Newly qualified beauty therapist needs advice!

Weelynn

New Member
#1
I’m looking for some much needed advice on the best way forward with my qualification. I studied beauty therapy for 3 years and have just recently completed my course finishing with a HND in beauty therapy. I worked in a completely different career before and during my period of study, therefore the only experience I have is during my assessments within the class setting, along with a couple of weeks work experience in a spa and some treatments at home to family/friends, which were very limited due juggling studying along with work and childcare. Now that I’m qualified I was hoping to become self employed and rent a room somewhere, however I seem to have lost confidence in myself now that I’ve looked further into the prospect of this venture and my own inner critic seems to be taking over! Due to this I’m thinking the best way forward would be to start off working in either a salon or spa to build up my confidence and experience, although the pay is much lower than what I had worked for in my previous career (I do find this part really disheartening after all the work I’ve put in, hence why I wanted to work for myself). Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

Ruby S

Active Member
#2
Weldone on getting your qualifications! Personally I would recommend everyone straight out of training to gain some salon experience before trying to make it out there on your own. It may be a drop in salary to start with but at least it’s something every month compared to paying out for rent and stock, insurance, advertising etc etc without a client base... you could end up feel disheartened and that’s not what you need after all of your hard work. Also, in a salon or spa you will have more experienced therapists to continue learning from. I remember getting amazing tips from the girls in my first job, tips and ideas that I still use now, 19 years later!! Good luck x
 

Weelynn

New Member
#3
Weldone on getting your qualifications! Personally I would recommend everyone straight out of training to gain some salon experience before trying to make it out there on your own. It may be a drop in salary to start with but at least it’s something every month compared to paying out for rent and stock, insurance, advertising etc etc without a client base... you could end up feel disheartened and that’s not what you need after all of your hard work. Also, in a salon or spa you will have more experienced therapists to continue learning from. I remember getting amazing tips from the girls in my first job, tips and ideas that I still use now, 19 years later!! Good luck x
That’s exactly what my fear was and how I ended up not pursing an opportunity I could have taken, the fear of starting out and giving up to soon with no backup plan . However, since that my friends and family have said I’m being stupid not going for it, but I know in my heart I’m not 100% ready yet. I returned to college as a “mature student” so I did take a gamble with things, with the intention I would work for myself and sorta feel time is against me lol, but agree some experience helps and goes a long way. Many thanks for your advice ☺️
 

Beautiful-you

Well-Known Member
#4
Congratulations on completing your HND!

I understand exactly how you feel too. I came back into the industry and re-trained a few years back but also didn't feel at all confident about performing all the treatments straight from college. We were all encouraged to try and get work in a salon or spa to build our experience and confidence up, but in honesty I felt more nervous about that than actually setting up on my own! I was in my late 40's then and really didn't want the pressure of immediately working to strict salon timings and risking not doing a good quality treatment because I was rushing. if I had been younger I think I would have gone down that route though because you will definitely get experience quicker that way.

Instead, I kept my part time admin job and set up in a spare room at home mainly doing friends, family and colleagues at a reduced price to build my confidence and experience. Although I am a Beauty Therapist I also trained to be a Nail Tech and this has always been my most popular treatment. I now find that the majority of my clients have come through word of mouth and that keeps on increasing the more clients you get! I took voluntary redundancy 2 years ago, and we converted our double garage and workshop into a full salon for my daughter and I, so now this is my only income. The only advertising I do is posting photos of my work on my Facebook page and Instagram, but that's because I'm happy working fairly part time hours. My daughter (also a Beauty Therapist) on the other hand set up full time self employed in March this year and she posted pics of her eyelash extensions everywhere and did competitors etc and she has been working at it full time ever since! She has never worked in a salon either, but she did do additional 1-2-1 training to build her confidence in eyelash extensions and that's what made all the difference. (She'd been trained 2 years already, but only offered them alongside her day job). So, it is possible to do it either way if you are determined!
Good luck in whatever route you choose to take, but don't let too much time elapse from leaving college to get started x
 

Weelynn

New Member
#5
Congratulations on completing your HND!

