We’ve all been there: it’s the night before your first day at a new job and you can’t stop worrying about “what ifs.” What if my co-workers are catty, what if my boss is tough, what if the clients complain about me; the worries seem endless. Starting out as a new stylist (or starting any career for that matter) can be daunting. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the industry, there’s nothing easy about being the new kid on the block.
Between trying to make a good first impression, remembering names, and getting acclimated to your new salon or spa and “their” way of doing things, it gets overwhelming. You then throw into the mix the interpersonal part of the new job: interacting with your new boss or new co-workers can sometimes make you want to throw in the towel. Before you get too discouraged follow these helpful tips to ensure a smooth transition.
#1: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! You are going to experience what I refer to as a learning curve. No matter how much experience you have, you will have to learn how your new salon or spa does things! This is especially stressful if you’re a new industry professional. (Making the leap from school to the “real” world can be scary and overwhelming.) Just relax… it’s going to take some time!
#2: Take the time to absorb the salon or spa’s culture. As the newbie, your objective should be to watch and observe. It’s important to learn how things are executed at your new salon or spa. Regardless of how you did things while you were in school or while working at another salon or spa, each business has their own unique culture. Your overall objective should be to discover how you best fit into the culture and how you can contribute.
#3: Be humble. Don’t inflate yourself or make yourself seem overly important. You are the new “kid”- you need to put in your time! Trust me your new co-workers will be watching you; make sure you show them what a great addition to the team you are.
#4: Be a sponge. If you are working as an assistant to a senior staff member, the best advice I can give you is be a sponge – soak it all in! Ask how things are done, how they personally like things executed, etc. When you’re not busy, quietly observe how the senior staff interacts with their guests, how they execute technical services, etc.
#5: Always offer to help! If you’re not busy then stay busy! Offer to assist co-workers with even the simplest of duties. Offer to sweep, get salon customers beverages, assist with laundry, or other light housekeeping.
The great news is the feeling of being new doesn’t last long and you’ll soon be finding your personal stride at your new salon or spa. Have stories of your own? Share them with us in the comments below.
Photo: Shutterstock | Brickrena
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Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team where she currently serves as an Implementation and Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative training that inspires and empowers beauty industry professionals.
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