Mt Bachelor Vacation #MtBachelorStoked

The view from our balcony at hotel #3, Mount Bachelor Village Resort

Because life just cannot be all work and no play! I managed to stack up quite a few vacation hours in 2014. I finally decided to use some of those hours and went on a road trip last week with my husband and some of our friends to Mt Bachelor. We ended up staying in four hotel rooms in one week. Here’s the proof of how much fun we had. I wish I could go on vacation for a living!

 

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My Life as an Esthetician Got a Makeover!!

Me at Mt BakerHi Blog Readers! If you’ve visited my blog previously, you might have noticed that things look a little bit different here these days. I recently switched my blog over from Blogger.com to WordPress. Here’s what my old blog looked like, remember? I’ve been meaning to make this switch for the last two years, but haven’t had the time. I blame it on my day job, my move to Seattle last year and my recent engagement/marriage. All good things of course!

Now, my blog is WAY more user-friendly than ever before. In addition to making the entire blog much more esthetically pleasing, you can now easily search for any topics I’ve covered in in the Search box to the right or by clicking on any of the Categories below the Search box. I’ve also created a FAQs page that contains some of the most common questions readers ask me about. For those of you who are curious to see where I’ve written online other than my blog, I’ve created a Writing Portfolio page, which has a link to all of my work outside of my blog.

Getting ahold of me is now super easy. I’ve included links to all of my social media platforms in the top-right corner of my blog. I also have my contact information on the Contact Me page, just in case you wanted to send me an email.

I’m super excited about all of the new changes on my blog. I hope you are too. If there’s anything you’d like me to cover on my blog going forward, I’d love to know. Either leave a comment below or send me an email. I will be putting together e-mail newsletters from time-to-time pretty soon. If you’d like to sign up for my free e-mail newsletter list, be sure to look for the sign up box on the right-hand column.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. I’m really excited to get back into the swing of things!

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Chemical Peel: Day Three and Day Four

Peel Day 04-01When I woke up on the morning of Day Three after having the chemical peel, I looked in the mirror and saw that the peeling had moved to my entire face and neck area. I was excited because I could see the skin literally hanging off of my face. At least I knew the peel was working! The only downfall was that my husband and I had a trade show we’d be attending all day long. We were scheduled to meet with people one-on-one, a lot of these people I’d be meeting for the first time. This was going to be the first time during my peeling process that I wasn’t going to be able to hide at home or in my office, in front of my computer.

As I got ready for the day, I swear I could feel the skin literally peeling off of my face. It was the weirdest, yet most satisfying feeling. It was hard not to scratch or peel the old skin off of my face. I made sure to follow Kavina’s specific instructions of just letting the skin peel off on it’s own.

At the tradeshow, I could see the people we were meeting with give my face double-takes. My husband picked up on the looks too and started explaining to everyone that I just had a chemical peel. Most people sighed in relief and said they thought I had just come back from some sort of vacation or had too much sun. When I pointed out that I didn’t have a suntan or sunburn, they looked at me confused and wanted to know more.

I explained to the people who asked that I was covering chemical peels on the SkinSpirit blog. I told them that in order to write an effective blog post about chemical peels, I was having the service done on myself. Almost immediately, people started asking me questions about chemical peels. They wanted to know what exactly a chemical peel was, how they work, what they do for the skin and how did it feel having the skin peeling off of my face. Some of the guys we talked to said that their wives have had chemical peels before, but they didn’t know exactly what a chemical peel was. With my recent experience of having a peel and researching peels, I was able to give them educated answers to all of their questions.

My skin was peeling quite a bit on Day Three. As soon as my skin started to feel itchy and irritating, I applied moisturizer all over my face and neck. My skin felt super warm to the touch – very similar to what a sunburn feels like. The moisturizer not only helped hydrate my peeling skin, but it felt like it cooled it off a bit, making the peeling process in public a little bit more tolerable.

