The Three Mainstays of a Sustainable Career
By ASCP Staff
Who wants a career that could be described as unendurable, tiring, fleeting, or wasteful? Nobody. These are the antitheses to sustainability. We are estheticians because we are passionate about the skin, we love skin care, and we love what we do. We all want to create a sustainable career for ourselves to stay in this business, but how do we go about it?
There are three mainstays that will help you design and build a long-lasting career as a skin care professional: people (social), planet (environmental), and profit (economic).
One of the most fulfilling aspects of being an esthetician is the people we deal with every day and the intimate ways we serve our clients. At times, though, it can also be physically and emotionally draining. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, but that’s a huge factor in career longevity. Do you remember how excited you were the day you passed your practical and written exams? Then you entered the real world where certain clients started to dim your passion for this industry. The client who complains about the price of her facial when you spent extra time doing extractions at her request; the client who tells you every detail of her entire life history and never stops talking throughout the entire service; the client who is always running late, then complains when you have to cut the service short to stay on schedule . . . these types of clients can be draining.
The passion for skin care is still in you, but you must feed the flames for a sustainable career. An effective way to refuel your passion is to get social with other estheticians. Attend classes, go to trade shows, make time for industry events. Sharing your experiences with other like-minded professionals and hearing their perspectives can energize your passion and your commitment to make skin care your lifelong career. Instead of focusing on the clients who suck the life out of you, trade stories about favorite clients and how much you enjoy your time with them.
As an esthetician, you work all day with different products, strenuous body positions, and on those really busy days, grabbing unhealthy snacks between clients. It’s time to become aware of these environmental factors. If you work for yourself, you chose your product line(s) carefully and be fully aware of the ingredients in each product. However, if you work for a spa that has chosen the products you must use, read the ingredients to make certain you can stand behind and believe in what you are putting on your client’s face. If that’s not the case, have a talk with your manager and point out the reasons you would prefer they consider a different or second product line.
Body mechanics are so important to longevity in skin care. Be mindful of how you are holding yourself. If you find yourself slumping or hunching your shoulders, make a conscious effort to straighten out. There are tons of resources available that can educate you on correct body stance. To combat body aches and fatigue, stretch between clients, or take a short walk and get some fresh air.
And, not to sound like your mother, but you are what you eat. Take the time to have a nutritious breakfast before your workday begins. Keep healthy snacks on hand, such as a meal-in-a-bar, a protein shake, or a piece of fresh fruit. It’s a much better choice than reaching for a bag of chips or a candy bar. Making better diet choices will provide nutrition to help you stay energized throughout the day. It all comes down to simply making sustainable choices.
No matter how wonderful the skin care industry is and how much you love your job as an esthetician, if you can’t pay your bills and stay financially afloat, your career won’t either. How is a skin care professional worth the price tag on their services? It’s all about education. We know that being successful in skin care means lifelong learning. There are always new things being introduced—new ingredients, new products, new techniques, new equipment. Our clients today are very savvy about anything to do with beauty. They are bombarded with information from the internet, infomercials, beauty magazines, the Kardashians, etc. If you don’t stay up to date on the latest and greatest, you could very well begin losing clients to another esthetician who has taken time to stay relevant through constant education. Estheticians who have sustainable careers are constantly learning and growing so they can bring in more clients, raise their prices, and make a lot more money.
Maintaining a sustainable career as an esthetician isn’t easy. Industry stats reveal that there is a lot of attrition in the skin care profession. Why? The most common reason is estheticians are not making enough money to stay in business, so they leave their dream job behind and move on. Don’t give up on your dreams and leave this incredible industry! When you’re feeling burned out, overwhelmed, or just not quite as passionate as you used to feel, take a look at which mainstay in your career might need some TLC and fill ’er up.
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