Holly changed careers and retrained for a better work/life balance

Holly, 36, is a recently qualified swimming teacher. She retrained in 2020 after working for the NHS for ten years.

Holly says:

“After university, I started working for the NHS both in clinical and non-clinical settings, and although I enjoyed aspects of the work, I started to realise that I had never intended to work for the NHS and that the long hours and stress were starting to get me down.  As a child and a young woman I was a club swimmer and was really passionate about exercise and sport. Many years ago I even did my work experience at a gym.  I started to feel that I should follow my original dreams and rethink my career and my motivations for work.


“A friend of mine, who worked as a swimming teacher, recommended it as a career and suggested I should shadow her to get a feel of the work and training involved.  I could see straightaway that teaching would be something I would enjoy and would offer me a better work/life balance.”


In 2020, Holly started to retrain, gaining her Level 1 Swimming Assistant and Level 2 Swimming Teacher Qualifications, as well as fitness and aqua instructor qualifications.


Holly explains:Swimming teacher Holly

“I really enjoyed retraining, the Institute of Swimming’s courses were very thorough and gave me the confidence and skills to teach.”

Shortly after retraining Holly relocated to Greater Manchester with her family.

Holly says:

“I had a baby, Elliott, who is now 18 months old, and although he is my main priority at the moment, having my swimming teacher qualifications allows me to teach a few hours of School Swim during the day and on Saturday mornings.  What I love about teaching is the fact that I’m not stressed, I don’t bring any work home with me, and teaching swimming is fun and keeps me fit and active.  As Elliot gets older, and when he starts pre-school, I’ll be able to up my swimming teaching hours and mix and match aquafit and group exercise classes too. I’m looking forward to the flexibility and the variability in my work. I also feel much more in control of the hours and work that I’ll be taking on.”