Shifting gears: From media sales to yoga mats

Shifting gears: From media sales to yoga mats

As part of a new ongoing series, SB Recruitment is shining a light on a range of talented individuals who after many years traded in their longstanding careers to chase their dream jobs. It’s our hope in these uncertain times, that you can find solace and inspiration in the idea that it’s never too late to start again.

After 12 years selling media ad space and working in the fast-paced world of television, out of home and digital – Elsa Geelan, 38, knew it was time for a change. “I’d just had my second child and it wasn’t really feasible anymore to do a job like the one I was doing,” she explains. “There was lots of entertaining and late nights, and that doesn’t really work when you have a young family.”

Elsa first made the decision to practice yoga while searching for a new way to relax. She quickly realised the instant benefits could also be useful for her son, who was suffering from anxiety at the time. “I tried meditating with him for a few nights, which had such a positive impact, and then a few months later I started training to become a kid’s yoga teacher.”

Since then, Elsa has become a fully qualified yoga instructor (with a focus on pre-natal, vinyasa, yin and parents and bubs) and has made teaching her full-time profession. “It’s completely the opposite to what I was doing before,” she says. “Financially it’s not even a comparison, going from six figures to much less than that, but the satisfaction it’s given me is indescribable – I fell into media, whereas I made this business successful for myself.”

Elsa makes a point to say she’s lucky that she also has a supportive partner who is able to help with the family income. “He could see how much yoga was benefitting me and the kids,” she says. “He has been amazingly supportive.”

Elsa’s decision to specialise in children and pre and post-natal yoga specifically, has also helped her stand out from the crowd. “Not many teachers work in those fields, so it’s given me a lot of opportunity to get into the big studios and make my mark.” This has been particularly encouraging for Elsa, who at one point, wasn’t sure teaching yoga was going to be a feasible option. “I’m 34, I have two kids, so I always thought I was never going to be as good as the other teachers, but it makes you proud when you conquer your fears.”

While enabling a more cohesive career in line with her new life as a mum, Elsa’s decision to leave the media industry wasn’t without its doubts. “Part of my identity was that job, so it was quite hard to leave, and I was pretty lost about what I was going to do” she explains. “But I realised there’s no point in doing something if it’s not going to make you happy.”

Teaching yoga has also provided Elsa with plenty of practical benefits, including more flexibility and control of her day-to-day. “I can make it work around my family life, and I teach at my son’s school,” she adds. “It’s allowed me to help women feel more empowered and in control of their lives – it’s much more fulfilling than my old job.” When asked if she has any regrets about leaving her previous career, it’s clear Elsa’s decision was the right one. “It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made”.

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