On Day Four, the peeling was out of control. I felt like I had to reapply moisturizer to my face every ten minutes. Not only was the skin literally hanging off of my chin and neck, I could see it peeling off of my nose. I had to spend most of Day Four in public again at the tradeshow. I swear I could still feel the skin peeling off of my face. I tried my hardest not to scratch my face throughout the day. I couldn’t help rubbing off the excessive skin along my hairline though, which caused the dead skin to get stuck in my hair. It also didn’t help that I was wearing a black sweater. Mental Note To Self: When you wear black clothing during the peeling process, count on seeing a bunch of dead skin all over your clothing.

 

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Chemical Peel: Day Two

Peel Day 02I woke up this morning and my skin felt itchy all over. I couldn’t wait to get into the shower so I could wash my face. Before I got into the shower, I looked in the mirror and noticed that the peeling had spread from both sides of my mouth area, on up to my cheek and nose area. As I washed my face gently with my hands, I could feel the dead skin roll off in chunks. It was so weird and kind of satisfying.

After I got out of the shower and dried my face, I applied facial moisturizer and SPF. There was no way I was going to put on a liquid moisturizer on top of my shedding skin. It would be way too messy and would probably interfere with the peeling process. The SPF stung my skin a bit. Mental Note To Self: New skin coming through is going to be a bit sensitive to the touch for the first couple of days of it being exposed.

By the time I got to the office, I swear I could feel the dead skin peeling off of my face, spreading across both of my cheeks and to my temple area on both sides of my face. It felt incredibly weird and extremely itchy. The only thing that relieved the itchy feeling was applying a generous layer of moisturizer all over my face. The itchiness would go away for about a half hour or so and then would come right back. It was so hard not to scratch the areas of my face that was peeling.

Now that more of the surface area of my face was peeling off, I started to feel uncomfortable about going out into public. I stepped out for lunch for a quick second and got a strange look from people who walked by me. I wanted to stop and tell them that there was nothing wrong with my face and that I had just had a chemical peel. Instead, I avoid their looks and kept walking. Thank goodness my office doesn’t have any windows and that all of my co-workers are well-versed in the chemical peel process.

Right before I left my office for the day, I looked down on my shirt and saw flakes of dead skin everywhere. Gross. I wiped it off my shirt only to find that there was a whole pile of dead skin on the floor right underneath my chair in my office. Yuck!! I applied another generous layer of moisturizer for my commute home in hopes of avoiding shedding like that in my car.

My husband took one look at me when I came home from work and asked if he could peel some of the skin off of my face. I slapped his hands away and went to apply more moisturizer. How much skin is going to peel off of my face? Dang! At least I know the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel is working.

I think the one thing that bugs me the most is that my skin itches so much. No pain, no gain, right? Regardless of all the itchiness, I’m still excited to see the new skin come through once the dead skin comes off completely.

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Chemical Peel: Day One

Peel Day 01I had my first chemical peel on a Saturday morning. The next morning I woke up to find that there was already a small amount of skin peeling right underneath my mouth. I couldn’t grab a camera fast enough! In less than 24 hours, my skin was already starting to shed. How very exciting!

In the morning, only one side had a small patch peeling. I immediately applied a generous layer of facial moisturizer all over my face and started my work for the day.

By the afternoon, I noticed that there was another section on the other side of my mouth that had started to peel as well. Kavina was right. The first area on my face that started to peel was around my mouth area. Both of the peeling areas were still really small. I didn’t feel weird going out into public on my way to and from work today. It was just business as usual. I did notice that my skin felt a little itchier than usual.

I wonder what my skin will look like tomorrow?

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What is a Chemical Peel?

Peel-01Currently, in my position at SkinSpirit as the Social Media and Marketing Manager, one of the tasks on my To Do list is to blog about the treatments we offer. In fact this was the very task that attracted me to my current position with the company in the first place. Being paid to look and feel my best? How could I say no to that? 