I understand exactly how you feel too. I came back into the industry and re-trained a few years back but also didn't feel at all confident about performing all the treatments straight from college. We were all encouraged to try and get work in a salon or spa to build our experience and confidence up, but in honesty I felt more nervous about that than actually setting up on my own! I was in my late 40's then and really didn't want the pressure of immediately working to strict salon timings and risking not doing a good quality treatment because I was rushing. if I had been younger I think I would have gone down that route though because you will definitely get experience quicker that way.

Instead, I kept my part time admin job and set up in a spare room at home mainly doing friends, family and colleagues at a reduced price to build my confidence and experience. Although I am a Beauty Therapist I also trained to be a Nail Tech and this has always been my most popular treatment. I now find that the majority of my clients have come through word of mouth and that keeps on increasing the more clients you get! I took voluntary redundancy 2 years ago, and we converted our double garage and workshop into a full salon for my daughter and I, so now this is my only income. The only advertising I do is posting photos of my work on my Facebook page and Instagram, but that's because I'm happy working fairly part time hours. My daughter (also a Beauty Therapist) on the other hand set up full time self employed in March this year and she posted pics of her eyelash extensions everywhere and did competitors etc and she has been working at it full time ever since! She has never worked in a salon either, but she did do additional 1-2-1 training to build her confidence in eyelash extensions and that's what made all the difference. (She'd been trained 2 years already, but only offered them alongside her day job). So, it is possible to do it either way if you are determined!
Good luck in whatever route you choose to take, but don't let too much time elapse from leaving college to get started x
Thanks for replying. I’d love to be able to do that, unfortunately though I don’t have a spare room or garage. Nor do I drive to even consider mobile....so much to sort out! We covered everything over the three years of the course, however nails and lashes just aren’t my forte, my hands are so unsteady. I dreaded doing random clients for assessments as they assumed I was very nervous, that then made me panic! I tried the pinky balance thing and I still shake! I also put myself through a 9 week acrylic evening course at night that my lecturer was running as an additional add on and it was a struggle to perfect like everyone else, another one of my problems “perfectionist” I have spent so much money on stuff that hasn’t been used down to my confidence and lack of space to offer from home. I just didn’t want to waste more time working for an employer at such a low rate of pay, under pressure like you said which to be honest gives me the fear. I sacrificed so much financially to do this.
 

Beautiful-you

Well-Known Member
#6
Thanks for replying. I’d love to be able to do that, unfortunately though I don’t have a spare room or garage. Nor do I drive to even consider mobile....so much to sort out! We covered everything over the three years of the course, however nails and lashes just aren’t my forte, my hands are so unsteady. I dreaded doing random clients for assessments as they assumed I was very nervous, that then made me panic! I tried the pinky balance thing and I still shake! I also put myself through a 9 week acrylic evening course at night that my lecturer was running as an additional add on and it was a struggle to perfect like everyone else, another one of my problems “perfectionist” I have spent so much money on stuff that hasn’t been used down to my confidence and lack of space to offer from home. I just didn’t want to waste more time working for an employer at such a low rate of pay, under pressure like you said which to be honest gives me the fear. I sacrificed so much financially to do this.

What treatments do you prefer doing? Is massage more your thing? Or facials or maybe waxing? You could certainly consider specialising in a specific area which would mean you'd soon feel more confident if you're mainly doing one type of treatment. I hate waxing, but I know it's in great demand. There's a young girl near me who is a skin specialist. Nothing else. She has done training in all the popular treatments and she's doing really well.

I think maybe working in a salon first might be tricky if you aren't keen to do all treatments. Some of the girls on my course didn't share my love of nails and they really struggled in their first jobs as they were expected to be able to at least perform a good manicure and gel polish service. If massage and facials are more your thing, a job in a spa might help boost your confidence and experience though before you commit to renting a space on your own.
 
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