How to Get Your Career Started Post-Graduation
So, you’ve just graduated from cosmetology school and now you’re asking yourself, “Well, now what?”. Let us take that one for you– now is where your dreams start. Just like with any new chapter, starting your new career can be a very daunting mountain to conquer, especially in an industry with so many possibilities and pathways. How do you know which way to go and which outcome is right for you? Well, that’s the thing– you don’t. Only through trying different avenues will you know which one was made for you. If your first experience in the industry isn’t what you anticipated, that’s okay! You got out there, you gained experience, and you learned more as to what you want for yourself. Change your mindset from “failing” to “growing”. Each internship you experience, each job you start, each client you meet with– you can ALWAYS take something away from each situation, regardless of whether it’s the outcome you wanted or not. To get you prepared for this monumental transition from beauty school graduate to beauty career, here are 5 tips that will leave you feeling prepared to conquer any avenue!
1.) Put Yourself Out There
Social media is a haven for visual creativity. Post all your services, ask clients if you can take before/after photos, and speak to models just starting out and offer to do their hair and makeup for them in exchange for using their faces to promote your business and your brand. To get a better idea of what draws the most views and user engagement, look out for established beauty influencers and salon professionals, and see what is getting traffic on their social media accounts, and create some of your own. Or, team up with friends and do a cosmetology-based collab or challenge–in addition to being really fun and challenging you to do your best, it’s also a great way to get more views, as you will be pooling together not just your own followers, but the followers of your fellow collaborators as well!
Another thing to consider is that before an interview, 80% of interviewers will do a Google search of your name and check out your social media. Make sure your page includes things that not only you are proud of, but also something that would drawn in potential future employers. Don’t be afraid to show the personal side to your brand either– the face behind the name and the dream. People, employers especially, want to see the real you so they know the type of person they’re bringing onto their team.
2.) Be a Team Player
Once you get the job, it’s time to meet your new coworkers. They might be cautious to meet you, even worried about what change you’ll bring to the work environment, but don’t let yourself be discouraged by that. Keep putting yourself out there, and be willing to be flexible and collaborative. You’ll be coming with your own unique style, but you are joining a team that might have been around for years, with stylists and/or cosmetologists that have been honing their skills for decades. Be ready to listen, adjust, and learn. You’ll be glad for the new skills you get by doing this, and your new coworkers will be glad to work with you knowing that they’re dealing with a partner instead of a dive.
We get it– entering a new workplace can be very overwhelming, but with these tips, this can help ease you into your new environment while making friends with your new coworkers. Don’t be afraid to step up and cover someone’s shift if needed, or volunteer to tag team an extensive service to help alleviate some pressure off of your coworker.
3.) Never Stop Growing
The world of beauty is constantly evolving faster than ever, so while you might have already earned that degree, your learning is never actually over. Make sure you keep up with the newest trends in hair, nails, makeup and skincare so that you can keep delivering to your clients. This also allows for you to continue to appeal to a wider audience and raises the opportunity to bring in new clients. Learn how to use the newest equipment introduced to your salon so you can offer the best care. And never let yourself get out of practice. A steady flow of clients helps with this immensely, but if you aren’t there yet, make sure you are finding other ways to keep practicing, whether it is creating online beauty world content or practicing on friends and family. Here is a list of ongoing certifications and specializations that you can continue to utilize to help buff your beauty career.
4.) Apply, Apply, Apply
Make sure to always keep your eyes open for job opportunities and keep on applying for the positions that you want. Prepare yourself in advance for job interviews by practicing typical questions with friends and family until you have them right. On the day, dress well, show up on time, and give it your all. Potential employers will be impressed by a good attitude, a friendly and professional demeanor (this is the service industry), and of course, a good portfolio of your work–this is where having a strong social media presence where you’ve documented your previous projects really comes in handy!
One place you can check for up-to-date job opportunities is our Career Board! We offer this portal to both current students who are looking to intern, as well as those already in the field who are looking to make a switch and plant their roots. This career board is updated monthly to help you with your job hunt.
5.) Never, Ever Settle
When starting out in any new career, one of the things that can make the difference immediately between those who have a greater chance to succeed and those who do not is hard work. For instance, you can know any number of people, but until you reach out, they will remain only potential contacts. Keep styling, keep innovating, and keep reaching until you have arrived at wherever it is in your career that you want to be. Because this is an industry with limitless possibilities, do not ever, ever stop until you are happy. And I mean truly happy. You’ve worked so hard and have sacrificed so much to only end up settling. Give yourself what you deserve.
The beauty industry is no joke– we know people come into this industry with the mentality, “It’s only hair/ nails/ makeup/ skincare. How hard can it really be?”. And those are the same people that either never make it through beauty school or they drop out of the career all together soon after. You have made it this far for a reason. Do not stop until you have reached your full potential because you my dear, deserve nothing less. As always, us here at Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology are here for you during all stages of your career. For more information on career opportunities in your area or just the beauty career field overall, don’t be afraid to reach out! We have a whole department designed to help with exactly that.