You got the job! Want to know how to succeed?

Congratulations! You submitted your awesome resume, aced the job interview, and now you’ve got the job! Wanna know how to keep your job? Don’t suck at it. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • #behappy. These days there are literally tens of thousands of memes and books and posters about having a great attitude but, oddly, I still know lots of people with shitty attitudes. Listen, there are countless resources on how not to have a shitty attitude, so if you have a shitty attitude, get a clue. Stat.  An awesome attitude is everything but it’s more than everything at work. Bosses love employees with great attitudes.
  • Smile. A lot. Chances are if you’re smiling, people will think you’re happy. I’ll give you an example; we have a woman on our team who I’ve never seen have a bad day. In the 18 months she’s been with us, she’s shared that her life is less than perfect but she is always smiling. She’s always professional, she’s always at work, she’s always doing what she’s supposed to be doing (and then some), and she’s never had a bad day at work. That, my friends, is what being a professional is all about. So, no matter how shitty your situation is at home or anywhere else, when you come to work act like it’s the best shit in the world.
  • “Is there anything else I can do?” Even if you don’t want to do anything else, just ask. If you’ve taken my advice and you’re smiling a lot and have an awesome attitude, if you ask your boss if there’s anything else you can do she’ll probably say no because she loves you! Or, if she gives you something else to do it’s because she wants to give you more responsibilities because she wants to grow you! Asking if you can do anything else makes you look like a boss because you’re being a team player and everyone loves a team player. Want job security? Ask if there’s anything else you can do.
  • Don’t. Have. Issues. Please. Employees that are issues-prone are employees no employer wants. Employees with issues call out sick all the time. They come in late all the time. They don’t do their job well because they’re distracted because of their issues. They are always the center of (negative) attention. They think their issues will make up for their lack of performance so they don’t get their issues under control.  Want job security? Make sure when you’re at work you are issue free, whether you actually are or not. #nodrama
  • Avoid pointing out everything that’s wrong. Five words: be your company’s biggest fan. Or…
  • Find a company where you can be their biggest fan. If you don’t believe in your company, your company’s products, your company’s vision or mission statement, or your boss, you are taking away an opportunity from someone who will. In other words, if you aren’t on board, get off the ship. No one wants an employee who acts like they’re all in and then as soon as the boss walks away starts talking smack about how much the place sucks, how much they hate the boss, how bad the products suck, how much they hate the customers, etc. If you are doing that then you shouldn’t be at that company. Period. I don’t care if there aren’t any jobs out there, if you’re making tons of money, if you’re in line for a promotion; if your attitude about your company suck, then your performance sucks. And, if your performance sucks then your company will be perceived as sucky. You have to love your company, what it stands for, what it sells, what it aims to be. You have to love it and believe in it so much that when its shoulders sag, you’re there to build it back up and remind if of how awesome it is, or how it’s going to get awesome again. If you want job security, be your company’s biggest cheerleader. Let your boss hear you cheering from the sidelines when there are 3 seconds left in the 4th quarter and he or she is about to kick a field goal for the win.

Here’s to not sucking at work!

Ace the interview with these 3 tips!

You submitted your cover letter and your resume and you finally got the call; they want to interview you! Now what?? Don’t panic. Here’s what an interview that doesn’t suck looks like from beginning to end:

Your outfit

No matter how stylish, edgy, cool, or awesome the salon, unless there are poles in the floor, a bouncer, velvet ropes, and dollar bills flying through the air, do not dress like a stripper. Before everyone gets offended, being a stripper is a legitimate, money-making job, but there’s this thing in the work world called “dress for the job you want.” That means, if you want to be a super stylish, edgy, cool, awesome stylist, dress like one. If you want to be a stripper, dress like one. It’s pretty simple. “What should I wear, Heather?” Great question. Anything that is clean, unwrinkled, stylish, and doesn’t smell like cigarette smoke or food or anything other than clean clothes. Black is an industry standard and a color you can’t go wrong with (and, p.s., you can buy it in volumes at Kohl’s for dirt cheap in their clearance section). A cute, shrunken jacket paired with a black wife beater or tee shirt, black coated jeans, with black boots or flats is always a cute look. Not into the coated jeans? Pair it with a black pencil skirt and pattered tights. Most important, make sure your hair, makeup, and nails are on point. The salon industry is the fashion industry. Look the part.

