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Covid career changes: Why I decided to train as a nail tech during lockdown

By Guest Writer | 16 December 2020 | Feature, Tech Talk, Training

Sophie Akerman Web Feature

Sophie Akerman decided to train as a nail technician during the Covid-19 pandemic after being forced to work from home gave her time to reflect on her career path. She shares with Scratch the highlights and the challenges of her nail journey so far.

“I was fortunate enough to keep my job throughout Covid-19, with working from home. However, for a very long time I hadn’t enjoyed the job that I was in and found working from home, without the social interaction with my colleagues, much harder and even less enjoyable.

“Having these feelings more and more, during such unprecedented times, was really difficult. One morning scrolling through Instagram, I saw a quote from Buddha – ‘Each morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most’ which caused a lightbulb moment in my mind that life is short and I wanted to pursue something that really made me happy.

“For years I’ve been painting my own nails and it was only in the last couple of years that I’d started using nail art as well as just a basic gel polish. I always had people telling me how much they loved the designs and would love having their own nails painted in this way. From a very young age, being creative has always been my passion and being able to do something I love to make other people happy seemed like the perfect thing to pursue!

“I trained on 20 September 2020, for the day. As I’d spent many years doing my own gel nails on a self-taught basis, I was familiar with the process of prepping the nail and applying gel polish, but going back to basics with the training was really beneficial in learning new ways of applying the products and prepping the nails in a more efficient way. Due to restrictions that were in place, the training was completed on a one-to-one basis with Abbie (from Abbie Hunt Nails). I personally found this more beneficial as it meant that I was able to work at my own pace, as well as being able to focus on the areas that I needed to develop more.

“One of the highlights that I’ve had on my journey so far, is seeing the joy and happiness that my nail designs has had for one of my clients who had only ever had her nails done before on her wedding day. Due to the nature of her job, she typically cuts her nails short and always keeps them bare. The first time that she had her nails done with me, was following an extremely stressful and emotional day at the children’s hospital that she works in. During her appointment, she told me how relaxed she was and how it was a much-needed opportunity to not do anything else whilst she enjoyed some peace and time of reflection.

“Knowing that I’d contributed to helping her have a relaxing time and she went away feeling pampered during such stressful times, was extremely rewarding.”

“The restrictions that have been in place due to Covid-19 has been a huge challenge, particularly during the second lockdown, which meant not being able to do anyone’s nails. At a time where I was hoping to build my client base before the Christmas period, it has been extremely difficult to continue feeling motivated and finding ways of practising in the hope that once the restrictions had lifted, I was able to start painting clients nails again. As practise makes perfect, it’s been really tough not being able to try out different styles that people have chosen instead of what I would necessarily choose to paint and to get quicker with my nail prepping.

“During this time there have been many opportunities for learning and practising new skills, with companies like The Gel Bottle Academy, who carried out online masterclasses which were really helpful with getting me prepared for when I was able to take on clients again. This period of time also allowed me the chance to not only practise a lot of nail designs that I may not have done before, but also to research and develop my own branding as a nail technician.”

Follow Sophie on Instagram @bee_rosy_gelnails