After working in corporate America for over 12 years, making a career change was not a decision I could take lightly. I was successful, had somewhat climbed the ladder, and was making a decent salary. However coming home every night and not having a feeling of fulfillment was eating at me more and more. Until one day about three years ago I randomly decided to look up schools in the Bay Area on Google and make appointments to view them and see exactly what it would take to attend.
Part of the reason I was hesitant in making my career change to follow my passion was due to the fear of the unknown. I was not satisfied at the end of the day with my current profession, and I definitely knew there was a void due to the lack of passion, but that didn’t take away the anxiety of the unknown.
The unfortunate thing is I never ended up going to school that year or the next or the next. My nerves go the best of me. The best way to say it is that I was scared. I was scared to drop everything I had worked so hard for: my career, my salary, the job I went through a ton of interviews to secure. However every day, month, and year that went by, I just kept wondering if I was making the wrong decision.
In 2014 I felt it, I knew it was my time. I live in Vallejo, CA and there isn’t much here in the way of beauty trade schools. I chose three schools in three different locations. All were locations I knew I could get to on a daily basis: Napa, Pleasant Hill, and San Francisco. I knew that San Francisco would be the most challenging but hey…why not? Plus it was Aveda, I have used their products for years. Cinta Aveda Institute was the one I was most interested in based on their website.
The Napa school was not my at all interesting and a huge disappointment especially since it was in my hometown. I did like the Pleasant Hill school and went through all the paperwork and application process and almost passed up on my Cinta Aveda tour. But something told me to move forward with it and I’m glad I did. The Cinta Aveda website absolutely portrayed the image that I got on my tour and the people I got to meet on my short journey at the institute that day. It was trendy, fun, full of life, pop culture, science, art and heart. It displayed a culture that the previous two schools could not match with the Student Salon and Spa.
The truly great thing is that when I went in to see the admissions counselor at the Cinta Aveda Institute she did her very best to help put all my worries to rest even though I myself wasn’t completely sure which directly I wanted to go in. I also went through paperwork and spoke with financial aid that day and knew that this was going to be my institute. I should be behind those red bricks getting my Aveda education.
After our tour we spend a good chunk of time going over the several professions and doors that I will have opened for me as an Esthetician, and where and who I could work: Makeup Artist, cosmetics company (Mac or Benefit), working with burn victims, salon/spa, hotel/resort, wax specialist, educator…and the list goes on from here. So after our appointment—and yes that was the same day I signed my contract—I had a new challenge. Admissions was so sweet and had me enrolled in the next Esthiology class, and I got the last spot. What was is it I wanted to specialize in?
I have always had a love for makeup, so I sort of knew I would love to deal with makeup. I also am obsessed with my brows and making sure they are absolutely perfect. But would that same desire filter through to what I want to do for work? Well, surprisingly enough, it did. Now that I’m more than halfway through, with what I call one of the best decisions I’ve made to date, I realized that one of the things I excel at are brow waxes and eye makeup. I am also amazing at being able to provide a fantastic facial. This is not to say that I do not have a ton to learn—don’t we all?
I have not decided exactly where I’d like to work after school, but I still have a little bit of time left. I’m confident I will have made that decision when it is time to graduate. The great thing is that I’m in a great position. I have too many options rather than not enough. That is just another perk of such a great industry!