Hi again! You're back! Yay thanks for stopping in. This must mean you are interested in the rest of my story.
Well as you know, we left off with the start of my dream job at MAC cosmetics. This is where the makeup adventure begins. I was only a little baby part timer, 15 hours a week to be exact. I LOVED going to work and I was hungry for more responsibility and to grow my career. I couldn't get enough of all the makeup, the learning and the artistry. I finally found my niche, my flow if you will. Going to work didn't feel like work, I enjoyed every second, and that my friends is how you know you found your dream job. Who can say they looked forward to going to work? Not many people. I was so happy and so lucky, but I needed to find a way to become full-time and work my way up the ladder because no health insurance is no bueno. And if I had to hear my mom chirping in my ear about "you need full-time! you need more money" one more time I was going to punch someone.
I busted my butt every shift at MAC. I switched my shifts whenever my manager needed me to, I stayed late, came early, and worked every holiday. It was not easy but my drive was so strong, nothing was going to stop me. I passed all of my certifications and requirements in the MAC world and kept pushing forward. Six months later, I got promoted to full-time! I was ecstatic, it made my drive stronger and made me work even harder.
Before I knew it, I was promoted again to 3rd key manager. This was just a fancy word for a developmental position to manager. At our location we didn't have an assistant manager position, so I was pulling the weight and helping my manager with anything she needed. This was a huge learning experience. I was lucky enough to have a manager who wanted to develop me and teach me everything she knew. This included managerial and artistry related learnings. She was amazing, and such an asset to my career. She taught be how to make schedules, revenue calendars, plan and execute events, manage a staff, and helped me brush up my makeup skills to help pass all of my advanced certifications. Soon all the mentoring paid off and the next step came. It was time for me to be in charge of my own MAC counter. I was scared, soooo very scared and sad. I loved my boss, my team, my location. Hell, 3 people from that location are still some of my closest friends to this day. One was in my wedding! But I knew I couldn't pass up this opportunity. This was HUGE for me, an ended up teaching me invaluable skills. Don't ever think that work experience is meaningless because let me tell you, it will teach you things you would NEVER learn from a classroom or book. Learn as much as you can while you are in the role you are in because I guarantee it will come in handy later on. Kinda like that math you thought you would never use in high school....kidding. Well not really.
And there you have it, my journey as manager began. I was pumped and ready to become a leader and grow. Well let me tell you that shit is hard. I was so used to making friends with my co-workers, going out with them, sharing personal stuff...bad bad bad idea Jillian. These are the things you must learn on your own. It sounds like common sense but it's much more difficult than it seems. It was a challenge to me to keep business, business and personal, personal especially if you are a people person like me and in a very social environment. Makeup artists are like hairdressers in that we are like your therapist, so everything was always on the table if you get my drift. Let's just say this was my biggest learning experience when it comes to managing people. I made a lot of friends then lost them because things got weird and it really is challenging to tell who is being your friend and who's just being nice because you are their boss. I've never been "the boss" so I just thought we were all good friends but it was more complicated than that.
During the time I spent working at this location I started dating my soon to be husband. We have known each other for years, our mutual friends were dating but it was only until this time that we finally started dating. He lived about 5 minutes from the town I lived in but I worked pretty far from home. The commute never bothered me before because I really had nothing to do at home and I would hang out in the surrounding area anyway. So as we started dating the commute really started to get to me. It would take 3 hours to get home on a Friday night during the summer...yea the WORST. It was really taking a toll on our relationship because I was spending 90% of my day at work or driving to or from work. I knew I had to find another place to work closer to home. Luckily timing is usually always on my side (knock on wood) and a new MAC location was going to be made 8 minutes from my house! I needed to get this job. Unfortunately, it wasn't set to open for a while and things always get delayed in retail so I couldn't get my hopes up quite yet.
So I kept pushing through, doing my best and hoping I would be moving on to a brand new location soon. The nice thing is this location did not exist yet so I really loved the idea of making it my own, having a fresh start and not having to live in the previous manager's shadow. I really wanted this job and I pestered my boss every chance I got. I needed to get the hell out of that commute, it was killing me. Well, my pestering and hard work paid off again and I got the job! This was an awesome opportunity to start a location from scratch and I couldn't wait!
Fast forward to working there for two years, I loved it! During this time I bought a house and married my now husband. Lots of personal memories were made while I was working at this location and it became sentimental for me. I decided I wanted more from MAC and asked for more responsibility. I wanted to become a MAC trainer. This had always been my dream job and the ultimate goal. I had to make it happen. Little did I know my journey towards this goal would be the very thing that ended my career with MAC. Thankfully I always made strong connections with lots of higher-ups in all of my stores, which helped me out much later.
Another Fast forward to my resignation from an almost 10 year run with MAC and decided to start my own makeup business. I built my brand, opened a LLC, took classes, read books and marketed myself as much as I knew how. I was doing this for about 4 months when I was contacted by a huge department store. They wanted to know if I would be interested in running the cosmetics department...ummm what? me?? This is where my strong relationships came back to help me out. They remembered me from MAC and wanted me to be a part of their team. I was hesitant because I just started my journey with my own business, but decided to take the plunge. This was a huge opportunity and a major resume builder, I had to at least give it a try. My job was to manage the counter managers of Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome, MAC, Dior, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Impulse Beauty and Inglot to name a few. I learned so much about all different brands, their products, how they were made, how they sell them. It was a great way for me to broaden my makeup horizon and make more connections with other brands. It was a great job and I learned how to lead leaders, but I wasn't doing ANY makeup. I missed it a lot and knew I needed to do something to get back in to it.
In April, I gave birth to my son and made the decision to resign after 2 and a half years there and stay home with my baby. I knew there was more for me out there than the retail grind. I was working 50 plus hours a week and running on steam. I was over it. Thankful for the experience but couldn't maintain that lifestyle with an infant. So then comes my next journey about opening my own store front.....to be continued.
I Hope my story gives you trust in my knowledge and passion for the cosmetic world. If there's anything in this post that intrigues you and you would like to more about, write a comment and I can elaborate in another post in the future.
Now let's get to the fun part! MAKEUP!!!!