Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Best First Job Upon Graduation

By: Lauren Whitaker, BCN Communications

Category: Professionals, Students

Sometimes, the thought of navigating the next step in your career can feel daunting, overwhelming even. What’s next? How do you weigh the options? What path is right for you? No doubt, there are incredible opportunities for new professionals in the beauty and wellness industry. Landing the right salon job is essential to ensuring that you not only enjoy what you are doing on the day-to-day, but also that you stay motivated and consistent with your performance.


The truly important question is which opportunity is the best opportunity for you and your current life situation. Keep in mind that what’s best for someone else may not be best for you. So, what exactly should you consider when looking for your first salon job upon graduation? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of factors to help guide your evaluation.




Let’s face it. Money is, indeed, a powerful motivator and deciding factor. As such, comparing the pay structure that your chosen salon offers for its employees is essential. In general, there are three types: hourly-rate, commission-based, and booth rental. (We’ll cover the pro’s and con’s of each type in another blog post.)


-Do you have savings set aside or reliable, outside financial support to supplement your income while you build your clientele? What’s your plan to invest in inventory, supplies, and take home product?


-Do you need to immediately start making a predictable amount of money?


-Is your financial situation stable or will you soon begin making student loan payments?




-Is insurance a deciding factor or do you have coverage through your parents or spouse?


-What benefits are important to you?


-Are there additional incentives or bonuses that an employee might be able to earn when he/she performs well?




-What are the employee policies at your prospective salon?


-Is your schedule predetermined or do you have the option to weigh-in?


-If you have children, how does your childcare situation factor in with the times you’ll need to be available for work?


-If you have schedule flexibility, what is your game plan to keep yourself accountable and focused on growing your business?




-Is an apprenticeship something you are interested in? (More articles to come on this topic soon!)


-Because honing your craft is super important (to your business, your reputation, and your job satisfaction), what is the plan for continuing to build your arsenal of knowledge? Self-funded education? Salon-sponsored training?


-Is there a career path or learning program in place to help new talent grow? What does it look like? How does it align with your future goals?

Core Values/Culture


-What is the salon culture? Core values? How do you fit in AND shine?


-Does this seem like a positive work environment? Will you enjoy spending time here each day?


-How are employees treated? Is it a team environment or a bit more independent?

These are just a few of many questions to guide your thought process and help you begin to determine what a best first job in the beauty industry looks like for you. Again, the definition of best is key. It’s a balancing act of “needs versus wants”, weighing “must-haves” against the “nice-to-haves” to make good choices, thrive as a professional, and unleash your true potential.

Tags: Jobs, job search, Career, Career Advice, Goals, Students, Student Loans, Education, Professional Education, Passion