Despite what many may think, there is much more to the beauty industry than just working in a salon day in, day out...
I started as a therapist/esthetician; then I opened my own salon and now I have a company that manufactures and exports wax, ingrown hair treatments, massage oils, lotions and much more all over the world. I would never have pictured myself having all these opportunities when I was just starting out! My career in beauty has even helped me develop my skills in other areas such as working in sales, conducting training, public speaking and product manufacturing. Perfecting your technique and becoming a trainer can even land you gigs all around the world, meaning you get to see the world as an added perk! While the beauty industry demands a lot from its graduates, it is full of so many possibilities, with the ability to specialise in multiple treatments. For anyone that is seriously considering a career in beauty, or is part way through a course, I am going to share with you some advice for making sure you are successful in whichever path you choose to follow.
The Head Honcho
If you are interested in a career where you can be your own boss, then look no further. As a therapist/esthetician, you have the option of owning your own salon, working from home, or providing mobile services. The great thing about being a stylist/therapist/esthetician is that if you have quality products, a good technique and knowledge of the theory from your qualification, you can do it anywhere! If you are looking at opening your own business the key is not to over complicate things. You need to keep it simple and specific to what you know best. This applies for business in general not just with beauty therapy. Being a small business owner can be challenging. You will need some basic business skills, be able to problem solve and constantly look for opportunities to increase your sales. It’s a big responsibility but the rewards can be big too. It relies on good client relationships and great results - word of mouth is your most effective promotional tool. This is why it is important to make sure you are 100% confident in your technique and results. If you are not confident in getting great results each time, it may be beneficial to gain some extra experience first before taking the risk of opening your own business.
Being your own boss with your own business also means you can choose what services you offer. Different treatments require different energy levels, ambience and setup- i.e. think about massages and facials, compared to waxing or nails. You always need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Your job is to make the treatment an experience the client wants to repeat. Regardless of what treatment you’re performing, the client should always leave feeling great. If waxing is your speciality, you may choose to open a wax bar, if makeup is your calling then you could become a makeup artist! This can be a great option for people who want to specialise in one area of beauty and really make it the backbone of their career.
The Salon Superstar
Working in a salon or spa is great for graduates because it doesn’t come with the additional stress and responsibilities of running your own business. It is also a great way to get some extra hands on experience, especially early in your career. I always recommend getting a casual or part time job or work experience in a salon while you are studying. Cleaning, answering phones, working in reception are all part of running any salon business, and any good therapist/esthetician should have a good grasp of these. Practice makes perfect and while it may not all be hands on it is valuable experience that you will learn from.
A good work ethic, dedication and customer service skills can get you a long way in this industry. Graduates need to understand that there is more than just your technique involved when it comes to being a good stylist/therapist/esthetician. You can be great at waxing and amazing at facials, but if you have terrible customer service skills you won’t be hanging on to your job for very long! Make sure you work at building relationships with clients, after all this is a sure way to secure returning clients. Working in a salon, you will also learn how to deal with difficult clients, which is a very important skill to have.
Being able to cross-sell other services and retail products is essential as there is an opportunity to do this with just about every client. Get to know your clients so they feel comfortable asking you questions and taking your advice – this will go a long way in helping your retail sales increase and is sure to impress your manager!
The Jet Setter
Being a trainer or a representative for a large company or brand can be extremely exciting and can open doors to a lot of opportunities worldwide. Obviously training involves traveling so it is perfect for people who are confident and have a lot of get up and go. There are different levels of training and different types of travel involved depending on where you work. For example, at Waxxxpress we have trainers who train local, interstate and international. The role obviously requires someone who is an excellent therapist/esthetician with communication skills second to none. To secure yourself a role in this area of the industry you’ll need to be self-motivated, prepared to travel, open to learning new techniques and believe in the products of the company you represent. Generally you’ll need to have some spa or salon-based experience behind you so you have a good understanding of the challenges and issues that your students may be facing.
Another opportunity for a therapist/esthetician with the travel bug is getting work on cruise ships. These roles are predominantly geared more towards relaxing treatments such as massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, and waxing is very popular too.
No matter what road you choose within the beauty industry one thing remains the same, hard work and commitment is vital for success. To be successful you need to think it, visualise it, practice it and believe it. Just like with any job you need to start at the bottom and work your way up! Continuously challenge yourself and be open to using new products and trying new techniques. The worst thing you can do for any career is to stop learning and getting stuck in your ways. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, that’s what makes it exciting! The great thing about being a stylist/therapist/esthetician is that it is a skill set you will have for life; there is opportunity to leave and come back with the ease of just doing a small refresher course to relaunch your skills. As the world evolves so are our people in general we are now living much longer and have a much larger population. People are taking more interest and pride in their wellbeing and appearance. Because of this, the beauty industry will only get bigger and offer more career opportunities! With endless pathways and opportunities for the latest beauty graduates, it’s a great time to join the beauty industry.
Lilliane Caron is the Owner & Director of Waxxxpress.
If you’d like to ask Lilliane for some advice on your own salon, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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