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Dealing with preconceived notions being a nail tech

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Lks

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Something has been bothering me for a while and I wanted to hear your ideas/advice on it. I am very seriously considering becoming a nail tech but I've had a hard time telling people because they try to tell me ever so nicely that it's a job for the not-so-bright, that it's an easy, dull job, that I could do better bc I have a bachelor's and am getting a master's...the list goes on. But I know that many of you are brilliant and are running your own business...and it takes brains to run your own business! I know that it's a mentally stimulating job because you are always learning more about the profession, how to better yourself, and how to bring in more clientele. Yet, I still feel myself shying away for fear of what they might think.

How do you fight that? I feel like I'm going against the tide as it seems like many people have these misconceptions/preconceived notions. Were any of you in the same position? How do you feel about those notions? How did you rise above?

Thanks x
 

Beautyandme

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There are people in the beauty/hair/nails industry that make more money than doctors/barristers.

I think if its something you really want to do, you should go for it.

Being happy in your work and looking forward to a working day - is a wonderful thing :)
 

geeg

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Frankly they just don't realise and don't give us the credit we deserve. That is not my problem but theirs ... I could care less what they think when I know the success I have had in my life in business. Started at 30 and retired at 50 ... Thank you, that'll do for me :D

My dad thought I was nuts at first and wrung his hands at the money he had paid out on my university education thinking it was just wasted!! Later on down the line he applauded me and couldn't believe how well I had done and was very proud.

I guess how you feel depends on whether or not you give a damn what other folks think or if your heart is in what you do and making a success of it and being happy.
 

gems-gem's

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Well you can argue with that! Maybe you need to show these people Gigi's post 😉😉 that will shut them up! X
 

Littleboosmum

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I know what you mean. I have recently been made redundant from my legal secretary job whilst on maternity leave. I've always loved nails and beauty and find this forum inspiring. Thought long and hard about what I want to do with myself (aside from being mummy of course!). I qualified and did some beauty work and nails several years ago and hAve decided to pick this up again, part-time to begin with alongside a part-time job so i can perfect my skill and when little ones bit older work on building a business. Bought my shellac kit, training day booked for next week. Some of the responses I've had have been 'well that will be nice as a hobby or for extra pin money'. Err hello, it's not going to be a hobby it's a career, a profession but sadly I think people fail to realise the knowledge and skill actually required to produce a fabulous set of natural looking nails, much of which I have yet to master! It's not just a case of slapping the polish on or sticking some tips on is it now! Good luck x
 

lelu

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Is it what you want to do? Does it make you happy?
 

Solsken

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Why do you need others validation for your choices? who cares if that's what they think.

I have quite a lot of education. I am a board certified clinical pharamacist (not just licensed, i went and took a very long exam to be board certified - which is internationally recognized)

And what am I choosing now?

Nails.

Am I suddenly "dim"? If they really think that people that have chosen this job are missing a few brain cells, just smile and nod and say "I'm glad I've done things right and made things look so simple and easy that you feel it doesn't take my mind and body to do my job. I appreciate the compliment".

Its like years ago when i worked community pharmacy and someone told me the hardest thing I do is put tablets in a bottle. I smiled and said, "how wonderful you are so healthy that you don't require my knowledge and only needed one script for these antibiotics. It's refreshing to meet someone who takes little of my time to get them on their way"
he didn't know if he was being told he was right or insulted.

Those that know the job knows what it takes, and you know what it takes. What else matters?
 

Victoriabar

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I would love to see some of these folk who think we only paint nails for a living learn some of the things we did on level 2 and level 3.
I was in hospital with my granddaughter one day reading through my level 2 study book as she slept, learning muscle placement along with veins and arteries and a doctor came in and looked at my book then asked me if I was studying a medical profession, he was gobsmacked at what we needed to learn, inc a nice long chat about the onys, contraindications and contraactions.
I think the chemical knowledge would frazzle their brains lol.

When folk ask me if I enjoy painting nails I simply reply 'thank goodness I love it or else I'd be in a boring job'
I can't be bothered sometimes to explain just what I do.

The funniest thing is going out with fab nails and someone who thinks you only paint nails notices your fab set and asks who done them... The look on their face is a picture when they realise its not only painting nails and I can actually do nails/art haha

Sent from my Nexus 7 using SalonGeek
 

ShannonU

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Totally agree with Geeg. I have a university degree with a double major (and am a fully trained technician) and believe that my education has given me the foundation to succeed in life and business. This job is challenging and we're constantly learning and expanding our skills. I don't care what people think about me. I know that I am a well-rounded, educated, hardworking person and I plan to take this career as far as I can.

I made the leap to self employment and in my third month I've already almost tripled per month what I was making at my old bank job.