The audition

Interviewing for a job is like auditioning for a TV show or a movie; go in there and give them your very best. That means smile, give a firm handshake (not a wussy, sucky, dead fish handshake, or that weird, wussy handshake that looks like you expect them to kiss your hand or something – so weird), lots of eye contact, and speak clearly and articulately. Rehearse if you need to. Ask a friend, a parent, or a trusted mentor to ask you some interview questions and then rehearse your answers. There is nothing wrong with being prepared. In fact, there’s everything RIGHT with being prepared. When we’re hiring, if someone comes in prepared, polished, and on-point, we’re interested. Want the job? Be that person.

Come in with a list of your own questions. “What kind of questions, Heather?” Great question. Questions like this: What are the qualities of the ideal assistant (or, whatever position you’re applying for)? Will I be interviewing with other team members? Who makes the final hiring decision? What does a typical day look like? Can you describe it? What made you decide to open your own salon? What keeps you inspired? Do you have a favorite industry icon? If you had to start your career over, what would your now-self tell to your then-self to focus on? By asking questions like that instead of, “How much am I going to make? Am I going to get tipped out? Can I take off the week of Thanksgiving to travel with my parents? Can I leave early? Am I expected to stay even if all the clients are gone and I’m done? When will I get my own chair?” When you ask the salon owner or manager about their career, their inspiration, you’re showing them that you’re not a selfish, suck employee. You’re building rapport, developing trust and relationship, and letting them know that you are a career driven, interested, team member. People enjoy talking about themselves and their successes – especially successful people – but most people don’t want to appear like their bragging. So, by asking someone about their success, you’re giving them permission to brag and to feel good about their accomplishments. #winning

After the interview

Make sure you send a real, handwritten thank you card to whoever you interviewed with that says something like this: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I really enjoyed our conversation, and getting to learn more Salon Blah Blah and how it came to be was truly inspiring. Please keep me in mind if any opportunities become available at Salon Blah Blah. I would love to be a part of your amazing team. Warm regards, Your namn this world of digital, nothing sets a candidate apart like receiving a gorgeous Papyrus card (you can find them at Target) with a handwritten note inside. You’re welcome.

Here’s to getting the job and not sucking at it!

How not to have a sucky resume

So, how many of you didn’t suck this week at work because of what you learned here last week? Hopefully, all of you. This week we’re gonna go over how to put together a kick ass, un-sucky resume. Ya ready?

Accurate contact information

“What does that mean, Heather?” Accurate contact information means your current telephone number, your current address, and an email address that you actually open and read. “But, Heather, I have like five email addresses that I made when I was like eleven. They’re all filled with spam and I can’t remember the passwords anyway.” I know, I know, so don’t give them those email addresses. Instead, go to www.google.com and create a gmail account that you use only for job searches. It should be your firstname.lastname@gmail.com, period. If that is taken, do your lastname.firstname@gmail.com, or firstnamelastnamecareersearch@gmail.com (that should work). Just make sure it’s profesh, easy for someone else to type, and you check it every day. If you don’t want this email address to go to the email cemetery (the place where all the unused email addresses go after they’re filled to the brim with spam), don’t use it for online shopping, in store shopping, school, friends, or anything other than your job searches.

Let’s move on to your telephone number. Obviously, the number you put on your resume should be a telephone number where you can be reached easily – ie. your cell phone number. Make sure a.) that your voicemail message is a professional one, and b.) that if you don’t recognize the number but you answer it anyway, you answer it like a nice, normal person, not someone who sounds caught off guard, suspicious, or otherwise unfriendly. “What do you mean, Heather?” I’m so glad you asked. Allow me to provide examples of voicemail messages that suck:

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrringgggg: Voicemail picks up (latest pop song playing in the background is the first thing heard) then “Whut up? This is Alexis. Can’t get to the phone. Leave your number and I’ll call you back.”

Brrrrrrrrrrrrringgggg: Voicemail picks up (gritty, low voice) “Yoooo. Can’t talk. Leave them digits and I’ll holla back.”

