The importance of networking and how one link may be the link you need to further your career.
Have you ever played the party game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, which suggests that any two people in the world are only six acquaintances (or less) apart, the game challenges players to connect Hollywood actors to the prolific movie star Kevin Bacon through a series of six or fewer films or costars. Not only is it a fun way for movie buffs to pass the time, it’s also an excellent illustration of the power of networking for beauty industry professionals.
Why, you ask? Simply put, because each person you know is a link in a chain to others. With every link you connect, your professional reach expands exponentially and increases your ability to reach new clients, as well as industry insiders who can help you further your career. A healthy network is invaluable whether you want to broaden your clientele or take the next step up the beauty ladder.
Of course, you need to make sure you’re networking effectively if you want to maximize the impact of your efforts. Time and again, the tactics below have been proven to work well for resourceful beauty school graduates.
Follow influencers and other beauty professionals on social media – Whether you keep tabs on them through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, following influencers as well as beauty professionals is a simple way to get them to notice you. You can’t just lurk in the shadows, however. Make meaningful comments on their posts, reshare, and retweet. This can work particularly well if you want to gain your dream salon or spa owner’s notice. Engage on social media and he or she will already know who you are when it comes time to submit your resume.
Continue your education after graduation – As one of our educators, Ms. LaShawna Brewer, recently pointed out in an interview, education is the key to working in the beauty industry. Make an effort to continue to learn new techniques throughout your career. Taking classes and attending seminars with industry professionals you admire will not only help you keep your skills fresh but will also allow you to interact—and add more links in your networking chain. Someday, those links may be able to help you land your next salon or spa position.
Hang out with others in your industry – We’re not just talking about your friends from school or work, though. Get to know as many other salon and spa professionals as you can! Industry meetups are an easy way to do so and Meetup, the world’s largest network of offline social communities, can help you find them. Their networking for hair stylists group currently has more than 1,900 members and 21 scheduled meetups in 18 cities and four countries.
Attend beauty industry events- Trade shows, product launches, job fairs and other recruiting events will also allow you to meet other industry pros and make the networking connections you’ll need for a successful career. A few to consider include America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach, California, and the International Beauty Show in New York.
Even more convenient is Creative Images Institute’s annual networking and recruiting event. Coming up on September 10 and held at the Dayton Masonic Center, the event will enable you to mingle with other artists and alumni as well as professionals from local salons and spas. Meet others in the beauty industry face to face while you learn more about potential employers in your own backyard—no plane ticket or hotel required!
By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology