Having a positive attitude and always being willing to learn go a long way in the beauty industry.
That was the key message from a panel of Palmerston North beauty therapists when they spoke to UCOL Beauty students.
Beauty Therapists Liz McLean, Claire Barry, Neunglatai Morrison, and Naketa Olliver shared their work experiences, and provided advice around finding employment, upskilling, and owning a business.
Claire Barry, Founding Owner of Let's Face It Hair & Beauty, said she looks for hard work and passion when hiring new staff.
"I definitely look for someone with a passion for the industry, and they're willing to grow. I like helping a therapist find their niche and grow that."
Caci Clinic Palmerston North Co-Owner Liz McLean said having the right attitude is not only important for breaking into the industry, but also dealing with clients who put their trust in their beauty therapist.
"I can teach anyone to do a great leg wax or a great facial, but attitude is crucial. Clients pick up on attitude."
Claire and Liz regularly arrange for their employees to do further training so they can stay on top of industry trends.
UCOL graduate Neunglatai Morrison, who owns Empire Lashes & Beauty, encouraged students interested in starting their own businesses to maintain a good work-life balance.
"Don't spread yourself too thinly. You need to work hard, but you have to have a sustainable life."
Naketa Olliver, a fellow UCOL graduate, encouraged the students to keep on pushing when on the job hunt. Naketa is now working at Laser Clinics after four years at Caci Clinic in Lower Hutt
"It took me about six months to get my first job. I dropped my CV and emailed everywhere. It can be deflating at the time, but don't give up. Take any opportunity you can and upskill. I did a Business Administration course which has been a big help."
Liz, who is also a former UCOL Lecturer, advises new beauty graduates to highlight the work they did with clients while studying at UCOL.
"When you start in the beauty industry, job ads say you need experience, but don't let that put you off. In your job applications, include the work you have done with clients in the salon at UCOL. That is still experience."
UCOL Beauty Lecturer Kylie Love organised and moderated the session to give students the opportunity to interact with experienced beauty therapists before they enter the workforce.
"The feedback from students was it that was highly motivating and they enjoyed being able to engage directly with salon owners. I asked questions that were specific to each guest which lead to an open and honest conversation about personal journeys and experiences. This session gave the students more confidence to prepare for and apply for upcoming jobs."
"We on the Beauty team believe we have a responsibility to our stakeholders and our industry to deliver graduates that are suited to their business needs and expectations."