Working in the beauty industry can reap exciting rewards – and some of them you may not have even thought about. We ask Lilliane Caron, owner and director of Caronlab Australia, about the exciting – and sometimes surprising – things a career in beauty can give you.
#1. An exciting business
“I started as a beauty therapist,” says Lilliane Caron, owner and director of Caronlab Australia. “I went on to open my own salon and now I have a company that manufactures and exports wax, ingrown hair treatments, massage oils, lotions and much more all over the world. I would never have pictured myself having all these opportunities when I was just starting out!”
#2. Business skills
A beauty business is fundamentally a business so you will inevitably pick up important business skills along the way. “My career in beauty has helped me develop my skills in other areas such as working in sales, conducting training, public speaking and product manufacturing,” says Caron.
“But don’t jump into salon ownership too soon,”adds Caron. “If you’re new to the industry, build your basic business skills first. “If you are not confident in getting great results each time, it may be beneficial to gain some extra experience first before taking the risk of opening your own salon or spa.”
#3. Communication skills
Being in beauty and having constant contact with clients will help you pick up important communication skills. But if you’re already blessed with the gift of the gab, becoming a trainer could be a great way to use your skills – just make sure you have some in-salon experience first.
“[A role in training] requires someone who is an excellent therapist with communication skills second to none,” says Caron. “To secure yourself a role in this area of the industry you’ll need to be self-motivated, prepared to travel, open to learning new techniques and believe in the products of the company you represent. Generally you’ll also need to have some salon-based experience behind you so you have a good understanding of the challenges and issues that your students may be facing.”
If you get really good at what you do, you could decide to work for a national or international brand, where some exciting opportunities can be offered to you.
“Being a trainer or a representative for a large company or brand can be extremely exciting and can open doors to a lot of opportunities worldwide,” says Caron. “It’s perfect for people who are confident and have a lot of get up and go. There are different levels of training and different types of travel involved depending on where you work. For example at Caronlab we have trainers who train local, interstate and international.”
#5. A specialised field
After learning the ropes at college, a graduate can then pick and choose the path they want their career to go down. “While the beauty industry demands a lot from its graduates, it is full of so many possibilities with the ability to specialise in multiple treatments,” says Caron.
“Different treatments require different energy levels, ambiance and setup,” continues Caron. “Think about massages and facials, compared to waxing or nails. You always need to be passionate about what you’re doing. If waxing is your specialty, you may choose to open a wax bar; if makeup is your calling then you could become a makeup artist!”
The beauty biz allows you to be your own boss. That means, you can dictate the type of work you do, your hours, where you work, and who you work with.
“If you are interested in a career where you can be your own boss, then look no further,” says Caron. “As a beauty therapist, you have the option of owning your own salon, working from home, or providing mobile services. The great thing about being a beauty therapist is that if you have quality products, a good technique and knowledge of the theory from your qualification, you can do it anywhere!”
Sure, there will be days when you feel like sitting on the couch after work with a block of chocolate. But most of the time, working in beauty is challenging, rewarding and fun.
“Being a small business owner can be challenging,” says Caron. “You will need some basic business skills, be able to problem solve and constantly look for opportunities to increase your sales. It’s a big responsibility but the rewards can be big too.”
Not only can you surround yourself with good staff, you can make great relationships with your clients working in beauty. In fact it’s good for business to have strong ties.
“Running a beauty salon relies on good client relationships and great results,” says Caron. “Word of mouth is your most effective promotional tool.”
If you’ve just finished your education, the best place for you could be in a thriving salon. “Working in a salon or day spa is great for graduates because it doesn’t come with the additional stress and responsibilities of running your own business,” says Caron. “It is also a great way to get some extra hands-on experience, especially early in your career.”
Better yet, why not work while you’re studying. “I always recommend getting a casual or part time job or work experience in a salon while you are studying,” says Caron. “Cleaning, answering phones, working in reception are all part of running any salon business, and any good therapist should have a good grasp of these.”
#10. Customer service
Beauty is a client based profession so offering good customer service is a skill you need to hone. “A good work ethic, dedication and customer service skills can get you a long way in this industry,” says Caron. “Graduates need to understand that there is more than just your technique involved when it comes to being a good beauty therapist. Working in a salon [will teach you] how to deal with difficult clients, which is a very important skill to have.”
#11. The art of selling
It might feel against your caring nature, but a career in beauty is a great way to hone your selling skills. ”Being able to cross-sell other services and retail products is essential,” says Caron. “Get to know your clients so they feel comfortable asking you questions and taking your advice – this will go a long way in helping your retail sales increase and is sure to impress your manager!
The great thing about being a beauty therapist is that it is a skill set you will have for life – and it’s a growing industry.
“There is opportunity to leave and come back with the ease of just doing a small refresher course to relaunch your skills,” says Caron. “We are now living much longer and have a much larger population. People are taking more interest and pride in their well-being and appearance. Because of this, the beauty industry will only get bigger and offer more career opportunities!”