December 4, 2015


Find the perfect job when you’re first out of college – A “how to” on selecting the right salon & spa after you’re finished with beauty school.

It’s go time! Or it almost is. You’ll soon be finished with cosmetology school or massage therapy training, or esthetics or nails. All that hard work, acquiring knowledge in the classroom will soon be over. Now, another phase of your journey is just around the corner and coming fast. Are you ready?

Finding your DREAM JOB!

“Selecting the perfect salon or spa to start your career is important and worth doing right,” says Maggie Hummel, Director of Career Services at La’ James International College“Finding the right start is all about identifying the right fit for you. Set goals and define what you want in the very beginning, then do your research and find out which salon & spas meet the criteria you’ve set. It’s all about following through. People who take action get hired.”


“What are you trying to accomplish?” Hummel says, “It’s as simple as that. What does your ideal future life look like? What do you want and what do you want for your career?”

In addition to figuring out your career goals, it’s good to identify your strengths and interests. Knowing the things you’re good at and the things you like doing will help you identify salon & spas that provide services you prefer to do professionally.

“Once you’ve outlined what you want and what you need, it’s easier to start looking for an employer,” Hummel says. “And it’s a lot easier to know when you’ve found the right one.”

RESEARCH – Ask Questions – Take a tour

Do some fact-finding. Check your options. Get a “leg up” by doing the legwork. Whatever you call it, just make sure you know who’s hiring you, what it’ll be like to go to work every day, and what you’ll mostly be doing. Having an accurate understanding of what’s expected of an employee at each salon & spa will help you select the right one for you.

But how do you make sure you select the right salon or spa?

“Definitely take a tour if you’re thinking about working there,” Hummel advices. “And ask lots of questions. Interviews are two-sided. Don’t forget you are working to find out if they are a right fit for you and if you are a right fit for them.”

What are some things to look for and questions to ask?

What does a typical day look like at the salon or spa?

What services does the salon & spa offer and what would you mainly be doing?

Is the salon & spa environment a place you see yourself working and succeeding in?

How many years have other employees been with the salon & spa?

What training and continuing education is offered?

What opportunities are available for advancement and clientele growth?

What are the retail expectations?

What product lines are used and sold in the salon & spa?

Hummel says the most important thing to know: Are you comfortable there? Can you see yourself driving happily to work every day? Do you feel like you can be successful there?

“Also, ask to see the salon & spa’s service menu,” points out Hummel.

Of course, your wages and starting pay scale is also important. Most salon & spas start new graduates at an hourly rate plus tips, but all salon & spas are different. Some will have retail sales quotas, some have commission incentives.

“That’s why we encourage students to research multiple salon & spas. Thery’re all different and they do things differently. Just know as much as you can before making a decision,” Hummel advices.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a MATCH!

Each salon & spa has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. They’re all different. Even the style, feel and mood will all vary. How much you like each salon is dependent on your personality, skills, wants and needs. Make sure you find the opportunity that’s best suited to get you where you need to go.

“Don’t take a job just because,” says Hummel. “Take a position somewhere you feel you can succeed. Find a place that’ll make ‘you’ into an even better ‘YOU.’ Find somewhere you can be creative and excel. Somewhere that supports your strong points, encourages you to learn more, keeps you improving and gives amazing training opportunities.”

Happily ever after

When you find the salon & spa that matches your needs and gives you the best opportunity for success. GO GET IT! Don’t hesitate. Start developing the life, career and family you deserve. You’ve earned it!

Other Considerations

Geography – Is the location convenient?

Employee benefits?

Hours and scheduling procedures?

Walk-in traffic – Look for a salon & spa with lots of walk-ins. This is important. Walk-in customers give you the opportunity to expand your clientele. Every client could be a lifelong client. Be confident, do a good job and make a good impression.

Maggie Hummel is LJIC’s Director of Career Services. She has a vast knowledge of the professional landscape in Iowa Cosmetology and is committed to ensuring that La’ James International College students find the best professional fit possible for their first job.

Have you always dreamed of a career in Cosmetology, Massage Therapy, Easthetics or Nail Technology? Contact LJIC today at 888.880.2108 for help choosing your best future!

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