Working in spa is more than just a job! Meet Laura Macmillan, Spa Director at Relax, who shares her spa journey!
Ever wonder what it's like to work in the spa industry? What is a typical day like for a spa director? Do you have to be a 'master' of mindfulness and serenity to 'fit in'? And is there really career progression? Maybe you already work in the spa industry and want to see if your peers have similar or different experiences to you?
Whatever question you may have about what it's really like to work in spa - you'll hopefully find some answers here from some fantastic people already doing it!
Meet Laura Macmillan, Spa Director at Relax, Covent Garden, London
From an early age I had a passion for alternative ways of healing the mind and body rather than conventional medicine. This interest and passion grows more every day!
What route did you take in?
Qualified as a massage therapist in Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Deep Tissue and Sports.
Do you find there are any prejudices (good or bad) about choosing this industry as a career?
20 years ago, it was seen as a luxury to go a Spa especially for massage therapies. So, there was always a perception I must only be treating the rich and famous (to be honest at one time it was the case!)
My friends and family totally loved the fact I was taking this career path, I do think though looking back for totally selfish reasons!! They have all done very well over the years experiencing treatments in spas around the globe!
How hard/easy was your journey?
My journey was an exciting one that also took a lot of hard work, persistence, commitment, long hours and flexibility. However, saying that is has also been incredibly rewarding and have met some of the most inspirational people along the way.
What’s been your biggest three challenges - and what did you do/are doing to overcome them?
- Recruitment! This is a constant. Perseverance and patience are a must, you do find those hidden gems eventually. Also, not to be tempted to compromise, it is more important and less disruptive to wait for the right staff.
- Not having enough hours in each day! Reminding oneself all will still be there tomorrow!
- Work/life balance. It is hypocritical really but has been a learning! Even if those at the top do not practice or promote this it does not mean you have to be the same! It is much more satisfying to practice what you preach and to be an inspiration for our teams.
What message would you give to anyone considering a career in Spa?
If you want to gain the most out of a career in this industry it is useful to understand it really is a vocation, it is much more than just a job!
What message would you give to people already working in Spa?
It is a stressful world we live in right now and you are all doing an incredible job at encouraging people to take time out for themselves. It is all about giving people the space just to ‘be’ and educating them in how they can take steps into leading a healthier lifestyle. Remember the time your guests spend with you can be the only time out they leave for themselves. It is also just as important to take time for yourself! We are all a little guilty of this, the Spa world can be a hectic place back of house and you need pampering just as much as your guests. Use the resources you have at your fingertips! Keep up the fabulous work!