Read Time: 10 Minutes
Expertise Area: All Career Fields
Career Stage: All Career Stages
If you're a recent beauty school graduate, you might think, "Yay! I'm finally done with school. FOREVER."
Listen, we get it. You worked hard for your license. And no doubt, you're now working hard at your job. So the idea of "more school" might have you going, "LOL, Nope!"
But hear us out, OK? Because there are so many awesome benefits of continuing education, especially in the competitive beauty industry.
1. You'll make more money. Full stop.
Sure, individual experiences can and will vary, but the general sentiment is true across all industries. When you invest in education, the pay-off can be huge. As in higher earning potential throughout your career.
2. Your clientele will demand it. (Even if they don't realize it.)
We don't have to tell you that beauty trends change—and faster now than ever before, thanks to social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Well, guess what? Some of your clients are going to demand the latest trends in hair, nails, and skin. And if they can't get these services from you, they'll go to a competitor. Not a good look, right?
This is just another reason to invest in continuous learning. Taking an online course or even simply watching an online tutorial (like a training webinar) can go a long way in giving you the knowledge and skills to satisfy a demanding clientele.
Keep in mind that certain trends will require specific levels/proof of expertise as well. You might need to take a certification course to become proficient and for licensing purposes. For example, we recently talked about popular beauty salon trends for 2022, and one of the stars is brow lamination, a service that would likely require your salon to have approval from your state board. Learning, in this case, wouldn't be optional.
And even if clients aren’t demanding something specific now, they’ll still appreciate the fact that you’re committed to staying current in your field. You can highlight your commitment to continuous learning by promoting the new services in your salon or talking up what you've learned from a recent webinar or online course.
3. You'll feel more confident working with clients.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. Beauty school prepares you with the skills you need to excel in your field. (And passing your licensing exam confirms your expertise.) But a cosmetology license won't magically make you feel confident, especially during those all-important client consultations.
That's something YOU have to work on every day. But one of the easiest ways to develop that confidence is through regular education. For example, if a guest comes in asking for a new service, and you've taken the time to learn about and become proficient in this service, you'll be able to speak truthfully and confidently about it. The best part? Your client will feel your confidence, which is a good thing.
And learning doesn’t have to stop with skills related to cosmetology, either. You can dive into teachings about important life skills, like interpersonal communication and managing conflict, to level up your game.
4. You'll be more marketable.
The best way to stand out in a competitive industry like ours is to do exactly that: STAND OUT. Demonstrating your commitment to lifelong learning by regularly racking up certifications and continuing education units is a great way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for your field and your commitment to staying ahead of the curve.
You'll also be able to tout these credentials on your beauty salon website (if you own a salon) or your bio page (if you're a salon employee). You can highlight credentials on places like LinkedIn and other social media platforms, such as Instagram. And, of course, you'll want to prominently display this info on your paper resume.
Remember, your beauty career won't be this static "thing." You'll get promoted. You might move around from one salon to another. You might decide to open your own salon with your own employees. Or if you pursue teaching, the more knowledge you have, the more interested a beauty school program will be in having you as an instructor.
Bottom line: The more tools you can add to your beauty career toolbox, the better equipped you'll be for your next adventure in this awesome industry.
5. You could live longer . . . and live better. (Yes, really.)
As if all the other benefits we mentioned weren't enough, the Harvard Business Review notes "a well-studied relationship between longevity and education" and that the research "suggests that a year of formal education can add more than half a year to a person’s life span."
Continuing education can also make for healthier lives. Psychology Today says, "College graduates live almost nine years longer than those who did not graduate from high school. Those years of higher education can also lead to a range of health benefits, including a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity."
6. You'll be able to renew your license with less stress. (Provided you don't do all your continuing education at once.)
Have you ever crammed for a test? How well did you retain that info? Probably not so great, right?
The same is true if you try completing your formal continuing education (CE) units at the last minute. Reminder: several states require CE credits as part of their license renewal process. Don't wait until the last minute to do yours.
Instead, get in the habit of treating your continuing education as just that—something you do every day, even if that means simply reading expert career advice, watching an informative webinar, or taking a CE-approved online course.
7. You'll have more freedom to take courses and certifications that interest you right now.
When you enrolled in your beauty school program, you had to follow a rigid curriculum—one that ensured your proficiency in your field and prepared you for the state licensure exam. The nice thing about continuing education is that YOU get to pick what you study.
While much of what you learn will (and should!) be related to your chosen profession, you can absolutely expand your horizons. Maybe you're interested in learning how to make more money through better marketing. Or how to make more money by expanding into retail. Or how to rock social media.
Or maybe you want to learn about ways that your work as a beauty pro could potentially benefit others—your clients, your employees, even your community. Milady's RISE Certification in Client Well-Being & Safety would absolutely fit the bill.
If you can dream it, we can almost guarantee there's a certification, course, webinar, and/or tutorial for it somewhere.
What to keep in mind when considering continuing education.
If you need CE-approved courses, make sure that's what you're taking. Not all courses are created equal, especially in the eyes of state licensing boards. Check out Milady's CE-approved courses for professionals. We also have courses designed for educators who need continuing education units to meet state and/or accreditation requirements.
Research and apply for scholarships. We know money can be tight, especially if you're fresh out of beauty school (or even a few years out). Grants and scholarships exist that can help you fund your ongoing education efforts. (Hint: Check out Milady's RISE scholarship!)
When it comes to what you study, don't be afraid to think outside the box—or to mix things up. Yes, you'll want to keep up with certifications and courses that expand your professional knowledge. But classes that feed the soul are just as important.
Maybe you decide to occasionally take some classes that have nothing to do with work—think painting, dancing, or bread-making classes. Those are fabulous options as well! Learning is learning. And remember, the more well-rounded you are, the happier you'll be.
If you own a salon and have employees, foster an environment that supports and encourages continuous learning.
This could involve a combination of approaches:
- Cover the cost of courses (up to a certain amount each year, for example).
- Give employees time off to take classes or to attend seminars/conferences.
- Bring training into your salon. For example, maybe once a year, you close the salon and hold a retreat for professional development.
Offer "lunch and learn" series. Think of topics that your employees could benefit from learning about that can be covered in an hour or two. Consider webinars that the team can watch together, like How to Cut the Perfect Pixie or How to Perform a Completely Customized Peel. You get the idea.
By promoting an environment where continuous learning in ALL areas is championed, you'll help build a culture of curiosity. You'll also show employees (including prospective employees) that you’re investing in them—a huge selling point and a great way to cultivate a loyal and happy workforce.
Bottom line: Always pursue knowledge.
The benefits of continuing education are many—and we imagine you'll likely experience others that we didn't mention above. Dive in and embrace lifelong learning. You'll be glad that you did!
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