Find and fix your skills gaps or weaknesses


Even as a fully signed up enthusiast and advocate for the beauty and cosmetics industry, I’ve been wowed by the quantity, quality and variety of learning opportunities people and companies have made available in the last few months. Part of the challenge is working out which ones to take!

At any time, I advise people to get involved in the industry if they’re making their career here. Follow industry societies, companies and groups; subscribe to newsletters; connect on LinkedIn (once you’ve perfected your profile). Right now, there are hundreds of companies and industry bodies offering amazing lectures, podcasts, courses and webinars, but you need to be connected to hear about them.

A good start is to identify the skill gaps you have that may slow your career progress. We all have parts of our jobs that we enjoy less than others, or that we avoid if we can. Often, it’s because we find them difficult or we don’t quite understand what their purpose is.

Write down each stage of the tasks you struggle with and you may find it comes down to one small aspect that you can improve, with a little time and focus. For example, if you don’t like preparing reports, is it because you’re not confident in your writing? Or if you dread presenting your sales results, do your maths, analysis or excel skills need some work?

With a global downturn predicted, it’s inevitable there are tough times ahead for some in beauty retail. It will certainly be many months before customers feel comfortable using in-store testers or makeup brushes and tools.

For Beauty Advisors or Makeup Artists in this environment, building a broader range of related skills will be a huge advantage. Now’s a great time to polish up your selling skills and techniques; you’ll rely on them more than ever if you can’t apply products.

If you’re in Marketing, keep up to speed with the move towards digital. The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers a selection of online courses for home study and interactive virtual classes. The Digital Marketing Institute runs digital marketing courses that are recognised globally

If you have a Chemistry A level or above and would love to get into product development or a related field, the Society of Cosmetic Scientists offers a highly respected 1-year Diploma in Cosmetic Science distance learning course

A candidate recently sent me a CV with a ‘Covid-19 Lockdown Activity’ section. They listed the courses they had taken and the knowledge and skills they’d learnt. I was impressed at their initiative and commitment to self-improvement. Think how you will fill that section on your CV as you decide which courses to take.

First published in Pure Beauty Magazine