Editor's Note: Check out Skin Inc. magazine's blog "The Making of an Esthetician" to learn more about two women who have recently graduated from esthetic school and are currently launching their careers.
Each year, thousands of people receive training and earn their esthetic licenses. However, many individuals pursue employment in this field only briefly or not at all. Some go back to their previous field because they were disappointed with some or several aspects of the job they took within the esthetic industry. Often, they just look for any job in the industry without considering the importance of the environment, products, scheduling, services, and the management or support staff of that business.
If you know you have a commitment at your church on a certain night or need to regularly pick up your children from an activity, you might consider a spa that has several estheticians on the team. This allows for more flexibility among employees because others can cover work hours if necessary. If it is important to you to have a regular work schedule or to not come in during weekends, you might think about working at a dermatology office because staff members rarely work on weekends or evenings. It may be worth pursuing more advanced education in order to work in this setting. An additional option is to open your own business where you can adjust your schedule as you see fit.
Are you a bubbly person who loves to laugh and talk during treatments? Perhaps a salon environment with music, hair and makeup is best for you instead of a destination spa where everyone whispers the minute you walk through the door. Dermatology and plastic surgery practices are often more subdued, as well. Something else to be aware of is a facility’s sanitary conditions. If you see dust, used disposable items out in the open or implements exposed that you know should be in a sanitizer or sharps box, get out of there as fast as you can.
If you don’t approve of cosmetic medical services such as injectable fillers and ablative laser treatments, or can’t stand the site of bruised or sutured skin, then you will probably not be happy in a medical spa or plastic surgery practice. You might want to consider a spa that does not offer those procedures. Likewise, if you love the art and transformation of plastic surgery and aren’t squeamish about the look of healing skin after surgery, then that could be a great match for you. Review a potential employer’s service menu. If you aren’t comfortable doing Brazilian waxing or anything else listed, then you will not be fulfilled in that business.
Seek a location that uses and retails the line you love and believe in. Many places offer commission on retail sales. It is only natural for you to recommend products to your clients that you sincerely respect.
Management and staff
Have you ever gone on an interview to find that the interviewer is a person you would not hire if the roles were reversed? If the management and other team members do not uphold the professional standards you strive for, then this is not a good fit for you. If you hear profanity or slang terminology that you or you feel your clients would find offensive, look elsewhere.
Did the receptionist greet you quickly and in a friendly manner? Observe that individual on the phone—sound friendly and knowledgeable? If not, that person can chase away clients you never even get the chance to impress.
Don’t forget to diversify
Remember that even if you only get part-time work at a physician’s office, you can always work a couple of days at a salon or spa providing waxing services. Don’t be afraid to diversify and maintain multiple streams of revenue for yourself. Perhaps you are great at makeup and can supplement your income doing makeup services at a spa. If all of these items are in place, you are much more likely to enjoy your career.