Hairdresser Training and Education
Kick-starting a Successful Career in Hairdressing
Katie Mulcahy is creative director of the Lisa Shepherd Salon Group at the age of 27, that’s a meteoric rise that doesn’t just happen. Here Katie shares her tips on how to create a stellar career.
Do your research
I joined Lisa Shepherd as a stylist six years ago and I’ve never looked back. It’s important to choose an employer that inspires you and although I wasn’t a trainee at Lisa Shepherd, I wish I had been! Seek out employers with high training standards and don’t be afraid to ask how they develop their staff at interview. Do your research on your prospective employer both online and offline by visiting the salon as a client. Make an appointment and go for a blow-dry or a trim, it will definitely be worth the investment.
If you want to stand out then commit to being the best at everything you do, whether it’s presenting a cup of tea, gowning a client or sweeping the floor. Really take the time and energy to focus on greatness not just getting the job done. Employers and managers will quickly notice your attention to detail and commitment and the best opportunities always come to the staff that invest their all. Don’t forget to be a team player too, it’s not about leaving your team mates behind it’s about showcasing best practice.
Think long term
Always have your eye on the next step. If you’re an assistant, gun for head assistant; if you’re a stylist, go for top stylist. And don’t forget to look outside your company for opportunity. In 2009 I won a place on the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s FAME team. It was a landmark moment in my career and something I really wanted. I discussed my ambitions with Lisa and her support allowed me to take a huge leap forward. If you really want a stellar career you need to be constantly thinking ‘what next?’
Be generous with your time
No one creates amazing career success by clockwatching. From model nights and team meetings to positive discussions with your peers – be available and willing to put in the time it takes to create success for yourself, your salon and your colleagues. It means that when the chance to assist Tim Hartley on his BHA shoot comes up, you get the call! You do need to take time out to rest and play but there is no harm in considering a day-off as a ‘personal development day’, so use your time well.
Be an ambassador
Speak proudly and positively about your industry, your employer and your team mates. Hairdressing is an amazing career that’s given me personally, award wins, recognition and amazing opportunities. It can do the same for you – so leave the gossip and the moaning to others, you’ve got better things to do! Don’t forget that you are also an ambassador for style and fashion so look the part. Root regrowth, stained clothes, bitten fingernails – Inexcusable!