Top Five Tips for Being The Best Salon Apprentice/Associate
In a world full of apprentices, are you setting yourself apart?
The hard part is over….or is it?
You’ve gone through the grueling training of cosmetology school – you’re licensed, you’re prepared, and you’re ready to take the beauty world by storm.
Oftentimes, newly licensed pros right out of cosmetology school will need experience before they can get their hands on their dream jobs, and the lucky ones that land apprenticeships seem to be on the fast track to success.
But, it’s not enough to just snag a great apprenticeship – you’re going to have to stand out amongst the rest in order to get the most out of your training, impress your mentors, and most importantly, learn to become the best of the best.
As dizzying as all the responsibilities may seem, there are a few tried-and-true methods for making sure you’re doing your best during your training.
We’ve laid out our top five tips for kickin’ ass as an apprentice.
Be Ready to Learn
Sure, we know this one might seem obvious since you landed the apprenticeship with the goal of learning all that you can, but it’s not enough to just think it – you’ve got to let your mentors and management know that you’re in it to win it and learn the ins-and-outs of your trade.
Your job isn’t going to easy – it’s going to teach you how to be exemplary.
You can’t be the best of the best without first learning how to do it.
You should expect to learn all the work from start to finish, from the bottom of the barrel to the top-notch services. Be ready for everything – from learning about sweeping up hair, greeting clients, and taking drink orders to moderating successful consultations, conducting highly-technical services, and guaranteeing client satisfaction.
Be ready to ace the education regimen and ensure that you’re opening your mind to learning as much as you possibly can.
This is going to be wildly important in your career and your craft – if you don’t know something, ask. Talk to your mentor, talk to other stylists, work with the salon owner.
If there’s something you don’t know, you should know it, so make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to do that.
Often, your mentor might not know that you have questions or concerns, so it’s important to be vocal. This is the time for questions, for exploring, and for understanding your craft the best you can – take this chance to soak up all the knowledge possible!
Respect Your Mentor (and Appreciate Them, Too)
Your mentor wants you to succeed, they wouldn’t have taken you on as an apprentice if they didn’t, so they’re likely going to try to and teach you all that they can.
Remember that your mentor isn’t required to take you on, they’re doing it because they think you’ve got what it takes. With that in mind, be a sponge.
Even if they have you doing – what you believe to be – menial tasks, soak in everything you can. Do they want you to just shampoo straight for a week?
There’s a reason for that – dive into your shampooing tasks wholeheartedly.
They’re your mentors for a reason – they’ve been doing this a long time, not to mention successfully, and as a brand-new beauty expert, you can only benefit from learning from them.
Remember to respect your mentor, but also appreciate their time.
They’re not required to pass their knowledge down to you – they’re doing it because they want you to succeed and they see something great in you.
Don’t let that acknowledgement fall on unappreciative actions or behaviors. Make sure your mentor knows that you respect their style, but also that you appreciate their time, effort, and dedication to your blossoming career.
Don’t Be Afraid to Forge Your Own Path
With full respect to your mentor, don’t be afraid to experiment and do things your own way.
We don’t recommend directly going against your mentor, especially if they have specific ways they do things in their own salons, but it’s important to begin the process of becoming your own stylist.
This is likely going to require gleaning information from lots of different sources. Take your mentor’s words to heart but learn under your own steam.
Do the research. Read books. Talk to other professionals.
Dig deeper into subjects that interest you and practice them on your own!
Working on your skills, talking with your mentor, and experimenting with different methods, strategies, and processes is going to be the way you develop and hone your own unique style and craft.
Don’t be afraid to try new things!
Enthusiasm Goes a Long Way
Salon owners, workers, and management are looking for more than just raw talent – they want to see passion and creativity, they want to see that fire in your eyes.
You know it’s there, so don’t be afraid to show them!
Hiring on an apprentice with a skill is one thing — hiring someone with a skill who’s aching to get better and grow in their artistry is a completely different ball game, and that’s the piece of the puzzle that a lot of apprentices are missing.