They are both examples of unprofessional voicemails. I’m not saying you have to sound like your mom or some corporate drone, but sound like you want the job. Now, on to how-to answer the phone when you don’t recognize the number without sounding like you’re trying to screen your calls, avoid a bill collector, or afraid it’s your baby daddy’s new girl: “Hello!” Yup. It’s that simple. Just say hello in a friendly, happy voice. They’ll ask to speak to you and if it’s the job you’ve been waiting to hear from, you’ll sound happy and upbeat, possibly even excited, and they’ll hear that enthusiasm in your voice. And, if it turns out to be the bill collector you’ve been trying to avoid, you can pretend you’re not yourself (“This is her sister, she can’t get to the phone.”) or, if it’s your baby daddy’s new girl, you can go from nice to nasty in a hot second. #problemsolved

Your Education

Here’s where you can connect all the awesome things you did in school to the job you’re seeking. Oh, wait, you didn’t do anything awesome in school? No worries – we’ll cover that in a later post. When putting together your resume, make sure you put your most recent education first. Now, I’m not talking about recent certifications or non-credit classes. I’m talking about official education; high school, college, beauty school, technical school, etc. Here’s an example:

Pulse Beauty Academy, Downingtown, Pennsylvania 2013 to 2014 Graduated: Diploma (received license from PA State Board of Cosmetology after passing both theory and practical exams in October of 2014)

Bishop Shanahan High School Downingtown, Pennsylvania 2010 to 2013 Graduated: High School Diploma

The most recent education is listed first with the credential received. The education prior to the most recent is listed after with the credential received. “But, Heather, I didn’t finish college. How am I supposed to put that on my resume without looking like I suck?” That’s a great question. If you attended college (or, any other school after high school) put the name and address of the school in the same format I did above but where the word graduated is put studied instead, and list the subjects you studied or the degree you were working toward. Then during your interview you can explain why you didn’t complete your degree. “But where do I put the classes where I received a certification?” Another great question. Certifications can go directly after the education heading and education content under its own heading: Certifications. K? Cool.

Your work experience

Oh, man, this is where a lot of resumes fall apart and really start to suck which really sucks because this is where your resume really needs to shine. “What do you mean, Heather?” Let me give you an example. Most people just list the tasks they were required to do at their job: sweep floors, greet customers, file, answer phones. “But, Heather, I wasn’t the CEO. I was the cashier and the stock person.” I get it, but was that all you were? Think back and answer the following questions: Did you smile? Did you help customers pick out costumes? Did you provide excellent customer service? Did you sweep the store in between customers? Did you Windex the door and windows when it was slow? Did you ask your boss for extra responsibilities? Did you come in when you weren’t scheduled if they asked you? Did you go above and beyond? (P.S. Pay attention here because this is where a superstar will stand out from someone that sucks because this is where a superstar will share all the ambitious, outgoing, kind, helpful, things they did while on their last job.) And, if you didn’t do any of these awesome things at your last job (or, your current one) then a.) you suck, and b.) at least now you’ll know how to shine on the job. You’re welcome.

Formatting your resume

Make it easy to read, don’t make it a cluster, and put it on nice paper (heavy stock). If you’re still not sure about what a great resume should look like, check out some sample resume websites like this one. Remember, you don’t have to be a corporate drone to get a job but, unfortunately, being super creative can sometimes come off as unprofessional. Finding the happy medium is sometimes the toughest part. If you want to know if your resume sucks, feel free to email me a copy of yours and I’ll let you know.

Here’s to another week of not sucking at work!

There’s no K in success.

Growing up can be both awesome and sucky. It’s awesome because you can do what you want, when you want; and it sucks because you have to pay your own bills and work pretty much every day. Ah, the double edged sword of young adulthood. There are ways, however, that growing up can be more awesome than sucky and that’s what this series is going to be about – how not to suck in your professional life.

Your professional life can’t suck if you don’t have a job. Want to know how to get the job you want? Here’s how – show up. Really! 90% of the young people who say that they want a job and that they’ll “stop by to fill out an application,” never show! Then the ones that do show, often show up smelling like a stale cigarette, dressed unprofessionally, with their cell phone pinging away in their pocket or purse. (*Side note: I’m as obsessed with my cell as the next person but there’s a time and a place, kids, and this is the “how to get the job” part. You might not like everything I have to say but trust me, if you want the job you’ll listen.)

Live by the Boy Scout motto: Always be prepared. If you want the job show up, show up early, and show up fresh. Do you hair, put on some makeup, wear something stylish but make sure it’s appropriate (if it’s something Kim Kardashian would wear, don’t wear it); we’re in the beauty industry so the expectation is that you’re going to be stylish, not whorish, so be mindful of skirt length and boobage if you’re a chick (not shorter than your fingertips when you hang your arms at your sides) and if you’re a dude, make sure your pants aren’t wrinkly, your hair looks polished and your scruff looks intentional.  Not sure what the difference is? Google it. Stat. Or, ask someone. People in the salon industry notice details.