SkinSpirit is a medical spa with six locations – three in Northern California and three in the Seattle, Washington area. Our clinics offer a array of skincare treatments including: Botox, dermal filler, laser resurfacing, a wide variety of medical-grade facials including the popular Signature Facial, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, skin tightening with Ultherapy, IPL/Photofacials, Latisse®, a medical weight loss program and our newest skincare treatment, micro-penning.

I’ve had the pleasure of receiving a number of these amazing services over the last two years including Botox, dermal filler, the dermaplaning treatment, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and countless Signature Facials. I even gave REBALANCE, the medical weight loss program a shot last year. A couple of months ago, one of our practitioners, Kavina (an amazing, smart, beautiful and charismatic aesthetician) at the SkinSpirit University Village location took one look at my skin and asked me if I had ever had a chemical peel. I had never had one before and quite frankly was a little intimidated by them, just for the sole fact that the treatment name had the word “chemical” in it. Lame I know, but it’s true. She spotted the hyperpigmentation on my forehead and on my cheek bones right away and told me if I gave her the chance and let her perform a series of three chemical peels on my face, I’d see a dramatic difference in the reduction of the hyperpigmentation all over my face. She got my attention immediately.

What is a Chemical Peel?
So what is a chemical peel? A chemical peel dissolves the glue that holds dead skin cells together on the surface of the skin. A chemical peel is a “controlled burn” of the skin and is considered a surface chemical exfoliation as opposed to a manual exfoliation like a facial scrub, Clarisonic brush, microdermabrasion or a dermaplaning treatment.

Benefits of Having a Chemical Peel
Some of the benefits of having a professional (and I stress professional) chemical peel include improving skin tone and texture, revealing brighter, smoother and a more refined complexion underneath the skin, reducing discoloration caused by sun damage, treating hyperpigmentation, helping to clear up breakouts, smoothing away the look of wrinkles, increasing hydration within the skin and allowing skincare products to be more effective.

The discoloration on my face is something I’ve always felt insecure about. I’ve always been quick to hide it with heavy liquid foundation. Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than normal surrounding skin, typically caused by sun damage or hormonal changes. The discoloration on my skin was caused largely by the numerous hours spent in the sun both during the summer months wakeboarding on the water and during the winter months snowboardng up on the mountain. Who knew that the reflection of the sun on the snow in a high elevation climate could be such a prime breeding ground for hyperpigmentation? Even though I’ve been pretty religious about wearing sunscreen whenever I spend time outdoors, sunscreen only protects skin from damaging UV rays that cause sunburns. Sunscreen, unfortunately doesn’t prevent the skin from tanning (getting pigmented) and turning brown.

The Initial Consultation
Since I refuse to live my life indoors and wanted to feel confident wearing my skin free of heavy liquid foundation makeup, I went ahead and told Kavina to sign me up for the chemical peel series. Before I could have my first chemical peel with Kavina, I had to come in for a consultation. During the consultation, Kavina explained to me my treatment plan. Since I spend a good chunk of my free time outdoors, Kavina wanted to come up with a realistic treatment plan that would work with my active, outdoor lifestyle while helping me get the results I was looking for. Kavina suggested that I have a series of three Vitalize chemical peels over the course of a month, with each treatment being within two weeks of each other. The first treatment would be a Vitalize Peel. The second treatment would be a modified Signature Facial with a Vitalize Peel. The third and final treatment would be another Vitalize Peel.

Skin Conditioning
To prepare my skin for the first chemical peel, Kavina advised that I undergo a four-week skin conditioning preparation program. Skin conditioning is designed to bring the skin into a tolerant state so that it responds better to a chemical peel and lessens the chance of triggering an undesirable response to the treatment, Without the skin conditioning program, I run the risk of not having my skin respond well to the treatment and not getting the results I’m hoping to achieve. Over the next four weeks, Kavina recommended that I apply a retinol and a skin brightening complex, once a day to my skin.

