41-year- old Nic Dawkins, who lives in Aylesbury with her fiancé and two young sons, swapped a hectic and technical 17-year long career as an electrician to live out her lifelong dream of teaching little ones how to swim – why?
Because, like so many other working parents, Nic began to resent the long commutes, relentless routine and the time spent away from her children.
Having achieved slightly disappointing grades as a teenager, the dream Nic initially had of training as a PE teacher soon faded. Nic openly admits that she fell into the life of an electrician, after following in her Father’s footsteps.
“I didn’t do well enough in school to qualify for a teaching degree. My Dad, who had worked as an electrician for his entire career, came home from work one day and told me about an apprenticeship that had come up. At the time, my options felt limited, so I just took the job - I knew a little bit about it, from my Dad, and I also knew a desk job wouldn’t suit me.
“I spent nearly two decades in the same trade.
"There was a lot of positives about the job – I enjoyed the training involved and being part of a minority. People never expect a female electrician! I even secured a job working as an Electrical Maintenance Engineer for a company called Metainy Maintenance.
"I loved the work I did but it included a long commute, and even longer days. When I started a family, it just didn’t suit my lifestyle anymore. I was an hour away from my boys and I felt like I was missing out on so much.”
As someone who has always been active – Nic is a keen runner, cyclist and even takes part in a local self-defence class - she had been enjoying attending swimming classes with both her sons since they were only a few months old. It was during one of her weekly classes that Nic experienced the lightbulb moment that would go on to completely change her career!
"I made a call to the Water Babies team and asked about teaching opportunities. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of training as a swimming teacher before! To my delight, I passed the interview and was offered the job. After a few months of intensive training, I was told I’d passed, with flying colours, and I was ready to teach. I instantly quit my job as an electrician and haven’t looked backsince – I can hardly believe that was six years ago!”
Fast forward to 2018 and Nic now teaches 20 Water Babies classes a week, at Booker Park School, in Aylesbury. Nic’s little swimmers range in age, from 3-month- old new-borns, to active (and outspoken) five-year olds! And the best part about leaving electricity behind for a life in the water?"
“Being a swimming teacher is so much fun – it hardly feels like work! Some days are more hectic than others but, for the most part, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I even find the time to do the school run!
Changing lanes from electrician to swimming teacher was quite a career swap but it was well worth it. It was the best thing I ever did for me and my family!”
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