Lessons Seasoned Stylists Want to Share with New Graduates - Maybe Old Dogs Can Teach New Tricks!
It is often said that as long as one is alive, learning never stops. This is true, particularly if you are in the beauty industry. As a cosmetologist, you will see that this industry is constantly changing and evolving and, in order to thrive, you need to grow along with it.
Upon graduation from beauty school, many feel like they are aware of everything there is to know about their craft. But as we step into the workforce, we realize that there are so many things that only experience can teach. To put it simply, there are some lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom.
On that note, here are five lessons that professional stylists with years of experience want to share with new beauty school graduates. Lessons like these come from these professionals’ own experiences and have helped to shape their careers. These old dogs know their stuff, so tune in and find out the things that you weren’t able to pick up in a textbook.
- Practice makes perfect
Even if you feel like you are up to date on all the latest trends and styles, and have continuous clients that allow you to work on your skills daily, you must still remember that there is always more to learn. There is always room for improvement. Practice makes perfect, so whether you are a current student, a new graduate, or someone with years of experience, you should never ignore the industry’s everyday lessons.
Even after years in the industry, there are stylists who still take mannequins home for practice. There will never be a time in your career that it is not necessary to hone your skills and improve yourself.
- Manage perception
We work in an industry that focuses on appearance. With that being said, it only makes sense that you should practice what you preach. As a beauty professional, it is important to maintain your appearance too, especially in a professional setting. If clients come into the salon and see a stylist that is unkempt, has an outdated hairstyle, exhibits poor grooming habits and wears shabby clothes, you cannot blame them if they don’t trust you to cultivate their appearance.
Putting effort into the way you look speaks for your work ethic and your abilities as a stylist. This trait helps to manage how others perceive you, as well as how you perceive yourself.
- Take advantage of every opportunity
Many of the regrets people have in life are their missed opportunities. You do not want to look back in ten years and beat yourself over all the opportunities you let pass. You are a new graduate who will have plenty of wonderful opportunities coming your way, so make sure that you make the best use of all of them. Whether it is an education class, a networking opportunity or a challenge, just learn to say yes when you have opportunity knocking on your door. Maximize your options!
- Be ambitious, but have realistic expectations
An important lesson that newbie stylists need to learn is that things take time. Patience is an important quality, but only when it is paired with hard work. While it is important to have set goals for yourself and have ambitions, it is equally important to be realistic in your expectations.
For instance, you need to learn that you probably won’t build a strong clientele just one year after you graduate. Realistically speaking, it takes about 4 years to build a long list of loyal clients who appreciate your work. Just because you do not have that huge list immediately does not mean you won’t in the future, especially when you consider the hard work and dedication that you will put in over this duration of time to expand your business.
- Find a mentor that you can actually learn from
Last but not least, you should always remember the importance of having a mentor. It is never too late or too early to find a mentor for yourself. This should be someone you trust and respect and who is also willing to teach you what they have learned from their own experience. Make sure that you have a mentor you can actually learn from, rather than having a mentor just for the sake of it. A mentor is not for the sole purpose of being close friends, it is to grow your career.
Many believe the older generations of stylists are out-dated and obsolete, but more often than not we know our stuff. Integrate a few of these tricks into your every-day work life and you may see a positive change. Think about it: We wouldn’t endorse these ideas if they weren’t effective for us!