Most cosmetology school graduates start their first job in the beauty industry as a salon assistant. It’s a great way to learn the ropes at a salon, continue to refine your technical skills, and ease into working with clients.
For more tips on what to expect in your first job out of cosmetology school, read What You’ll Do as a Salon Assistant.
If you want to make the leap from salon assistant to full-time stylist, you’ll have to be dedicated to learning everything about the salon and working with as many clients that you possibly can. This is where having a salon mentor really pays off!
Larger salons that have established mentoring programs will often pair you with a seasoned stylist and require you to complete certain continuing education classes. If you work in a smaller to medium size salon, chances are that you’ll need to find your own mentor.
Your salon mentor can’t be just any stylist at the salon! It should be a stylist who’s respected by the other employees, who’s been working in the field for a few years, and who specializes in the same services that you want to eventually specialize in.
It’s also important that the stylist is open to being your mentor. The best way to find this out is simply to ask! Tell the stylist you look up to them and that you’re eager to learn. If they agree to be your mentor, they’ll be able to give you an insider’s advice and perspective that can really help you get ahead in your new career.
- Your mentor can help train you on the day-to-day operations inside the salon. They can show you how to use certain tools and products, how to keep your station clean, and other important salon protocol.
- You’ll get to observe the way your mentor works with his or her clients. You can learn the best way to greet your clients, to communicate with them once they’re in your chair, and how to upsell and rebook them when you’re done. Client retention is the key to being a successful stylist and you can learn a lot about this from your mentor!
- Your mentor can give you great advice on how to navigate from salon assistant to full-time stylist, because chances are they did it too.
- If you’re being considered for a promotion, your mentor can be your professional reference. He or she will be able to talk accurately about your skills and your personal progress to the salon manager.
- Hopefully you’ll create a special bond with your mentor, maybe even a friendship, that will endure long beyond the time you spend together at the salon. Down the road, your mentor could be someone you turn to with tough career questions or networking ideas for new job opportunities.
Ultimately, having a mentor will help you build up your confidence and be a better stylist! It’s a relationship that can benefit your career for years to come. Once you’ve made it big in the beauty industry, you can pay it forward by becoming a mentor to other new stylists.
Do you love cutting, coloring, and styling hair? Why not make a career out of it? The beauty industry offers many different fun and exciting career opportunities! If you’re seriously considering a job as a stylist, check out this Cosmetology Salary Guide Infographic for important career information.
Salon Success Academy is a beauty school with five convenient locations throughout the Inland Empire of California. The school offers in-depth, hands-on training in cosmetology and esthetics, as well as extensive preparation for the State Board exam, and financial aid to those who qualify. Call 877-987-4247 to speak with an Admissions Representative today!