Whether you are a hairdressing apprentice, a senior stylist or even a salon manager, you’ve got a job and you love the industry you work in. Even if that is the case, you probably don’t want to stay in the same position forever.
The hairdressing industry is an innovative, fast moving, image conscious business, so if you want to progress your career you will not only need to be passionate, creative and full of energy but also adaptive, skilful and ready to push boundaries.
Here are five tips that can help you to progress your hairdressing career. Trying them out could put you in a better position to move forward.
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Where do you see yourself in five years and how will you find your way to that place? A clearly articulated set of goals will help you work towards your vision. Once you’ve clarified your goals, the next step will be to figure out what skills you will need to develop or strengthen, what types of experience you need to gain, and what connections will be helpful to encourage before you make your next move.
If you are a beginner taking your first steps into your hairdressing career and see yourself as a Style Director, then you will need to build a wide range of skills, knowledge, and experience. You can get into this role through completing a college course (like a Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing), an apprenticeship or working towards this position.
Many hairdressers take advantage of the numerous opportunities to network outside of their salons, underestimating the importance of networking at work. Networking within your salon is key to developing new skills and identifying opportunities for advancement.
Take time to meet people and nurture all your new and existing relationships in your hair salon. It can help position you for a future promotion or get you in on some of the new clients that come through the door. Your colleagues might also know about other salons that are hiring or have insight that can aid your professional development.
Attending hairdressing events will help you grow your skills and understanding of the latest hairdressing trends as well as allow you to meet other people who share the same passion and inspiration. It’s a great opportunity not only to talk to experts and leading members of the hair and barber industry but also to join the technical programmes which allow you to experiment with new methods.
It may not be easy to find a place for the annual British Hairdressing Awards, but there are plenty of other hairdressing events throughout the year such as Hair UK, Olympia Beauty, L’Oréal Professionnel Colour Trophy, Wella Professionals Trend Vision Award, Freelance Hairdressing Association’s Inspire! Event, Modern Barber Awards etc. Why not search for networking events through professional groups or sites such as Eventbrite, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Meetup.
Mentors can help you identify and work on the skills you need to succeed in your field. They’ll provide coaching and support when you are having difficulties and need some motivation.
Perhaps there is a highly experienced hair stylist you admire, someone in a hairdressing group you are part of who is always suggesting new techniques, or a more experienced alum from your college who is a hairdressing magician.
Once you find your mentor, you need to set up a regular meeting with them and ask them for feedback on your professional development or have a discussion about which skills you should build to enhance your hairdressing career.
There are tons of hairdressing courses that you can take on your own time to set yourself up for future career opportunities. Refer back to the list of skills you made earlier and make sure you identify a course that will help you achieve your goals.
They will teach you everything from the trendiest styling techniques to providing in depth consultations and recommendations to your most demanding male and female clients.
Whether you choose to enrol into a university, college or a specific hairdressing course there are many accredited institutions that offer professional hairdressing qualifications. It’s probably worth making sure that your diploma is accredited by the internationally recognised governing body VTCT. Learning new skills even through an online course can set you up for a promotion or new job by making you a more attractive candidate.
Whatever route you take, a career in hairdressing comes with flexibility and the chance to continuously develop your skills. When you can’t achieve the usual signs of career growth, it’s natural to feel stuck and unmotivated. But by following these five simple steps, you can invest in your own professional development and set yourself up for larger opportunities and new positions once the right time comes.