You will read in the 2nd edition of my book, The Heart of Esthetics: Creating Loyal Clients & Achieving Financial Success (2022), that my reason for going to Esthetician school was not actually to have a career as an Esthetician. My actual goal was to open a Women's Wellness Center and I thought getting my Esthetician license was the best way to begin that journey.
My original plan was to open a day spa and work in the treatment room full-time until I could afford to hire another Esthetician to replace me. For that reason, as soon as I got my Esthetician license, I opened my day spa. And then what happened -- much to my surprise -- is that I fell in love with esthetics and with my clients, and I ended up working in the treatment room full-time for 15 years!
Below is an excerpt on this topic from my book which can be found in Chapter 8, "Your Space" under "Ownership & Management."
BEHIND THE SCENES: A Note to New Estheticians
My advice. Probably the most important piece of advice I would give to new Estheticians is this:
When you are in school and are planning your future esthetics career, you may think that you should get a job that looks a certain way and pays a certain amount. My suggestion is that you do not get too caught up in that stuff.
If you get a job where you are paid a lot but don’t learn anything or the spa owner doesn’t really know what he or she is doing, your career path will be delayed. Precious time will be lost between starting out and reaching your ultimate goals. Looking back over the last 20 years of my esthetics career, which includes being a Spa Owner and a Solo Esthetician, I would have done things differently. I wish someone would have given to me back then the advice that I am giving to you right now.
Although many of today’s esthetics licensing programs are fabulous (certainly compared to the training I got in 1999), your esthetics school really has only one requirement which is to prepare you to pass your licensing exam. It is impossible for the school to prepare you for every conceivable job or task you may encounter, due to the fact that esthetics changes all the time.
Secondly, employers may not (in fact, usually don’t) have a training program in place to prepare you for the real world of esthetics. For this reason, it is essential that new Estheticians take as many classes outside of their esthetics program as possible.
Thirdly, do not expect your first job to be your dream job. In fact, don’t even look for a “dream job.” Instead, seek out a first job which offers you the opportunity to learn the most.
When you begin your esthetics career working for someone else, you will be exposed to many things that will help you when the time comes that you are ready to go out on your own. For example, you will learn how Estheticians are paid, how schedules are set, what perks might be available for employees. You learn a lot about the management side of the esthetics business as you watch how your employer does it, which will likely also expose you to management styles that you do not like. Keep in mind, sometimes the best lessons are about what not to do.
Best of all, if you work for somebody else, you can make your newbie mistakes on somebody else’s clients which is a heck of a lot better than making them on your own clients. Your first few facials in the treatment room might not be your best, so think like an athlete and practice, practice, practice. Practice your moves on your friends, your family, and even your pets! For obvious reasons, this is so much better than making those first newbie mistakes on your own clients.
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