Industry professional Lorraine Jackson, with 30 years’ experience in the industry has sat down to share her expertise with us. She has had an exciting and varied career with roles including Beauty Therapist, Sales Manager, National Sales Manager and Assistant Group Manager. Lorraine is experienced in all aspects of the sales life cycle from supplier through to engaging teams to delivering customer excellence and profitability of business. We were excited to be able to ask Lorraine, with this wealth of experience, a few questions about her career so far.
What was your first job in the industry?
My first official, employed role in the industry was at Ragdale Hall as a Beauty Therapist Temp, living on site. I originally applied for work experience and got turned down, only to be offered a permanent job a few days later! The ‘temp’ bit was really just another word for flexible working to suit the demand of the business. Working split shifts was very common, it was a light relief to go back to my digs for a rest in between all those massages!
An application for a one-week work experience turned out to be a very valuable ten years of my career.
What have been your highs and lows of your career?
There have been many highs and lows which have shaped my career. In some of my roles it goes with the nature of the job … it’s always a buzz to gain a rewarding sale but can equally be disappointing if it you lose to a competitor!
The biggest highs for me are linked with people. There is nothing more motivating than bumping into past colleagues who take the time to thank you for helping them along their career path. It’s really satisfying to see a novice team member, who I may have recruited from a secondary ‘gut’ feeling, flourish into a successful industry professional.
The lowest point was being run over by a frantic shopper with her trolley on Christmas Eve at 6.30am in M&S! She was on her way to collect her turkey and knocked me over. It was quite a few years ago now, in a period of uncertainty after being made redundant and not knowing whether to stay in the beauty industry. I took a temporary job as a store sales assistant, you could say the shopper knocked me into my next career phase ..
What keeps you motivated in your career?
Making a difference and no day is the same … whether it is helping an individual with their plight to succeed in a role or aiding the development of a business, knowing you are making a difference for the better is extremely motivating. No day has ever been the same for me, even in the early days of continuous massage, the clients were different, conversations were different and each day since has been a day of learning.
What’s in your makeup bag right now?
All the usual paraphernalia that is required to try and make me look 10 years younger ! …. I live by an ‘all in one foundation’, Sensai powder and liquid combined. It’s quick and so much easier to apply. There are also a couple of cult products I can’t do without .. Carmex lip balm is a definite must have, with or without makeup. I take it everywhere as its non - greasy and I can rely on it to protect my lips under the layers of lipstick and foundation … and Clarins beauty flash balm. It provides a great base for keeping my makeup looking fresh for longer.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in beauty/spa?
Be brave, push boundaries and take risks but remember people on the way. Relationships are key to success in many areas of our life and this is a well-connected industry.
Continue learning, enjoy the journey and embrace the change, nothing is forever.