If you are one of those people just starting out on a career in the hairdressing industry, ‘congratulations and welcome’ to what can be an exciting, fun, worthwhile and potentially well paid career.
I say ‘can be’ because for some people it doesn't become an exciting and well paid career, but I want it to be for you so I have 5 bits of advice that will help you on your way…
The first one is…
1. Never stop learning
If you are just starting out then there’s a real possibility that you have not long finished school and perhaps this is your first job.
Perhaps, unlike school you are learning about something that you are excited and passionate about, in fact if you are to succeed you need to be passionate about it, because as well as a lot of fun there is also a lot of hard work and sacrifice in the years ahead if you are to succeed!
So my number ‘1’ piece of advice is ‘to be the best hairdresser you can be’ and for that to happen you must never stop learning, soak up every opportunity that comes your way and look for every opportunity to learn from everyone you can.
Learning is an attitude, so don’t wait for someone else to organise or pay for it, remember that it’s no one’s job to make you successful it’s down to you.
There is a great little quote made up of 10, 2 letter words “If it is to be it is up to me”
My second bit of advice is…
2. Productivity matters
You are now part of a business, someone owns it, and as well as doing great haircuts and colours etc you need to balance that with the recognition that the purpose of the business is to make a profit, in fact if it doesn't make a profit then the business won’t be able to exist and you won’t have a job.
So just like in school ‘results matter’. When you’re at school your results in the form of exams etc are what matters.
In business it’s not so much results based on exams that your performance is measured on, it’s results based on your productivity.
In hairdressing that's things like the amount of clients you have each day, how many of them come back to you and how much they spend on products and services. These things are often referred to as ‘Key Performance Indicators’ or ‘K.P.I’s and the results that you get will ultimately determine how much you earn.
My third bit of advice is…
3. You can’t do it alone
You are now an important part of a team and you need to remember that people are relying on you, because if someone on the team is not doing their job properly it affects everyone else on the team.
You might feel like you are at the bottom at the moment and that you are not important, well that’s not true, everyone on the team matters and everyone has a contribution to make to the success of the team, the only difference is that other people on the team have different roles and responsibilities than you. But trust me when I say, “you are definitely an important part of the team!”
My fourth piece of advice is…
4. Have fun!
Working in a salon is a great job, and it can be a lot of fun and I loved it!
In surveys where they measure ‘career happiness’, hairdressing often comes up on the list as being number 1!
We are not usually saving lives or changing the world but we do have a huge impact on people and how they feel about themselves.
It’s important that we are professional at work, but it’s also important that we have fun, but remember having fun doesn’t mean being unprofessional. if you have fun, people want to be around you, if you have fun the day goes quicker, fun is more conducive to creativity and happiness for yourself and those you come into contact with. So make work fun!
My fifth and final piece of advice is…
5. Sweep to perfection!
If you are just starting off in a salon, you will probably begin with jobs like sweeping up, shampooing and making coffee etc but make a commitment to yourself that whatever you do you will do it to the very best of your ability.
Don’t be one of the those people that say, ‘When I’m a stylist I’ll’ be a perfectionist’.
Perfection is a habit and there is a saying that goes, “As you do anything is how you will do everything” so if you sweep the floor be a perfectionist, if you’re shampooing make it the best shampoo that client has ever had, and if you make a coffee present it like you work at the Ritz!
Remember, ‘As you do anything, is how you will do everything’
Years ago I wrote a book ‘GROW 1 Super Stylist’ I started using the term ‘Super Stylists’ to define those hairdressers that take ownership of their productivity and therefore ultimately how much they earn. Hairdressing can be a very well rewarded career path both emotionally and financially but it doesn’t just happen without you putting the work in.
Good luck with your career and have a great week!