Good Morning all! I did do a live on facebook the other day regarding this subject but forgot to share it! So I thought I would follow the live up with the notes we had gone through in the live.
- There are three main types of qualifications you can gain when you go into the industry which all have there pros and cons.
1. Going to college and working up in the levels for your qualifications. Going to college is great for people who are academic and enjoy being in education, this is very theory based with a great mix between theory and practical. When your in the industry, learning how to do most treatments is fairly easy (depending on treatments you are doing) but the hardest part is understanding the theory and gaining the knowledge, we are dealing with peoples bodies, confidence, looks, internal and external health which makes it vital on understanding treatments and how the body works. Going to college is also a great social aspect and enables you to gain your UCAS points which means if you decided that you would like to go to university and do a degree (most people go onto nursing or dentistry), these UCAS points will help you to get a position at university. The bad thing about going to college is there could be distractions within class which could pull you away from learning, people may not be as academic and find it hard to learn in a classroom environment and you are not gaining the invaluable knowledge of the hands on experience in a salon work place. How you get taught in college can be different to how you do things in a salon, clinic or spa.
2. Apprenticeship, the great thing about apprenticeships is that you are gaining the hands on experience in the work place which is so important when you are working in the industry. Your knowledge and experience will only truly grow when you put it into practice and meet new people, perform different treatments, be in different situations with different personalities and bodies. Another great thing about doing an apprenticeship is you gain a little bit of pocked money while you are learning and is great for people who do not want to be in a classroom/academic environment. The cons to apprenticeships is that you could be put on the back burner and not be pushed to your full potential. Due to many different salon environments, this could also give you a bad experience and then can be put off working within the industry. There are many amazing salons, clinics and spas in the industry and you can take your knowledge to any level you would like, do not let a bad experience put you off. If you are going into doing apprenticeships for the money, dont. Unless you are lucky enough to be with an employer who pays you a similar wage to everyone else, you will be working nearly full time for little money. The pocket money is an added bonus but you are there to learn.
3. Private courses, many private courses such as eyelash extensions, tanning, level 4 and 5 qualifications are not taught at colleges. Private courses are a great way to gain more knowledge and add to your treatments/skills. Private courses are also a way of going into the industry if you did not want to go down the route of a college qualification or apprenticeship which may take a while where as private courses can be slightly quicker along side home study and going into a training center for theory, practical and any exams. This is also good for people who are not eligible for free training but would like to pursue a career in the industry. Private courses can up your game and learn from some amazing people, you also get to meet like minded people who are all on there own career paths. Due to people having to pay to go on private courses, you are normally with people who genuinely would like to be there and learn which means the group is more focused. Private courses enables you to find the exact subjects you would like to learn about rather than a whole beauty qualification learning things that may not interest you. The cons of private courses, there are sooo many training centers out there, you may pay a lot of money to go on courses which are not great. I have heard many stories of people going on training where it was just getting the students in and out without the correct knowledge to feel comfortable to further there careers. Always do your research on training, the course, the trainers and why you would like to do this course before you do it.
When looking for a qualification through private courses, look what governing bodies accredits there courses, look at the trainers experience, does the training offer support networks and what the training entails.
If you do not know exactly what you would like to do then find a course which you enjoy, this industry can be very intense offering long days of treatments and providing customer satisfaction, it is important to enjoy what you do to perform to your highest standard and give the best to your clients.
If you do not know exactly what qualification or treatments to offer then find a course that may cover a wide area of knowledge to broaden different avenues. For example, instead of going on a skin care course or a facial course with a specific brand. Do a whole skin qualification in level 2,3 & 4. This will cover A&P, facials, skin care, consulting, sales, health and safety, customer care, facial electrics, skin peels, different brands, microneedling, laser, LED and much more, all in one.
This industry is very much self taught, it is important to continue to learn. Go on as many training courses as you can, see how other therapists and practitioners do things in there place of work, gain work experience, practice from home, watch youtube, read books... People deal with many different things in different ways. This can be right or wrong but it gives you the knowledge and experience to take from it what you do and do not want to do in your work to make you the best therapist/ practitioner you can be.
If you do not know where to start in the industry, maybe try a bit of everything. Use what you have learnt to practice on friends and family, work in a spa, salon or clinic, gain work experience, do agency work. Do you want to try traveling? Do you want to work on cruise ships? There is so much out there you can do with qualifications you can gain in this industry and experience is key.
When going into the industry, from my own experience. I would recommend start small and build on this. I have understood running before I can walk and I have gained the experience of starting small and building. This industry is forever growing, you can always learn something new and many people come into this wanting to know everything and then end up spreading to thin. Find a skin care range and become an expert at what they do and the ingredients, this will help you treat your clients to the best standard, gain great results and you can then put that knowledge into other skin ranges. Learn how the skin works right from the basics of the 3 layers and then build the knowledge up to doing 1 hour consultations on clients talking about cells and how it all works, diets, lifestyle. Learn how to cleanse the skin properly with your movements and then build to provide a full facial with the perfect pressure and hand movements. By starting small and building on this, people will understand what you are and what you offer, you will become great at this and build on this knowledge.
Just to finish off, being realistic, many people go into this industry because they think it looks all 'glamorous'. This industry is very demanding, you are dealing with peoples bodies, personalities and expectations. You are forever learning and on your feet. It is so important to enjoy what you do to enable you to give the best to your clients. This industry is rewarding, the results and experiences that we can give to people are amazing but what brings good to clients are as good as the therapist behind it.
Do not let a bad experience put you off, i remember when I first left college and I worked in a spa with power trip managers, a clicky team and no push for further education, this made me contemplate whether the industry was right for me. After coming out of that, moving to London and working in skin clinics, it made me realise that this was where i was meant to be. You are dealing with expectations, different walks of life, you are working within teams of people, you are working with peoples bodies. Whether it be an adverse reaction, a hard client, working within a hard team of people you do not get on with, doing treatments you do not enjoy. See this all as a learning curve, every working environment is different and there are many different avenues of the industry to go down, its important to find what is right for you.
Most importantly, just be the best you can be doing the best of what you do.
Here is a small list of different avenues you can go down with you qualifications.
Make up artists, Nail technicians, Micro blading, Semi permanent make up, Laser technicians, working along side dermatologists, gain a nursing degree, dentist degree, dental nurse, massage therapist, colonic hydrotherapy, sports massage, physiotherapy, cruise ships, working abroad, aesthetic therapists offering skin peels, micro-needling, mesotherapy, radio frequency, teacher, nutrition, skin care advisor, skin specialist, beauty therapist, spa therapist, aromatherapist, retreat therapist, mind and body coaches.