritionist, why don’t you just order our free information brochure?