Declared redundant, and then?
“I worked for a health insurer for twenty years. Thanks to the crisis, I was declared redundant in 2019. There you are, after twenty years of putting everything into your work. Looking for a new opportunity again. I didn’t want to go back to office work, I was really ready for something completely different. And above all, I really wanted to work with people.
After searching the internet for a while, I noticed that I kept ending up in the pedicure profession. I therefore contacted the Gelderland training institute to take a look at a practical lesson. Feet seemed very dirty to me at first. But during the first practical lesson I noticed that you are not concerned with this at all. The class I took was about corns. During this lesson a corn was removed between the toes. The rest of the foot almost fell away! I only saw the corn and the technique used to remove it. I found it very interesting and I immediately registered for the course.”
45 years old and back to school
“That’s how it came to pass that I went back to school. And with great pleasure too. Of course it was quite exciting at first, following an education again at my age. This was completely different from what I was used to. The first lesson was about cells, what is a cell and what is cell division. That was really some income! But soon I got the hang of it and started getting high marks in my exams. I had a lot of fun, the physiology and anatomy of the foot is extremely interesting.
I first completed the basic training and then also followed the training to become a medical pedicure. I became a medical pedicure because I am of Moroccan descent and I noticed that many older Moroccan diabetics do not speak the Dutch language. This is very difficult during treatment and also if you want to give a client advice about care at home. I therefore really wanted to distinguish myself so that I can advise these customers in Moroccan. After completing my medical pedicure training, I first started working at a large pedicure practice. I was able to get started right away, with eight clients in one day. I learned a lot there. It was also very nice to start the work this way, I had direct colleagues who I could go to with questions and I was able to gain a lot of practical experience.”
Your own practice: it feels like visitors!
“During my work in the pedicure practice, my husband did not sit still: he built a practice room in the garden. I am now working full time in my own practice, Pedicure Practice Samira. It really feels like I have visitors all day. I have very nice clients and I really enjoy my work. That “dirty” feeling had already disappeared during the training. In fact, the worse the foot, the prouder I feel of the work I deliver. People come in in pain and leave almost hopping. My clients really confide in me, we cry and we laugh together. You really build a bond, I am so happy with the work I am doing now. Sometimes I almost think: I wish I had been fired sooner!”
“Working as a self-employed entrepreneur is really different from the office work I did before. Entrepreneurship takes a lot of time, but because I enjoy it so much, it feels less difficult. When I still worked for the health insurer, I thought days of up to 17 hours were long. Now I think that’s a short day! I now work four to five days a week with very varied hours. I can have very long days from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., but I can also only work in the morning. The number of hours I work is therefore very varied. I really like the fact that I set my own hours.
To become a pedicure you must really love people and have a listening ear.
I would definitely recommend the profession. I never had a moment where I thought “why did I choose this profession”. It really makes me very happy to be able to help someone!”