Speaking of details, know what else people will notice? When you ask them for a pen to fill out the application you came to fill out. Make sure you bring a pen with you. But I’m bringing my resume, Heather, so I won’t have to fill out an application. You have a resume? Awesome! Bring the pen anyway. Human resources says that employers have to have an application on file. For those of you without a resume, no worries – we’ll go over resumes in my next post – but in the meantime, type up a quick bio about your achievements and activities as they relate to the job you’re applying for. Highlight clubs you belonged to, previous jobs you’ve had and the awesome things you did while you were there, your GPA, honors programs, volunteer work, community service – kidding – don’t share your community service experience unless asked. Make sure you include your contact information and make sure it includes the following:

  • An email address that you actually look at regularly – nothing sucks more than trying to email a person and the email they give you comes back undeliverable or the person doesn’t respond. “Oh, I never look at that email. I’ve had it since I was in like seventh grade.” The screen name xxbeiberbabyforlifexx@aol.com didn’t give it away at all. Create a simple gmail address with your firstname.lastname@gmail.com. And, make sure you check it. Almost as much as you check Instagram.
  • A cell phone number with your voice on the message – when a hiring manager is trying to call a candidate for a job and gets a voicemail with the generic, robotic voice, “You have reached six, one, zero…” they might be reluctant to leave a message. After all, what if isn’t the candidate? Update your voicemail with a professional message. You don’t have to sound like a stick in the mud but at least let the person calling know that it’s your phone.
  • Your Facebook page if you’ve created a job search, semi-professional page – there’s nothing worse than a Facebook page that is filled with garbage (you know the kind I’m talking about). If you’re information is public than make sure, while you’re job searching, that it’s cleaned up. If you want it to remain trashy, mark it private or make sure the friends or family members you have on your site that post tons of inappropriate stuff are made private/blocked. A semi-professional Facebook page allows you to post images of the work you’ve done as a student (or, stylist) and functions as a great marketing tool.

Now that you have the basics covered, print your bio on nice paper (not copy paper, yuck), get out there and start putting in applications. Next topics will include how to build a resume that doesn’t suck and how not to suck in an interview.

Here’s to not sucking at work!

Is 21st century stress causing you to live a lie?

McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine defines denial as this: a primitive ego defense mechanism by which a person unconsciously negates the existence of a disease or other stress-producing reality in his environment by disavowing thoughts, feelings, wishes, needs, or external reality factors that are consciously intolerable. In other words, a person pretends that a situation that is happening in their lives isn’t really happening at all. Oddly enough, however, the very mechanism people in denial use to protect themselves is the very thing that prevents them from actually helping themselves.

Considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms and one of the most frequently used by individuals with an undeveloped, or immature, ability to cope with reality, denial is also usually accompanied by regression (“If I don’t think about it, it’s not real.”) and people existing in a constant state of denial and regression can pay a high price mentally, emotionally, and socially. With such harmful repercussions as a result, why do people choose to exist within these mechanisms? Sigmund Freud, the armchair psychologists psychologist, claimed that in order to reduce feelings of anxiety, human beings are driven towards rationalizationSaul McCloud, a teaching assistant at the University of Manchester, concurred stating that rationalization is the cognitive distortion of “the facts” to make an event or an impulse less threatening, or to protect the person’s self-esteem. It’s the conversation that plays out like this:

“My husband (or wife) does this (or that) behavior (or thing) repeatedly and makes me (or our family, himself, herself) look bad not because he (or she) doesn’t love me (or our family, himself, herself) but because (insert lame, overused excuse here).”

If you, or someone you know, lives in denial, you’ve heard statements similar to that one that may be about the person’s job, their family, their friends, their kid’s friend’s parents; however, most people, when making excuses like that for themselves, rationalize on a fairly conscious level. McCloud had this to say about those individuals, “For many people, with sensitive egos, making excuses comes so easy that they never are truly aware of it. In other words, many of us [they] are quite prepared to believe our [their] lies.” Sounds like a recipe for disaster for the friends and family who aren’t prepared to believe the lies. So, what are they to do when confronted with the denial and rationalization of a loved one or colleague? It’s an area where, according to another mental health professional, they had better tread lightly.

Michelle Aycock, a licensed psychotherapist and contributor for the Savannah Morning News, wrote about the impact of denial on relationships in a recent online article. Highlighting the difficulties of having a relationship with a person in denial because of the inability to confront the individual (due to the fear of repercussions), she had this to say, “Some people enjoy floating down the river of denial.”  In other words, you can confront a person living in denial until you’re blue in the face but the only reaction you will most likely get is continued denial (“Your face isn’t blue at all, it’s red.”). She offers the following advice for dealing with a person using denial as a chronic coping mechanism:

Don’t try to take on or fix their problems. As difficult as it may be, let them deal with the consequences of choosing to live in denial however bad.

