Paying Your Dues
When you first come out of school, you start out at the bottom. In order to get to the top, you must pay your dues by gaining the experience necessary to land your dream job. The following tips come from those estheticians that have experience working their way up in the field of skin care.
Say Hello to Our Panelists
Rebecca Williams is a licensed esthetician in California. She received her education in Oregon at Phagan’s Beauty College. Luckily, Oregon requires more hours than California to be an esthetician. When she moved to California she didn’t need to get extra schooling. Be sure to check requirements for the state in which you wish to practice. Williams is currently working on her doctorate in organizational leadership at Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA).
Linda Oksman is the director of the Amethyst Spa and Boutique at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Casino in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds certificates in skin esthetics, cosmetology, and massage therapy. And she has her doctorate in naturopathic medicine. She has been in the industry for over 20 years.
Margina Dennis holds an advanced skin care certificate in esthetics from the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics (Woburn, MA). She also freelances as a licensed makeup artist and is a beauty editor for LA’G Magazine.
Here are their suggestions for success in the skin care field:
Network and Advertise
“Go to annual conferences held by the industry. Networking is the biggest thing,” says Williams. “Post fliers, offer specials, and leave your business cards wherever you can. I used to leave them at friends’ businesses and coffee places. Create mailing lists and send them out monthly to your clients.” Once you start meeting people and becoming a known presence in the industry, more people will recognize you and call on you for your services. You can find conferences by becoming a member of associations, such as the National Cosmetology Association or The National Coalition of Estheticians.
Practice Your Skills
“Prior to getting your license, consider working for a department store cosmetic counter to enhance your product selling skills,” says Oksman. “This will make you much more marketable once you begin to apply for your actual esthetician position at a spa or salon – especially if you end up becoming a top salesperson.”
“I contacted spas [when I started out] and asked if they were looking for an esthetician,” says Dennis. “I found that a lot of places don’t necessarily advertise that they have an opening.”
Offer Your Services
“I went to different salons, spas, and massage places that didn’t offer skin care. I would create specials like ‘Get 10 facials, receive the 11th for free.’ It took me about nine months to a year to establish myself,” says Williams.
Dennis did something similar. “I also talked to hair salons to see if they were interested in adding esthetics services and actually set up shop in one for a while.”
“You may also want to volunteer your skills at a local battered women’s shelter or nurses’ hospitality fair,” says Oksman. “These charitable endeavors really look good on your resume to a future employer.”
Specialize and Enhance Experience
“People sometimes specialize in a line after school, such as Dermalogica,” says Williams. “My school required that we learn five different lines but every school is different. In these week- to month-long programs, you can become an expert in the product. This will make you more marketable.”
“In addition, taking post-graduate classes will help you jump to a more secure level of comfort. And just remember that if your focus is on 100 percent guest satisfaction, you’re already ahead of the game!” says Oksman.
“Visit as many places as possible to get an idea of where you want to work and the services you want to offer,” says Williams. “If this is something you’re very committed to, be persistent. Don’t give up. It’s a worthwhile field to be in.”