In The Life of Alison Telfer

By Holly Carver / 26 Mar 2021

The clinic owner and nurse prescriber tells us how she balances work and family life

I start my working day by...

Getting some fresh air! During the first lockdown I started walking to and from work instead of driving, and I’ve found this makes such a difference to my mental state. It’s only a half-an-hour walk, but it gives me some alone time and allows for some separation between home and work. I typically start at my clinic, The Glasshouse Clinic in Clapham, London, at 9am. I always aim to get there 30 minutes before I start seeing patients so that I can get everything ready for the day and take care of any emails or admin. From that point onwards, I have a steady stream of patients and my day is made up of consultations, procedures and reviews. On average, I see between 20-30 patients every day. I only do injectables as I’m lucky enough to have a team of aesthetic therapists who work for me and take care of the dermatological side of things.

On Tuesdays this routine differs as I work longer hours, typically from 8am-8pm. This is because five years ago I made the decision to give up working on Saturdays as I wanted more time at home to be with my family. All the patients I would have seen on Saturday I can now fit in by doing extra hours on Tuesday, so it hasn’t impacted my work or my patients at all. It’s a very full-on day though, so I’m always pretty exhausted afterwards.

It's amazing to think that my opinion and expertise is valued 

My other project involves...

As well as running my own two clinics, the other in Wimbledon, I also host a podcast with consultant plastic surgeon Mr Adrian Richards called Plastic Fantastic where we interview big names from the industry. We pre-recorded a lot of our episodes over the summer lockdown because we had a lot more free time, but now we’re back performing medical treatments, we have to find ways to fit it into our schedules whenever we have gaps. If there is downtime when I’m in the clinic, I’ll use it to research and reach out to people who we’d like to feature on the podcast in the future.

How I unwind after work…

I’m always very strict on not bringing my work home with me, so from 8pm until 8am there is no work talk allowed in my household! My husband and I have a rule that if I do come home and complain about something work-related, I have to make sure that I sort it first thing the next day, so it doesn’t continue. I love my job, but I want to keep the two worlds separate and I believe that work shouldn’t encroach on your family space. I’m also very lucky in the sense that I have an amazing clinic manager and team, so if I’m not in the clinic myself I’m not concerned that it won’t be run properly or well without me, which helps me to relax. I spend my evenings after work with my family, and we just chill out, have dinner and watch TV. At the minute we’re all watching The Serpent on BBC together. It’s nice now that my children are teenagers because we can watch dramas like that together, instead of me being forced into another viewing of Peppa Pig!

In my spare time...

Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I actually like to go on expeditions every year. I go by myself, without a phone or Wi-Fi. The first one I did was crossing the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and since then I’ve also crossed the Arctic. It’s brutal! I had to sleep in -30 degrees and set up a tent while I was on cross-country skis. I do it because once I’m home from these trips, I have a renewed sense of energy which helps me to keep going in everyday life for the next few months.

A defining day in my career...

I remember around eight years ago I was sat in my garden and I received a call from Allergan asking if I would be involved with some of their teaching. I had to pinch myself! It’s amazing to think that my opinion and expertise is valued, and that people want to hear what I have to say. Training others has changed my career a lot and it has provided a whole new dynamic to working in aesthetics.

I love teaching, because it can be so rewarding to help new injectors become more confident in their work and I love to see them flourish. It’s also allowed me to meet and get to know more of my industry peers. Although I love being an injector and working in the clinic, it can sometimes be a bit lonely and isolating, so I’m very grateful that I have been given opportunities to get out and about and do something a bit different.

Why I love aesthetics... 

We change lives! People think it's a vapid industry, but we really can make a difference to how people feel about themselves, and it's so rewarding. I remember once after I injected a woman's chin she thanked me because she finally had enough confidence to dump her horrible boyfriend! 

My favourite treatment...

I do enjoy doing facial fillers the most, because there is such an artistry to it and each face is different. 

In the future I'd like to...

I have a desire to be a magistrate. If I worked a day or two less a week, I could potentially get into doing that alongside aesthetics, so it's something I want to look into. 

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