And for the person living in denial, she offers this:

If people are telling you you have a problem, then you probably have a problem. 

Is there any hope for people in relationships with others living in denial? According to veteran psychologist, Dr. Bev Smallwood, there is. Smallwood wrote in an online post that if the person acknowledges and examines the areas in their life where they haven’t been completely honest and then, with that same honesty, reflects on her suggested activities below, there is hope.

  • Have you been defensive about statements people have made because they hit too close to home?
  • Focus on the things you’ve been trying to ignore; maybe there is some truth in what people have been telling you.
  • Allow yourself to experience your truth but don’t be surprised if you feel sadness, embarrassment, or depression. 
  • Stop procrastinating! Face your issues and make a plan to improve your circumstances. 

Life is not easy and with all of the demands we are faced with in the 21st century, so it’s easy to understand why so many people choose to live in denial. Oftentimes, it’s easier than facing the ugly truth! But if are constantly living in denial because of situations and circumstances in your life that are repeated over and over again, and it’s causing the people around you to a.) not have candid conversations with you about your situations and circumstances because they know you’ll have a melt down, or b.) concur with you and your bullshit because they know you’ll have a meltdown, it might be time to step out of the river of denial and onto dry land.

Two easy steps to manage your online reputation…

#problemsolved

Joblessness Among Young People – We’ve Created a Monster

I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to unemployment and young people without sounding like an old doucher (insert old man voice here: “I remember when I was a youngster and times were tough, we did whatever it took to make a dollar.”) but I just read a post by Herb Engert that put me over the edge. In it, he addresses the frightening statistics of joblessness among young people today. The entrepreneurs in the 30 and under group he researched suggested five key imperatives for action: expand funding alternatives, increase mentoring and broader support, change the culture to tolerate failure, target and speed up incentives, and reduce red tape and excessive taxation. Though compelling, these suggestions from this particular group make me want to blow my top, and here’s why.

I’ve been working with Gen Y and Millenials for close to a decade, and I have been stunned by the decline in personal responsibility, drive, and motivation each year has brought to each new population of young people I work with. I’ve witnessed a 23+ year old have a public tantrum because his instructor “didn’t respect” him (actually, I’ve lost count of how many students have publicly decried being “disrespected” by an instructor because the instructor didn’t let them off the hook). I’ve had to take countless telephone calls from parents of 20somethings and 30somethings complaining that their child isn’t learning anything and then, when confronted with the fact that their child has a 67% attendance rate, giving excuse after excuse as to why we should allow their (adult) child off the hook (“She’s having a really bad year,” “She just got her 2nd D.U.I. and she’s really depressed,” “He has insomnia and can’t be at school by 9:00. Can’t you make an exception?”) I’ve been saddened by the W.I.F.M. sense of entitlement that is so pervasive among this population, their cutthroat, back-stabbing, reality-TV-esque interactions. The “Even though you may be smarter, stronger, or better than me, I’m going to make sure you lose, or at least look bad, so that I look better; even though I’m not going to do anything to be better, smarter, or stronger. I just don’t want you to win because if you win, we’re not on the same level.” I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. After all, this is the generation where everyone won a trophy, whether they played by the rules or not. Maybe all this nonsense started there.