There is nothing easy about this job but that's what makes it all the more rewarding. Geeg posted the other day about how beauty pro's change lives and I agree 100%. I love how people squeal with excitement when they see their finished nails and I love the companionship that has come from having loyal clients.

Do what you know will make you happy. You'll be working for the majority of your life, you need to enjoy what you do.
 
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Rachasorousrex

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I double majored in criminology and sociology. Also have cents in criminal profiling and victim advocacy. I worked in that field for 4 years, but eventually had to admit how unhappy I was and make a change. Even back in college, I remember feeling like I wanted to quit and follow my dream of being a nail tech. But I'd already worked so hard (paying my way through school with no parental help and no loans) that I couldn't let go. So I finished my degree as went into field that everyone in my life was proud of. It took its toll, though and I eventually quit to do what I wanted. I still struggle with feeling like I'm not realizing my full potential, but I'm so much happier now. I love working for myself and doing what makes me happy. You can't go through life worrying about what people think. Make yourself happy.
 

geeg

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Due to the fact that the entry level for doing nails is so low, there are hundreds and hundreds of people DOing nails, in a low end hap hazard, shoddy way .. As a 'little earner' on the side for people who aren't bothered about quality or service but only CHEAP .... Plenty of them! which is why many perceive that it takes very little in the way of anything to DO nails. They have No idea. Anyone can just DO something ... The ones with the brains can always do the same job a whole lot better!

Real professionals don't just DO nails ... The ones who are really successful Nail Technicians are the ones with the brains to learn and keep on learning the intricacies of the skill, the enormous amount of anatomy, physiology and chemistry one needs to know to be the experts we are; a sharp head for business, organisation; they are the ones who have dedication, an empathetic nature a vocational attitude, excellent communication skills, enthusiasm and love ... Yes love and passion for what they actually do and for what they can do for others self esteem and happiness too. It's a giving thing not really a taking thing ...

Those who haven't got all those attributes, then be prepared to go out and get them or there is no point in even getting started. Take that business course if you need it ... Take that retail course, learn how to keep your books and order your stock ....keep on taking those Master Classes and keep current untill the day you give up the job ... And really be a successful entrepreneur and then if you are still worried about what other people think of you ? Let me tell you, some will be very envious of you but the ones who count will be very proud of you.
 
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Jazzy101

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I have a dual degree in Nursing and Midwifery, with Dean commendations for high acheivement. I am currently in the middle of my cert 2 in a nail tech course and its the happiest I've been for a long time. My friends think I'm nuts. I don't underdstand that at all, and I've learned just to follow my heart so I'm happy. Its my life and I'll show them anyway. Its not about being smart or bright, its about having that passion for what you do and following your own heart rather than what other people expect you should do.
 

Claire C

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I along with loads of others who've posted also have a degree, mines in chemistry and I also work as a research scientist in industrial catalysis. A lot of my clients are fascinated by my dual roles in life, I love both my jobs and find them very complimentary, my science knowledge just makes it easier to understand the science involved in nails (which I also find really interesting). My clients love how I can explain to them what's going on on their nails, quite a lot comment on how it is more involved than they had imagined. I would say sod what anyone else thinks and prove them wrong and be as successful as you can be, just smile sweetly when they say they hate their job or how stressful it is and think about how you love yours! One day I would love to combine both my passions and become a scientist in the nail/beauty industry!!
 

NailsXpress

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Well I had the most cheeky comment I've ever received last Tuesday. I was asked "why are you a nail technician/beautician? You don't come across as the usual dim girls I normally see?"

I told her I'm certainly not dim and the majority of us aren't! Those of us who are passionate have very good brains. We need to know about the science behind everything we do, have a good business head, good customer service, artistic etc. then I went on to tell that I've been a Legal Secretary for many years, then I was an IT Manager before starting my own businesses and training in nails and beauty, which I've. Even doing for a number of years now. I don't ink I would ever like to be stuck behind an office desk again being told what to do. I'm my own boss, running my own business and I love it.

She said she is glad I do love it and she wouldn't want to lose me.

Thank goodness for that.
 

geeg

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I don't think that 99% of classes even teach the 'science' bit, in fact, I know they do not. People are working with no sientific knowledge behind the chemicals they are using, nor how to handle them safely, nor how they interact.

Most companies themselves don't know because they do not innovate nor do they manufacture their own products. So they do not teach it. Crazy really.

Right now there is allot of talk on one site about nail adhesive burning technicians right through their skin because the technicians know nothing about exothermic reactions if they use too much or activate too quickly!! Basic stuff. Vital knowledge for safe working with these things ... They never heard of it. I could not believe what I was reading, and FROM LICENSED TECHNICIANS!!! The most uninformed discussion I have ever read. No idea that using too much L&P can have a similar result not how to avoid it happening!! :eek:

We are very lucky to have the resorces and the knowledgeable educators that we have here on salon geel.com.
 

