Surviving and Thriving as an Esthetician Long Term

Taylor Rebagliati

When I first became an esthetician, I had stars in my eyes and big dreams of making a real difference in people’s lives through skincare treatments. However, I soon learned that many estheticians only last about three years in the career before moving on. Clients can be challenging, the workload is high, and the work itself takes a physical and emotional toll.

I saw myself in the career for the long haul, but soon began to worry if that would actually be possible. So I turned to the experts – my fellow estheticians who had managed to build a career lasting longer than three years. Their advice and tips gave me hope and a plan of action for how I could beat the odds and achieve my dream of a long, fulfilling career in esthetics.

Their answers to my questions in The Skin Games Esthetician Forum showed me that with proper self-care, work-life balance, continuing education and a passion for helping people, extending my career is completely within reach. Here are some of the top suggestions they shared…

Tiffany J. Underwood
Tiffany J. Underwood

“I love seeing other estheticians results and case studies. Always reading about new products/modalities and of course seeing the changes in my clients’ skin.”

Gigi McConnell

“Wow! Only 3 years (I started in 2014) Motivation comes from the refusal to give up. To accept every set back as a challenge and to keep pushing forward. No matter what. You and your business are worth the commitment and effort”

Stephanie Tarn

“That’s barely gives you a chance to step in the door and learn everything. I’ve been in the business for almost 10 years. You have to love it and keep learning new things. New brands, new modalities. I’ve taught, been in the spa, worked in the manufacturing part, sales, tradeshows. It keeps its exciting!”

Laney Tepes

“October will make 8 years in the industry for me! I stay motivated by surroundings myself with self motivated individuals, I never stop studying and learning, and I love to mentor others who are starting out in the industry.”

Heather Lambert

“I’ve been an Esthetician for 18 years! I stayed motivated, energized, and passionate because of my guests! I love helping and educating people! Knowing that I get to help people feel and look their best has to be the best part! I love researching products to make sure that I have the best to offer my guests!”

Ashanty Avila

“3 yrs? I’ve been solo for 8 yrs and still find so many ways to keep motivated and hungry.
I have goals and working for someone is out of the question in achieving them. I want to be able to also help other esties grow at the same time.
Education is key, passion for what you do is a must. When you are solo, building your business/brand is such a personal achievement. It’s all so worth it.”

Terry Esquer

“Such a great question! Well I think you must do the services that bring you joy. Often, estheticians try to do everything and either they are not comfortable with or dislike certain services. Also, having a great business plan and very thought out goals and objectives keep you on a motivated path. To stay energized I do believe you need to be selective with clientele- if you have “a energy vampire” on your books find a way to help them find a different service provider that might match them better. To stay passionate- you need to continue education in areas that excite you and then allow you to share that in your business. This helps your skincare business to feel fresh and also innovative. Big Rule- never compare your business to another skincare professional; do you and be unique. Going 13 years strong!”

Robin Lee

“Wow! I am shocked at that statistic. I graduated Esthetics School over 30 years ago. My esthetics teacher was the most precious soul on this earth. I still have her original esthetics chair! I just can’t part with it. She was in love with microcurrent, not popular at all at that time. She made it exciting, I completely absorbed her passion for it. She told me if I could master the art of microcurrent, and use Clayton Shagal that I would never be hungry for results, happy clients or money. And she was so right. People tend to believe in general, that esthetics is such a “surface” profession. But truly, it reaches people on the deepest level, the way you feel that you present yourself to world can change you in ways you could have never expected. Working with stroke patients, life altering scarring, and women during or post menopause find their groove again was completely fulfilling to me. As it is to this day. Changing from practicing esthetics to working with estheticians in training and sales was a big shift. But, it kept me in the industry, I find a lot of comfort in mentoring young estheticians. It’s completely rewarding and my favorite part of being a distributor for La Maison Clayton Shagal USA.”

Kristi K Weir

“I’ve been in for 15 years this year. It’s takes realigning yourself with yourself and your purspose and allowing your self fresh beginnings when needed. We grow and change; so does business and this industry. Keep your self surrounded by the right people and don’t be afraid of boundaries and objective open minded thinking. Remember each person you meet you leave an impact. We make a difference in this world.”

Angel Flener

“I think the “failure” lies in what schools encourage and teach ( or don’t teach)
My school actually interviewed us to see if you were a fit for the school but in the end the interview was to see how serious we were about the industry, They gave us a “here’s your job’ as you get through school dossier, and there was structure from the way we dressed to the way we dressed a treatment table. I felt like they gave us the private school education even though it was very much a school anyone could attend. So in essence, we all came out wanting to be successful and in demand as an aesthetician, because employers knew we were taught a certain etiquette and performed with a certain stick-to-it-tive-ness. Our school also helped with employment referrals by having “career days” and teaching us how to write a resume.
We also were blessed with instructors who actually were aestheticians in the field and virtual “celebrities” of the industry themselves including people like Pamela Springer! ❤ The schools aren’t like that anymore, Schools push students through for their own benefit!! It breaks my heart when I hear a new aesthy is throwing in the towel.
What keeps me going, is that I have a deep LOVE for this industry and there is always a Junior Aesthy out there for me to find with a spark in their eye. Knowing they are my future is important to me. As a licensed educator now, if I can affect even ONE person who wants to throw in the towel that becomes enough fuel for my fire!”

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