We are an industry that attracts many young and mature people alike, however we struggle to retain them says Kristy Hines.
Our industry has a very high burn-out rate, sad but true. It is not uncommon to hear this outlook: ‘I’m over doing treatments’. But how can we avoid the burn-out? How can we keep skilled and experienced therapists providing treatments?
We are a business plagued by injury, job fatigue, discontent with working conditions and pay, boredom with performing treatments and being worn out with dealing with customers. Sound familiar?
There is no doubt that beauty therapy is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Therapists generally last about two to five years before they feel the need to move into another industry. Beauty college focuses on equipping us with the basic skills and knowledge for performing our job, but unfortunately we are not taught about ensuring longevity of our career.
Clients can also zap our passion at times. They come in stressed, tired, needing time out and unburden themselves by debriefing on you. We can be so focused on meeting their needs and making them happy that we unknowingly allow them to kill our passion.
Our body is our tool! We need to honour it and keep it in perfect working order. Look after your joints and muscles. Find your exercise outlet; it can be gentle like walking or demanding like Tough Mudder style or more contemplative like yoga. Perform gentle stretches before you start your treatments for the day, even some simple joint rotations starting at your ankles and work through your body ending at your neck.
We know through our own knowledge as therapists, to have a great complexion a good, balanced diet is essential. See a nutritionist or dietician to make sure you’re getting both the balance of nutrients and the energy you need for a physically demanding day. If you keep a healthy body weight you feel better, have more energy to give and of course are able to work comfortably over and around your clients.
Make sure you have quality sleep. You cannot perform a physically demanding job if you are constantly tired.
Challenge and expand your mind! Keep abreast of our constantly evolving industry and take up any education opportunities. Be a self-motivated learner and do your own research on aspects of our craft. Embrace change. If you continue to expand your knowledge and skills, you stay fresh — there will be no room for boredom and discontent.
Dealing with draining clients may require some coaching skills or being skilled at conversation. Seeing a life coach can help with this if it is really affecting you. Also consider seeking advice from your colleagues in relation to this situation.
Live what you preach by having treatments, go and be a client at other salons. You will stay connected to what you provide and be inspired by the results!
Put together a career path for yourself so you don’t sit idle. Ensure your own fulfilment by foreseeing your future as a beauty therapist — we are lucky there are many options within the beauty industry. Reconsider your options if you are not feeling content and valued in your current position.
With retail being a big part of what we do, find the products you are passionate about and work with them. You will find that retail comes more easily if you actually use and believe in the product yourself. Australian consumers buy from people they trust.
Most of us enter the industry as beauty students. Understand your options and research the different styles of salons available to work at such as medi-spa, holistic spa, beauty salon, hair spa — find what resonates as a therapist style for you by having treatments at a selection of salons.
During your career as a therapist you may explore other areas of the industry, such as education, distribution or management. This can be a great step in your career to broaden your skills. Don’t write off returning to the treatment room; you may find you come back with a greater appreciation of your craft and a renewed passion.
If your wage is not what you want it to be, NEGOTIATE! Your salary (total including super) should be less than 30 per cent of the income you generate for the business. If your employer won’t raise your base wage and you’re successful at retail, then negotiate a commission on all your retail sales.
Kristy Hines is owner and manager, Mineral Lifestyle Hair Spa www.minerallifestyle.com.au