When I was growing up (again, insert old man voice here), if you played on a team there were winners and there were losers. If you won, you celebrated. If you lost, you licked your wounds for a minute but then you went out and practiced that much harder. No one wanted to suck or be a loser. Fast forward twenty years and at little league and t-ball fields across the nation, kids learned that it didn’t matter if they won or lost, they would still win a trophy anyway. I’m pretty sure that’s when the coaches stopped being allowed to teach kids to win because parents didn’t like it when their kid cried because they sucked – I mean, lost. So, coaches stopped coaching (or, bullying, as some psychotic parents suggested) and started telling the kids that “everyone is a winner,” which we all know is horse shit and the parents all patted their kids’ heads and nodded their own heads in agreement. Or, maybe this phenomenon occurred when parents, guilty because they both had to work long hours at the office to maintain their American Dream – Toll Brothers McMansions, mid-size luxury sedans and SUVs, golf, Abercrombie & Fitch, riding lessons, Uggs, and The Northface for the kids – decided to let their kids off the hook for everything. “I don’t feel like cleaning my room,” “I don’t want to go to practice,” “Amy has the new Uggs. I can’t believe you won’t get them for me,” “What do you mean we can’t go to Great Wolf Lodge for a week? You suck!” Exhausted and over-worked, parents started picking their battles, discipline, dedication, drive, and ass-kicking competitiveness obvious losers, lifeless on enemy soil. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. We’ll make it work,” they replied. “I was going to get you those Uggs for Christmas, honey,” they quickly recovered. “I know your team lost today but you will always be a winner,” they lied. And their kids, smug with a win, nodded in agreement, their Facebook likes, Twitter and Instagram followers, an obvious confirmation of their awesomeness (right?). The fascinating thing about this? These same parents are (gasp) shocked that their adult kids are a.) still living at home or, b.) moving back home after unsuccessful jaunts in the real world due to their unrealistic expectations of how the real world should operate (“What do you mean I’m not getting promoted to vice president of the company after being here for six months?” “They treated me like shit. Like who the fuck are they to ask me to make copies for them?” “I could run that shit a thousand times better than they do.”).

On the flip side, there are some things I admire about this generation (shocking, right?). I love the fact that they are more open to creating their own careers and that they have no fear when it comes to doing just that. I admire their confidence when it comes to self-promotion.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people tout their awesomeness, whether true or not, and the fact that they can build a business off of the spin they generate about themselves is amazing. My generation had to have proof in their pudding before they spouted off about how excellent they were but, as a result, have built long-term success is their careers and the businesses they developed.  For example, alongside my husband, I helped grow our business to several million dollars a year in business from the ground up. We had no choice of funding alternatives – we went to a family friend who loaned us money to use as collateral to get more money from the bank. We had no mentors or support – the company we franchised with was brand new to the franchising game so, we in essence, grew up along with them. We would NEVER expect culture to change to accept our failure – failure wasn’t an option, period. We had no government incentives – we had achievement and success and pride as incentives. And, taxation? It is what it is and we made sure our profit margin fit within our tax structure. So, with that said, the five key initiatives I would suggest to young entrepreneurs are this:

1. Stop whining about what you need and wondering who is going to hand it to you. We don’t need to expand funding alternatives so that you can start your business. Like most people that have built successful businesses before you, get up off your ass and go make it happen.

2. Stop expecting other people to create what you need. It’s hilarious to me that with allllllll the thousands of “friends and followers” you guys all have via social media, you’re crying that you need us to create business networking groups for you guys to more readily share information. Instead of telling your thousands of friends and followers what you drank last night at happy hour, or what you’re eating for lunch today, why don’t you ask them if they can recommend a mentor? Or, if you want to build a support network for your entrepreneurial aspirations, why don’t you use your social media skills to build one? Or, should we create an association to do that for you, too? I just read something in a John Maxwell book that said something like, “If you want a glass of milk, you don’t go out and sit in a field expecting the cow to walk up to you and put its nipples in your hands.” Sage advice, obviously paraphrased, but sage advice, nonetheless.

3. STOP ACCEPTING FAILURE AS AN OPTION AND STOP EXPECTING US TO ACCEPT YOUR FAILURE AS AN OPTION FOR YOUR FAILURE. It is nauseating to go back and reread the three bullet points: government needs to promote entrepreneurs as crucial job creators (no they don’t if you do what you say you’re going to do), society needs to be more tolerant of failure and recognize entrepreneurs as innovators (“Even if you lost today, you’ll always be a winner to me, sweetheart.” Is that what you need? Then you’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur.), schools and universities must help students make the right career choices (oh, that’s right, we need to parent you because your parents were so busy telling you how awesome you are and how you’ll be successful at anything as long as you believe you’re successful, that they forgot to tell you that if you want to be successful you have to work your fucking ass off.)

4. Stop looking to the government to create solutions to your inability to make shit happen. Sure, it would be great if there was a program that could help everyone become an entrepreneur but if you look at programs the government creates to help everyone, there are rarely any self-made success stories. Quite the opposite.

5. Taxation is what it is. If you think the government is going to lower taxes, or make special concessions because you want to start a business and it needs to be easier, then you’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur. Big businesses that have received special tax loopholes became so successful WITHOUT those loopholes that they can now hire people to go to Washington and create new loopholes for them. Soooooo, in other words, go get super successful and then you, too, can get special tax treatment.

