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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.

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Financial demands can feel enormous, and, for most of us, managing them is an ongoing struggle. I am amazed by how many people I come across in the industry who do nothing more than what is expected but who complain bitterly to their peers about how poorly compensated they are for their halfhearted efforts. Instead, they should look for ways to become more productive workers who add to the overall profitability of their enterprises. One of the biggest mistakes that spa employees make is focusing only on the job at hand. Instead, it is important to realize that many opportunities for further career growth are available.

Begin by learning

When setting out to transform yourself into an information specialist, begin by tracking the latest industry trends. Learn all you can about any new esthetic procedures, and research technological advances and new formulations on the market—including medical-grade products. Collect information from trade journals, take notes at industry conferences, study reference books and perform in-depth searches on the Internet. You will be inspired by the insights you gain. Write a short, concise summary about what you discover, and present it to your spa’s owner and the rest of the team. Whenever possible, include background materials with your reports. Make it a point to submit these well-structured updates on a regular basis, and watch how much your efforts will be valued.

Aside from providing research reports, take a close look at your personal interests for areas of expertise that can expand your role. Devoting some time to self-instruction in order to gain additional knowledge will, over time, yield a high return when you implement your new skills in the workplace. Reliable and functional knowledge that is relevant to profitability is immensely rewarding, especially if you track the number of sales and services that are impacted by your input.

Remain constant and visible

Take a moment to consider the multiple demands placed on those in charge of running a spa. It is easy to see that there is never enough time for the owner or manager to finish everything that must be accomplished in the course of a week, let alone within the span of a day. There is always some task left undone that frustrates those burdened with the major responsibilities. Pay attention to these frustrations, and ask yourself what additional know-how you need that would enable you to assist in the completion of these unfinished tasks. Given the importance of what it could mean in terms of your professional advancement, take a calculated risk to obtain this information. Any effort you make to alleviate the burden of those who support your livelihood is sure to be noticed and appreciated.

Once you have a clear idea of what you can contribute, propose a plan to lend your support. When you have developed yourself into someone who possesses significant specialized knowledge, your job will be infinitely more secure. Although service providers continue to provide little more than service, knowledge workers communicate a clear message that they are valuable assets to any employer.

Become an information specialist