After working in the beauty and wellness industry for nearly two decades, I can honestly say that building a strong network throughout your career is one of the most important pillars of success. Your overall character, the degree of professionalism with which you approach your craft, how you treat your co-workers, how you exit a position – all of these things can play a crucial role in what #opportunities present themselves to you in the future. Building and maintaining your network, nurturing your professional relationships, and being smart about NOT burning bridges can make you stand out and enhance your career's longevity. Here are four tips for growing your network and #buildingbridges to a brighter future in the beauty industry.
1 - Your current co-workers are your future referral network. Treat them well.
Five years from now, one of your former co-workers may be asked by a hiring manager to recount their experience of working with you. What would they say? As someone who used to be a manager, I can tell you that what your past co-workers have to say about your character weighs far more heavily in my mind than what is on your resume. No matter what you think of your co-workers, treat them with kindness and respect. Their opinion of you may impact whether or not you get a position you're pining for in the future!
2 - Reap the rewards of respecting your reps. Their network may benefit you one day.
Do you treat the skincare and technology reps that enter your practice like candy dispensing machines of free product, or do you use them as the valuable resources they are to help you understand their line or device in more depth? Beauty Industry Representatives cast an extensive "net" work of contacts, influence, and connections. They commonly flag providers and staff who they believe are exceptional and have their fingers on the pulse of what practices may be looking to fill positions. Keep the lines of communication open to stay at the forefront of their minds when opportunities become available.
3 – You'll understand your boss better when YOU become the boss.
In your career, you will inevitably work for someone you simply don't get along with. How you handle this difficult dynamic is a gold mine of a learning opportunity both personally and professionally. Remember that in many cases, we can't truly understand someone until we walk a mile in their shoes. When YOU become the boss and need to juggle financial projections, marketing budgets, HR issues, and payroll, you may find yourself behaving in much the same way as some of your bosses in the past. Strive for understanding, compassion, and being someone who provides solutions. You may be surprised at how quickly a professional relationship like this can turn around and serve you in your future.
4 - Always make your exit with class, tact, and respect.
Chances are, you will quit a job one day (if you haven't already). HOW you quit a job is just as important as WHY you do. Throwing a temper tantrum and walking out on a full schedule of clients is NOT how you do it. Not only is this disrespectful to your clients and co-workers, but it can also be a future career breaker for you. If other businesses learn of your "exit strategy," they will be unlikely to hire you. Instead, schedule a meeting with your boss to voice your concerns respectfully. If you can't resolve things, map out a two week to 1-month exit plan that allows them to find a replacement for you and may even afford you the opportunity to train in your replacement.
Sometimes, the bridges you don't burn end up being the strongest crossings to your career's next level.
Danielle Spak, AP Esthetician, Certified Laser Technician, & Owner/Creative Director of Siren Creative Consulting, LLC