In closing, I’m sure I’m going to receive tons of flack for this post (“You don’t know what it’s like to be young,” “You’re negative,” “You suck,” “You’re a dream killer,” “You’re already successful. Fuck you,” “You don’t understand what these kids are going through,” “Blah, blah, blah”) but I’m reminded of a quote when I think of this, as I, like Herb, do often. It’s from my husband’s grandfather who used to say: “Shit in one hand and wish in the other. See which one fills up faster.” Herb was right when he said that this is a generation that can be great, but it has to start with young folks not wishing but taking action; however, shitting in their hand isn’t necessarily an action I would suggest.

Beauty Industry Icon Vivienne Mackinder Needs Models ASAP

The International Beauty Show is next week and international salon industry icon and creative genius Vivienne Mackinder needs long hair models from March 8th to the 10th. Interested? Check out the model requirements and casting information then reach out to rebekah@mackinder.com. Hope to see you there!

Ten Reasons Why No One Wants To Work At Your Salon

“I don’t get it. I’ve advertised and interviewed but I’m not getting any bites. What is going on with this generation of stylists? They’re so, I don’t know…different.”
Millenials. That’s what this generation of stylists is called and, yes, Millenials are different. There are lots of reasons why they’re different (that’s an entirely different conversation – one I’ll have to cover in another post) but today I want to focus on what salon owners can do to grow their stylist pipeline and develop successful recruiting strategies.
Salon owners have recognized that the employment pool has changed dramatically, yet when it comes to recruiting, interviewing, and employing this group, salon owners are using the same (frankly, outdated) methods. This ignorance is in no way intentional, it’s simply a lack of knowledge of what, and who, they’re dealing with. We, too, have witnessed a dramatic shift in the students we are training to become stylists, the most noticeable shift has been in the attitudes of our student population when it comes to their careers. Things that may not have mattered to recent generations of graduates – like a salon’s web presence or social media presence – are critically important to groups we’ve graduated the past few years. And, unlike past graduates who knew specifically what they were looking for when it came to choosing a salon in which to work, when asked what matters most to them, Millenials are often vague or offer answers that leave me scratching my head. So, if you’re doing everything the way you used to (the way that actually used to get you stylists) but you’re wondering why you’re not able to hire new talent, here are ten things Millenial students and stylists have shared with me that impact their decision making when it comes to choosing a salon.
  • The Millenial student or stylist’s specific career goals: “I want to work in a high-end salon,” “I want to work in a super busy salon,” “I want to work in a trendy salon,” “I want to work in a boutique style, more intimate salon,” “I want to open my own salon,” “I want to move to New York/California/Miami.” Millenial stylists are the stars of their show. Visual by nature and raised on a steady diet of reality television, they’ve already visualized what they are going to be doing, where they’re going to be doing it, how a salon fits into it, and how fabulous they are going to look on Instagram doing it. No matter how unrealistic or pie-in-the-sky you may think their career goals are, you better fake like you think it’s brilliant. If you don’t, no worries – they’ll leave your salon for the salon down the street, then the salon further down the street, until they find someone that will support what they want to do.
  • Their geographical location: A lot of our Millenial students and graduates do not live locally and a significant number of them are still living at home. So, when looking for a salon to work in a.) the price of putting gas in their car impacts whether or not they will choose a so-so salon far from home or a so-so salon closer to home because less money means less lifestyle money, b.) they can pick and choose where they want to work because they don’t have the pressure of rent money needing to be made and, c.) generally salons closer to home are favored so there isn’t a long drive at the end of their day.
  • The salon’s reputation: Among current students, graduates, salon industry professionals they know (their aunt, uncle, cousin, friend “that’s a stylist”), what they’ve heard, know, or assume, about the salon is their truth. As is your salon’s online presence.
  • Who else works there: Whether or not other current students or graduates already work at a specific salon a Millenial stylist is interested in greatly influences whether or not they want to work there. “If so and so works there it must be cool,” applies as easily as, “If so and so doesn’t work there then it must suck.”
  • The salon’s online presence: Millenials are the most tech savvy generation this world has ever seen. Raised with computers, email addresses starting in grade school, and smart phones glued to their faces unless they’re asleep, this generation of stylists EXPECTS your salon to have a website (and a Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Vine, and LinkedIn at a minimum) and if you don’t (or, worse, if you have it and it sucks) it can be a kiss of death.
  • The salon’s physical location: Is it convenient for them to get to? Does it “look” cool/fun/trendy/hip? I’m not saying they’re lazy but the path of least resistance is a favorite.
  • The salon’s actual appearance: Is it modern/cool/hip or is it dated or “old”? Will their pictures look good in their social media feed? Will their friends/family/frenemies be impressed?
  • The salon’s relationship with the school: Does the salon team or owner come in for visits or to teach classes? Does the salon invite the students to participate in events with their salon where the students can assist or observe the stylists in action?
  • The salon’s team: Are they “cool” – which, in and of itself, obviously, has a million different definitions and is, of course, in the eye of the beholder – nice, friendly, successful, current, on-trend, etc.? Or, are they old school, dated, etc.?
  • The W.I.F.M.: This is probably one of THE most important factors a Millenial student, stylist, or graduate, considers when looking at salons – “What’s in it for me? What are you going to teach me? What are you going to pay me? Why should I work at your salon instead Salon B. down the street? Will I get my own chair? When will I get my own chair? When can I go on the floor? How long am I going to have to assist? Do I get tipped out? How much continuing education will I get? Do you offer benefits? Are you going to advertise for me? How am I going to get clients? How many breaks will I get? Can I make my own schedule? I’m going on a cruise with my boyfriend and his parents in November, so I’ll need two weeks off, is that cool?”
Hiring Millenial students and stylists can be done – we have salons in our area where every employee is a graduate of our school. Use the information our Millenial students have shared with us to take an unbiased look at your salon through their eyes. Get an idea of what you’re salon is doing right and then, if there are areas where you’d like to make improvements, make adjustments. Even though our audience as a school doesn’t change, their tastes, ideas, wants, needs, and how they like to receive information changes all the time.

