Industry News

8 Tips to Make You a Self-Starter Hairdresser

Lauren Salapatek | November 26, 2014 | 9:43 AM

Look through the job ads and you’ll see time and again employers looking for people who are self-starters, that happy face who can work on their own initiative without having to be constantly told what to do. Self-starters are proactive and optimistic; they ooze self-confidence and make life smoother and easier for their colleagues and their clients. They are team-players who are conscientious, flexible and achievement-oriented. No wonder they are in such demand.

So how can you ensure you are one of that prized group of salon employees? Follow these eight tips offered by Nuts and Bolts Training Company, a leader in business development programs for the health and beauty industry, and you’ll be well on your way.

#1: Take the initiative

Look out for opportunities to take responsibility and be part of new (or existing) projects. Volunteer to do things without being asked, and certainly without being asked twice. Be conscientious in everything you do, even the pettiest of tasks. Sweeping the salon floor may not seem glamorous, but it needs doing, and it needs doing properly. Pay attention to every detail of your job, including the speed at which you do it, and you will develop a reputation as someone who can always be relied on to step up to the mark.

#2: Take every opportunity to learn

This doesn’t just mean paying attention on courses and training sessions – that should be a given – but constantly watching and listening to how other people do things. Whether that’s a different way of blow-drying, a new cutting technique or a fresh approach to retail, be alert to and absorb it all.  Also look for inspiration everywhere – not just in hair or fashion but in the whole world around you.

#3. Keep motivated

Self-starters are also self-motivated and keep going when others give up. Probably the best way to develop and maintain motivation is to think about what you want to do with your career in the long term. Maybe eventually you want to run your own salon, be a session stylist or do magazine, film and TV work. Understanding where you want to be is the first step towards getting there. Set your goals, write them down and keep them in mind always. This will help keep you motivated when your day seems full of mundane tasks.

#4. Do your homework

If you truly love what you do, it becomes your life. Spend time checking out magazines and websites for interesting articles and blogs; as well as picking up technical knowledge, you should be learning all you can about your chosen industry and the people in it – and if that doesn’t interest you, find something that does within your environment.  Maybe you’d prefer to be a manager, an educator or a leader.  Understand your opportunities and discuss options to inch closer to your career goals, but always make sure you are learning and making progress.

#5. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Accept and embrace change. Just because something has been done a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it has to be done that way forever. A change in circumstances often demands a change in roles or responsibilities, and self-starters keep going when faced with unexpected or changing situations. Choose to ride the wave of change rather than drown as it sweeps over you. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and you’ll be able to embrace change rather than being overwhelmed by it.

#6. Respect others

People skills are essential in the cosmetology industry, and that means more than asking clients where they are going on vacation this year. Be always ready to step in and help your teammates, even if it means not being the center of that activity. Talk to people – your team and clients, and be interested in what they have to say. Work on developing relationships so they know you and know they can rely on you.

#7. Accept you might fail

Persevere and accept that sometimes you might not get it right. Where others might see obstacles, see challenges. Overcoming them will build your skills and self-assurance. It’s all too easy to be presented with some new challenge and think, ‘I can’t do that’. Why pre-judge? Have a go first before assuming the worst. ‘I can’t’ isn’t the same thing as ‘I won’t.’ 

#8. Work at it

Being a self-starter isn’t some magical quality people either have or don’t have; it’s about developing and maintaining a can-do attitude, and almost anyone can do it. But it takes hard work and concerted effort. Training yourself to be a self-starter at work will also bring benefits and success in other areas of your life as your self-confidence grows, you gain the respect of others and become the person you always wanted to be.

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