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Moving Beyond the Role of Service Provider

By: Victoria L. Rayner
Posted: June 16, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

“I am still an esthetic professional, but I am better respected now,” says Lori Tanner, an information specialist from Chicago. Tanner started out as many skin care specialists do: as strictly a service provider. But because she wanted to make a significant difference in the spa where she worked, Tanner went on to become a self-educated, business-minded esthetic knowledge worker.

Information specialists are professionals on whom others gradually come to rely as experts. Most are self-educated and fully capable of introducing multiple high profit-producing concepts to win the favor of spa managers and owners.

Lay the groundwork

Today, many skin care service workers are considering this diverse career approach. “The job is the same, but my approach to it is not,” Tanner explains. “The possibilities for professional development and for increasing my earning potential are greater for me now. Best of all, I am in control of my career, and I am running it like a business. For me, becoming an information specialist brought about a whole new feeling of professionalism and has elevated my self-esteem.”

Because esthetic knowledge workers often are paid 20–40% more than conventional service providers who perform only standard esthetic procedures, Tanner decided to reconstruct her professional image. “I came to the realization that most employers place a higher premium on educated workers and will pay higher salaries to those who have the extra know-how to increase the profitability of their facilities. It just seemed logical to me to find out what I needed to know in order to enhance my value in the eyes of my employer.”

If you ever have wondered how top wage earners got where they are, you owe it to yourself to take this opportunity to learn how you can distinguish yourself from all the others on your spa’s payroll. When you have finished reading this article, you will understand what you can contribute that will set you apart from the daily task worker. It will reveal critical steps you can take to transform your role and become more recognized as a knowledgeable authority to your clients, co-workers and, most importantly, to your supervisor. In doing so, you will gain greater professional visibility.

Don’t obsess about pay