Three words that strike fear in the heart of a hairstylist.

I have the pleasure of spending most of my days at our beauty school with some of the most amazing people in the world: cosmetology students. We call them Future Professionals, a term Paul Mitchell School’s pioneered more than a decade ago. During a recent professional development class I taught, we talked about the service cycle and some of the things that can make it successful. “A great cut,” responded one Future Professional. “An awesome blow-dry and style,” responded another. “What about great communication?” I asked. Met with quizzical looks, I continued my line of questions. “Do you guys talk to your guests about services we offer that they aren’t there for? What about the products you’re using on them – do you talk to you guest about them?” No one was talking. “How about rebooking and recommending products – you’re doing that, right?” The anxiety in the room was palpable. Since performing these tasks during a service is part of the service and education experience, I was a bit concerned that they weren’t engaging in these important steps and wanted to get to the bottom of their reluctance. “Why aren’t you guys doing these basic things, guys?” I looked around the room and finally someone spoke up. “I don’t like when people tell me no.”

Fear of rejection is a common fear and is the most potent and distressing of every day events, according to psychologists, and is experienced in friendships, romantic relationships, and in the workplace. It’s no wonder After all, most of us associate the word no with rejection, and who likes to be rejected? But statistically speaking, you have a 50/50 chance that the answer will be yes and in our industry, as in countless others, yes = income. I’ll give you some real world examples of places where a yes answer would add dollars to a business’s bottom line:

At the register at Old Navy: Cashier asks, “Would you like to save 15% on your purchase today by opening an Old Navy card?” If the person says no – no big deal. If the person says yes and gets approved – they have an open line of credit and are more likely to make purchases. #makingmoney

At the register at Barnes & Noble: Cashier asks, “Would you like to get valuable coupons by sharing your email address with us?” If the person says no – no big deal. If the person says yes, they receive coupons encourage them to come to the store and spend money. #making money

At McDonald’s: Cashier asks, “Would you like to make that a large for just $2.00 more?” If the person says no – they’ll live longer. Ha ha. If the person says yes, McDonald’s just made $2.00 more than they would have made had the cashier not asked. #makingsensenow

Okay, now I want you to imagine the financial ramifications to each of the companies I used in the example above if the add-on questions were never asked. Old Navy is owned by Gap, Inc., and according to their Annual Shareholder’s report their net sales for 2012 were $15.7 billion. McDonald’s? $6.5 billion. Barnes & Noble? $6.8 billion. A huge percentage of the sales that occur in those companies come from their front line people asking those important, revenue generating, questions. And, in addition, customers expect to be asked to “add-on” to whatever it is they’re buying; they won’t be surprised or offended if you ask. In fact, if you leave off that important add-on question, some might wonder why they weren’t asked!

This week set a goal to ask at least one customer per day an add-on question – one that will increase your ticket, your retail, or your rebooking. Then, share your results with me here. I’d love to hear your success stories!