Products to Use and How to Use Them
My goal for my very first chemical peel series is to target the hyperpigmentation on my skin. With this in mind, Kavina suggested that I use SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex 0.5 and the Lytera Skin Brightening Complex once a day, together in the morning after cleansing my face. What’s nice is that I can easily use these products in conjunction with my facial cleanser, Clarisonic skincare brush, daily moisturizer and sunscreen. The daily use of these products will help suppress the pigment on my skin before having the treatment, in addition to helping build up a solid foundation and tolerance for the chemical peels.

Kavina also recommended that I use SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day – once in the morning and once at night after cleansing my face. She said that for a minimalist like me, this was the perfect product to use daily. It’s an all-in-one, rejuvenating serum that will not only help enhance my skin texture and tone, but also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving my skin looking healthier and younger. Who doesn’t love an easy-to-use product that does all of that?

With my skin conditioning program in place, my skin should be good to go for my first chemical peel in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see the results!

 

I’ll be documenting my chemical peel series experience along with my recent laser hair removal series experience on the SkinSpirit blog over the next month. Feel free to check out the SkinSpirit blog here.

 

 

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What is Medical Aesthetics?

medical aestheticsA lot of readers looking to get into the world of aesthetics send me emails or comments asking how they can get into medical aesthetics. The term medical aesthetics comes up frequently in the aesthetics world, but what exactly does it mean? Before talking about what medical aesthetics is, it’s important to understand what an esthetician is and what they do.

An esthetician is a trained professional whom is licensed to treat skin topically and cosmetically within the first five outer layers of the skin, known as the epidermis. An esthetician’s level of skin treatment stops where the blood flows – at the epidermis and right before the dermis. When it comes to the dermis layer of the skin and beyond, the skin has to be treated by a medical professional.

Estheticians – both spa estheticians and estheticians working in medical aesthetics – perform a variety of treatments within the epidermis including facials, facial massages, various hair removal techniques, body wraps and makeup applications. The differences between a spa esthetician and an esthetician working in medical aesthetics is the type of training they’ve received, the types of treatments they perform and the environment they work in. Both types of estheticians are focused primarily on improving a patient’s looks from a cosmetic point of view. A spa esthetician is focused more on pampering a client during their treatment whereas an esthetician working in medical aesthetics is more focused on helping to improve the skin’s appearance and helping people whose skin has been affected by disease, trauma or a pre op or post op medical procedure with treatments that provide noticeable results in a short amount of time.

Estheticians are not doctors, dermatologist, surgeons or physicians. They cannot legally prescribe medication, give medical advice or perform any sort of medical treatments.

What Is Medical Aesthetics?
Medical Aesthetics is considered to be a specialized form of advanced clinical skincare management that gives clients/patients the choice in how they manage their various skin conditions without the use of medications, surgery, laser treatments or injections.

Who Works in Medical Aesthetics?
Estheticians who work in medical aesthetics are skincare specialists who perform noninvastive or minimally invasive beauty/skincare treatments that don’t require surgery or lasers. These estheticians may have a healthy profession background, such as nursing. Estheticians working in medical aesthetics typically work in a medical setting such as a plastic surgeon’s office, dermatologist office, a medical spa, in a hospital, clinic or laser center assisting medically trained professionals.

Types Of Treatments
Medical aesthetic patients/clients are looking to receive treatments that provide noticeable results in a short amount of time. These types of treatments may include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, facials, body contouring and camouflage makeup application. Depending on the type of training the esthetician has and the state the esthetician performs their work in, estheticians who work in medical aesthetics might also perform radio frequency skin rejuvenation to reduce sun damage, age spots, rosacea and broken capillaries. They may also provide various cosmetic laser treatments such as laser vein removal, laser tattoo removal, laser acne scar removal and/or laser hair removal.

Medical Aesthetics Training
In many states, estheticians don’t need to have a medical background to perform medical aesthetic treatments. The required training to perform these types of treatments typically consists of a short course that includes classroom education covering safety and science along with hands-on clinical training.