Nailz73

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I love this post...

When I qualified as a beautician, I was actually called a "bimbo" by someone lol...I said ...ok...can you tell me how the endocrine system works, all the muscles and bones of the body by name, how faradic current affects the skin and body...needless to say they shut up quickly.,

Now I am qualified in nail enhancements, I have the argument of ...do you know the chemical composition of monomers, what are polymer, what happens when you mix blah blah...

I love my job, it's not all about creating a wow set of nails, it's also about care and enhancing, it's about educating its about science, it's about giving someone confidence...

Do what makes you happy..xxx

Sarah
 

geeg

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I have a dual degree in Nursing and Midwifery, with Dean commendations for high acheivement. I am currently in the middle of my cert 2 in a nail tech course and its the happiest I've been for a long time. My friends think I'm nuts. I don't underdstand that at all, and I've learned just to follow my heart so I'm happy. Its my life and I'll show them anyway. Its not about being smart or bright, its about having that passion for what you do and following your own heart rather than what other people expect you should do.
And then when friends (who are often jealous because they are not doing what they really love) see how well you are doing, they want a slice of the action and start asking all the questions about where you trained and how much it cost etc; they think it will take them five minutes and enrol on a cheap nasty course with a meaningless certificate, set up a FB page and think they are nail technicians. The motive behind wanting to do it has nothing to do with a love for the job or passion for it or about making people feel good about themselves ... the motive is often purely money in most cases and they think it's takes nothing ... they come .. they go .. they are never heard of again ... friendships are lost .. respect is lost ... and you are still here years later retired and living in the beautiful countryside of Spain in a glorious spot !!! Always makes me grin. x
 

squidgernetball

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My daughter has just finished her level 3 in beauty. Sadly, a lot of her class were not the brightest of bunnies. One did it while she pursued her dream of becoming a topless model, and a lot of them were there because they hadn't done well at school and were encouraged to do hairdressing or beauty, with financial incentives - help with childcare costs, course and all extras paid for etc. My daughter did well at school, so we had to pay for everything. A lot of the girls appeared disinterested, but needless to say, they all passed. Until we have an industry that isn't financially rewarded for how many students complete the course, and pass, we will always have those who make up numbers, and who will have their hand held to make sure they qualify and the colleges can pat themselves on the back. I remind myself that a lot of these girls and boys are my competition in this industry, so I don't worry overly. To make a success of being a nail/beauty therapist is bloody hard work, and anyone who thinks different is a fool - but what a great industry to be in!!!
 

mum

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In every career/job there will always be the good ones, the very good ones and the just plain bad ones who just scrape through.

Unfortunately, in nails and beauty (and hairdressing) the 'education' that's widely on offer allows the lowest intelligence and skill levels to 'just scrape through'. So many are happy that they are 'professionals' after 5 minutes of 'education'. There has also been a bit of an attitude in secondary schools (supported by TV) that if you're not academic then why not go into beauty as it's seen as such an easy option. Plus, girls that are far more concerned about their own looks than education and career gravitate towards it so they can do all the treatments on themselves! Then the education system allows them to get qualified with next to no knowledge. All of this doesn't give a good perception of the profile of the job.

Fortunately, there are plenty more who have gone far beyond the trivia and made a concerted effort to make this job a real professional career.

This forum has a very wide range of abilities as can be seen by the threads and posts. It has been commented before about the number who only gravitate towards the trivia and those who are genuinely interested and involved in the 'meatier' subjects. Still, variety is the spice and all that :twisted:
 

mum

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My daughter has just finished her level 3 in beauty. Sadly, a lot of her class were not the brightest of bunnies. One did it while she pursued her dream of becoming a topless model, and a lot of them were there because they hadn't done well at school and were encouraged to do hairdressing or beauty, with financial incentives - help with childcare costs, course and all extras paid for etc. My daughter did well at school, so we had to pay for everything. A lot of the girls appeared disinterested, but needless to say, they all passed. Until we have an industry that isn't financially rewarded for how many students complete the course, and pass, we will always have those who make up numbers, and who will have their hand held to make sure they qualify and the colleges can pat themselves on the back. I remind myself that a lot of these girls and boys are my competition in this industry, so I don't worry overly. To make a success of being a nail/beauty therapist is bloody hard work, and anyone who thinks different is a fool - but what a great industry to be in!!!
Posted at the same time! A great example of what I was talking about in my post (her dream of a topless model!!!! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::eek:)
 

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