Successful Careers Begin with Job Shadowing
Hays Academy of Hair Design students seeking jobs in the Central and Western Kansas areas will often times find themselves with a list of their top ten salons in hand and may have been contacted by a few of them. This is a phenomenal situation to be in, but it can also be a stressful time as you strive to navigate which salon would be the best fit. The answer to most, if not all of your questions, can be resolved by shadowing a professional in each salon.
Nuts and Bolts teaches us to visit these salons in an order that allows for incredible success:
Salons Ranked from Most Desirable to Least Desirable Job Shadow Order
This sequence makes sense because the first time you do anything, it is unfamiliar which may make you nervous. But, as you gain experience doing this, you become more confident, you become more able to ask questions that benefit your job search. You become comfortable being uncomfortable!
**There are many observations you should be making;
-Is the atmosphere my style? Is it loud and busy or is it more of a relaxing spa type atmosphere?
-How many stylists are behind the chair during the day? Will I be able to get walk-in’s as I am building my clientele?
-Am I familiar with the product lines being utilized in this salon? (If not, you should be learning about them ASAP!)
-How professional are the team members? Is this a positive atmosphere?
-Can I see myself spending 40+ hours a week here?
**Aside from general observations, there are also numerous questions you should be considering asking other stylists or whomever you are shadowing;
-Do you offer continuing education?
—If so, how often, and what is the cost to the stylist?
-Does this salon have an associates program that offers specific training detailed at this salons signature services?
-What is the base rate for commission?
-Will the commission rate increase over time or will it be the same?
-Do you offer any benefits? (ie: health care, 401k, paid time off)
-What is the dress code?
-Do you help promote the stylists, or is that each stylist’s own responsibility?
-What is something you feel that starting stylists need to improve upon?
-Do you have any specific requirements for starting stylists?
-Do you provide backbar supplies?
-What are stylists required to bring and maintain?
-Do you keep electronic files of clients prior services and product sales?
-Are stylists required to sign a contract?
—If so, what are the stipulations of that contract?
Of course, you should add any of your own questions to this list!
A few things to keep in mind when job shadowing is that you should have your cover letter, resume, and portfolio ready and available for the owner or manager of the salon to review. They may want to hire you due to your professionalism and progressiveness!