Most estheticians learn how to perform these types of treatments while on the job. A couple of major benefits for an esthetician to learn on the job is that they don’t have to incur training costs or wait for a specific course to be offered in their area. They can receive training immediately. The biggest setback for on the job training is that the esthetician is limited to one type of training style (that of whomever is training them) and one specific type of equipment (which ever piece of equipment is being used at their office.)

If an esthetician is able to receive training from a comprehensive course, they’ll be able to learn from several different instructors who will provide training on multiple pieces of equipment. The esthetician receiving training through a course, as opposed to on the job training, will be exposed to a wider range of experience from their instructors, giving them the ability to help make educated decisions early on in their career.

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“I’m Looking for a Natural Sunscreen That Wont Break my Face Out. Help!”

Shopping_For_SunscreenA blog reader recently asked me a great question about sunscreen. As soon as I sent the reply, I realized that a lot of you out there might have the same question. I know I did!

Reader Question: “I’m looking for a natural sunscreen that wont break my face out. Help!”

 

Answer:
As far as finding a “natural” sunscreen, that’s going to be really hard. The term “natural” doesn’t have an industry-wide definition so every brand is going to have their own way of defining what natural means. Plus, in order for sunscreen to be effective and work, you need the vital active ingredients in the product. Chemical sunscreen need active ingredients like Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone, Oxtinoxate, Menthyl Anthranilate or Oxtocrylene and physical sunscreens need active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. You’re best off trying a few different sunscreens to see which works better for your own skin. The best way to do that is through a patch test on the back of your neck or on a lower portion of your neck.

Zinc Dioxide and Titanium Dioxide are the two active ingredients found in a physical sunscreen. A physical sunscreen works to protect your skin from harmful UV rays by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting them. This is opposed to a chemical sunscreen which allows the UV rays to be absorbed into the skin and then neutralizes them. This is why a physical sunscreen works a lot better for the sensitive skin types. If you’re acne prone, go for a physical sunscreen that’s formulated for the face and is oil-free and lightweight.

Here are a couple of my favorites that I’ve tried recently that haven’t caused me any breakouts:

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion Defense UV SPF 50
This formula has a bit of tint to it which eliminates that chalky look on the skin

SkinMedica Environmental Defense SPF 50
It’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. This stuff is great for water sports or if you’re doing something outdoors that makes you sweat.

mybody Protect and Serve, SPF 30
It’s specially formulated for aging, sensitive AND acne skin types

There’s a natural vs organic debate that’s been going on in the beauty world. I’ve covered it on my blog and have even been published on the topic. If you’re curious, check out what I’ve written:

What does “natural” mean?
What does “organic” mean?

Finding the right sunscreen for your skin can be quite a process, but it’s worth the research!!

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Resume 101 for Graduates and Newly Licensed Estheticians

IMG_2226Completed your 600 undergraduate hours? Check. Passed State Board? Check. Have a solid resume to land you the job of your dreams in a spa or salon? Err, not quite.

One question that I get asked all the time by my blog readers is: “How in the heck am I suppose to put together a resume if I’m a newly licensed esthetician without any professional, industry experience?”

This is a great question! One I even asked myself towards the end of my own Esthetics program back in 2010. I’ve always had a current, professional resume and have updated it depending on the current job I was applying for. When I left the world of bartending behind and decided to take a leap into the beauty industry, I had to give my resume as I knew it and give it a complete overhaul. I now had the challenge of taking all of my professional experience over the last eight years as a bartender and organizing it into a resume that would convince a potential employer within the beauty industry to hire a newbie like me. Where do you start when creating a resume for a job you don’t have any professional industry experience in yet?

Just go back to basics and highlight what you DO have. For this post, I pulled up all three of my resumes that I’ve had over the last three years, starting with the first resume I created when I first graduated from beauty school. This was the same resume that started it all for me and helped me land the job at Sephora as a Beauty Advisor. For what I lacked in professional industry experience, I made up for it with a clean, well-organized resume that highlighted the skills I already had along with the new skills I picked up in beauty school.

