When you’re still learning your trade as a salon or beauty industry professional, it’s easy to dream about your future—what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be working, how your own space will look one day. But then you finish your coursework, get your diploma, and “one day” becomes “right now.”

Those first moments as a recent grad and a new beauty industry professional can feel intimidating, but just like anything else, forewarned is forearmed. The truth is, you should be excited—you made it through school and you’re going to apply everything you’ve learned to the real world now! So, by reading up on the challenges faced by professionals who are just starting out in the industry, you can come at any new situation with confidence that you can rise to the challenge. Here are nine things all beauty industry hopefuls should know before making the leap from student to professional!

  1. You’ll Never Stop Learning

For better or for worse, the learning doesn’t stop once you graduate! Everything changes in this industry, and the best professionals keep up with the times. Makeup trends change with the seasons, hairstyles come and go, massage therapy techniques alter as new studies are done, and new tools come out to aid cosmetologists. Sure, you’ll always have those things you do best, and you’ll settle into certain timeless styles and popular techniques that suit you and your clientele, but there are always going to be opportunities for you to improve and grow and change. Get used to the idea that you’ll always be a student!

  1. You’ll Tap into Creativity You Didn’t Know You Had

The stereotype of students being lazy party animals doesn’t ring true to dedicated learners who are there to fulfill the requirements necessary to get out in the world and achieve their dreams. For those sorts of future professionals, school can be hard, exhausting work! Once you leave the classroom and you’re out in the real world of professional life, you’ll finally have the chance to explore your personal style and develop your creative impulses in ways you couldn’t have imagined when you were in school. You can take what you learned in cosmetology school and do truly amazing things with those skills, take what you learned about the human body in massage therapy school and make people feel better. Pros who have “been there” predict that once you’re working full-time, you’ll come up with all sorts of ideas, and they’ll keep on coming every time you open a magazine, talk to a new client, or watch a new TV show. So, why not buy yourself a notebook as a congratulatory gift for graduating and jot those new ideas down in style?

  1. Instagram and Pinterest Can Be Deceiving

Above, we talked about finding inspiration everywhere. That can be an amazing thing, but it can also lead to negative feelings, especially when it comes to seeing what your peers are doing on social media. Studies have shown that social media is a double-edged sword. Yes, it can perk us up, make us laugh, keep us connected… but it can also foster feelings of inadequacy when we see what our friends in the industry are up to. When you see the amazing haircuts or great nail jobs or excellent reviews of your colleagues, if you don’t feel your work is at the same level, it can really make you feel a bit envious. So, just remember… we tend to put the “greatest hits” of our life on social media. You only post selfies when you look good, right? So why would your contemporaries post their bad cuts or the terrible reviews they receive at their salons in Lawton? When you see their work, don’t be discouraged. You’ll get where they are… and remember that they’re probably feeling similarly about seeing only your best work, too!

  1. You Can Make Lifelong Clients and Friends

The health and beauty industry is a people-focused industry. You’ll be dealing with people every single day, whether they’re your clients or other pros! This means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to forge the sorts of relationships that will last you a lifetime, whether with other professionals or your clients. The people you went to school with, the people you see in the chair month after month: they’ll be with you for years to come!

  1. It’s More Than Beauty Therapy

The beauty industry is a service industry, it’s true… you’re providing haircuts and color, nail jobs or facials, but you’re also providing something intangible. You’re providing attention, sympathy, and a listening ear. You’ll learn a lot about your regular clients, trust us, and it’s good to be careful with what you’ve learned and how to give advice, because your clients won’t just ask you about what looks best on them, or how to stretch after Zumba to avoid another pulled hamstring. They’ll ask you about their boyfriends and girlfriends, about how to deal with their mothers, and more. It’s a big responsibility, so use your power wisely!

  1. You’ll Benefit from an Industry Expert

Mentorship helps new beauty pros thrive. Articles like this are full of good advice (at least, we think so!) but a personal relationship with someone who’s been in the trenches and whose style you like… that’s invaluable. It can be intimidating to approach a seasoned professional for advice or with an appeal for mentorship, but it can definitely be a high risk/high reward situation. Or, think about a mentorship program!

  1. You’ll Need Some Space

There’s an old saying in business that no one ever gets wealthy working for someone else. That can definitely be true in the health and beauty industry. While opening your own salon used to be a dream for established professionals, even newly minted health and beauty industry workers can afford their own salon in Lawton with a mini salon suite at Salons de Beauté. Leasing a mini salon means you can keep more of the money you earn—including turning a bigger profit on retail products—and most of all, build a business you can call your own!

  1. Success Comes from Dedication and Commitment

The dedication and commitment that kept you going through school are crucial tools you’ll need in the “real world.” While school might have seemed challenging, you’ll be facing new difficulties now that you’re a real professional. Those who succeed never lose that spirit of adventure and sense of “I can do this!”

  1. In the End, You’ll Never Want Any Other Job

While it can seem hard at times, once you’re in a groove as a health and beauty industry pro, you’ll never wish you were doing anything else. It’s said that the secret to happiness is finding something you’re good at, you enjoy doing, and can get paid for. Well, congrats! You’ve done it! So, while the road ahead might have speed bumps and pit falls, you’re on the right track to loving every minute of your working life.

Ready to Get Started? Salons de Beauté is leasing mini salon suites to dedicated health and beauty professionals, new and experienced. Contact us today and find out what leasing a mini salon means for your future!