When it comes down to it, all resumes have four main sections: contact information, an objective, previous employment experience and education information. Resumes can be formatted in an infinite amount of ways. Do a Google search on “resumes” and you’ll get thousands of different resume variations. Resumes can also have additional sections for things such as skills or references. I suggest keeping it simple for your first resume. As you build up your work experience within the industry, you can go back and tailor your resume to fit all of your newfound skills and experience. For now, you just want to get your foot in the door.

Contact Information
Your contact information should always include your first and last name, your current mailing address, phone number and an email address. This information should always be at the top of your resume. Up top, front and center. It might even be a good idea to increase your first and last name slightly and make them bold. You want your name to stand out on your resume so that it’s easy for potential employers to identify who you are from all of the other information you choose to include on your resume.

Word to the wise with the email address: keep it professional! SexyBaby69@aol.com might have worked while you’re in high school, but employers wont take you seriously unless you have a professional email address. If you don’t already, now is a great time to sign up for a free email service such as yahoo, gmail or hotmail. It’s always a good idea to pick something close to your name. Try to  incorporate your first and last name into your email address. If using your first and last name isn’t an available option with that provider, try using the first letter of your first name and last name or first name, middle initial and last name. You want to make it easy for a potential employer to contact you for an interview. You also want to come across as being professional in the process.

Objective
Some people are firm believers in always having an objective on their resume. I can go either way. On my first resume, I choose to include an objective because I was making a career change from eight years as a bartender to working in the beauty industry. I wanted to state clearly on my resume what type of position I was seeking out because none of my previous work experience had ever been in the beauty industry.  If you are applying for a specific position, make sure that your objective states the position you’re applying for and why you want to apply for the position or what you’re looking to gain from that position. Keep it clear, concise and to the point. Your objective shouldn’t be longer than a sentence.

For Example:
Objective – To join the Sephora Field Support Center as a Beauty Advisor where I can offer my strong work ethic and customer service skills while further advancing my cosmetic artistry knowledge.

Education
If you are a new beauty school graduate or newly licensed esthetician, you’ll want to highlight your information in the Education section. This section is going to contain all of your most recent, relevant professional experience within the beauty industry. You’ll want to first start by having the full name of your school, the time span that you were in school (could be month/year or just the year you were in school), specify the program you were in (Cosmetology or Esthetics) and list bullet points that highlight all of your major achievements and any additional training you received while in school.

For Example:
Completed 600-Hour Esthetics Program, Graduated 2010

For the bullet points, you’ll want to include things such as any awards you earned, additional classes you took that weren’t part of the normal curriculum, clubs or organizations you participated in at school and any externships you took part of before graduating. If you had an impeccable attendance record, you’ll want to make that a bullet point as well. If you were a retailing superstar on the salon floor while you were in school, you’ll want to include what your average sales tickets were for the services you performed and the retail your clients took home. If you were a visionary and did anything above and beyond the typical curriculum in beauty school, you’ll want to make sure these activities are also reflected on your resume.

If you attended any other education in addition to beauty school such as college or high school, you’ll want to include that information in the Education section of your resume. Simply state the name of the school you attended, the city and state it’s located in, your area of study and your graduation date, as long as you graduated. Note – Only add either high school or college to the Education section. You don’t need to add both to your resume.

Employment Experience 
When it comes to deciding on the order of sections on your resume, choose the section you have the most recent, relevant experience in first. If you just graduated from beauty school and have never worked in the beauty industry, you’ll want to put the Education section higher up on your resume and your Employment Experience underneath. Later on down the road as you gain relevant, professional experience within the industry, you’ll want to switch the order of these two sections.

For Employment Experience, list your last three jobs, in order from the most recent job to the the last. Each job should include the company’s full name, the city and state in which the company is located in, your position at that company, the timespan of when you worked for the company and 5 to 8 bullet points describing what you did in that position. Be sure to use words such as “administers”, “responsible for”, “managed”, “executes”, “develops” and/or “facilitates” when describing the different tasks you completed while working in that position.

Hopefully once you’ve included all of the above information, you’ll have a one-page resume. Your resume should not be any longer than one page and should only be one-sided. Choose one font. Always proofread your resume. Don’t rely on spellcheck. Re-read your resume out loud to double-check for spelling and grammatical errors. Once you’ve checked your resume, give it to two other people and ask to have them proofread it for you. There’s nothing worse than handing your resume to a hiring manager only to find that you’ve misspelled something on your resume. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good, first impression.

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What’s Your Greatest Strength and Biggest Weakness?

interviewI think the toughest thing for me in any job interview is having to talk about myself. I’m pretty comfortable with talking about myself to my own friends and family members. Who isn’t? It can be challenging when you’re trying to convince someone you don”t know why they should give you the job over someone else. It can be even tougher when trying to convince an interviewer how awesome and skilled you are when you’re in the midst of making a career change.

Job interviews are stressful, no matter how you dice it. Half the battle is being prepared. Once you’ve done your research on the company you’re interviewing with and the position you’re interviewing for, it’s important to think about the types of questions you could be asked during the interview. You don’t want to memorize your answers, but you should have an idea on how you would answer certain questions, before the interview.

One of my favorite questions to ask job candidates during an interview is:

What is your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?

Your greatest strengths should consist of skills and previous job experiences you have that qualify you for the position you’re interviewing for. This is your chance to shine in the interview and tell them how amazing of an employee you are.

Your greatest weaknesses should showcase skills you’ve improved upon in either your current or previous job. You could also discuss how you managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Always focus on the positive during an interview. You want to show the interviewer how you are able to save the day with your positive solutions and forward-focused thinking!

When I went from bartending to working for Sephora, I didn’t have any professional beauty industry experience other than my four months in beauty school. My lack of professional experience was a weakness. How was I going to convince this huge corporation that I would be an amazing Beauty Advisor? I made a list of tasks and skill sets that I had acquired from bartending and applied them to the Beauty Advisor position. Turns out I already had a number of strengths from bartending that qualified me to be a Beauty Advisor. I came up with three key areas that I would focus on during my interview: sales, customer service and flexibility.

Sales
I knew being a Beauty Advisor would involve sales. I would be paid to talk to clients all day long, answering questions about products and helping them place their order over the phone. No problem! As a bartender, I was responsible for selling drinks all night long. The more drinks I sold, the more tips I’d make. I learned and perfected the art of up-selling a drink to anyone who sat at my bar, which ultimately translated into higher sales in the register and more tips in my tip jar.

Customer Service
Proving my customer service skills was easy. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, customer service is customer service. Being a bartender for eight years, I was in the people business. I learned how to have a conversation with anyone who was drunk or sober. I figured out how to handle sticky situations with intoxicated customers like a pro. My personality helped me build up a repeat clientele in the bars I worked at. My patience level helped me keep my cool when dealing with some of the crazies that would come in every now and then.

Flexibility
Since the Beauty Advisor position was designed to be a seasonal position, I had to be very flexible with my schedule. That meant being able to adapt to whatever start time they might need me to work: 5am, 6am, 7:30am or 11am. It also meant being willing to work weekends and holidays. This wasn’t a problem for me. When you bartend, there are no holidays or weekends. There also aren’t any sick days or paid vacations. I was already used to not having Saturdays and Sundays off and I almost always had to work on holidays, even Christmas.

Even though I lacked professional experience in the beauty industry, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t qualified to be a Beauty Advisor. I was able to show the good folks at Sephora that even though I was fresh out of beauty school, my passion for the industry along with my experience as a bartender for the past eight years would make me a great asset to their team.

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