Employment: Make yourself a valuable asset

Reflecting on how you can improve is the key to developing your career and increasing your success, says ABT’s Dave Horton.

Dave Horton Associated Beauty Therapists ABTThe start of a new year is the perfect time for you to reflect on your career, and how you are perceived as a therapist, stylist, nail tech or make-up artist, not only by your clients but also your employers. 

At this time of year, you're likely to be rushed off your feet and it's probably hard to find time to think about developing your career. However, come the New Year when it may be quieter for you, spend some time reflecting on how you are seen by others and what you can do to improve yourself.  

How does your boss see you?

If you're employed to work in a salon or spa environment, think about how your employer sees you; how you promote yourself as a professional. Not only can being professional help elevate you in your manager's thoughts when it comes to career development or even promotion, it can also make your working day a lot more enjoyable. 

When your manager thinks of you, do they see a conscientious individual who strives to deliver the very best service to their clients; someone who goes the extra mile to help their business grow? Someone who is talented and a valuable asset?

If you're in any doubt, reflect on how you could work better and ultimately be more successful. Even if you're performing well, everyone has some room for improvement. 

This could be in the form of training, whether that's updating your skills or learning a new treatment or technique. As an ABT member, you have access to over 1,000 ABT accredited training providers who offer courses ranging from beginner through to advanced, and after successfully completing an accredited course, you can add the new treatment skill to your membership, in most cases, for no extra fee*. 

Beauty therapist undertaking semi permanent makeup training
As an ABT member, you have access to over 1,000 ABT accredited training providers who offer courses ranging from beginner through to advanced, and after successfully completing an accredited course, you can add the new treatment skill to your membership.
Speak to your employer about how additional training will help make their business more successful and ask whether they will support you, whether that's by contributing financially towards the training, or allowing you the time to attend a course or practice new techniques. 

Remember, having an ABT accredited course under your belt adds even further credibility to you as a professional.

If you're an employer reading this, you may think that sending staff on training courses is too costly, but consider it an investment for the longer term. Supporting your team through education not only boosts staff retention but better trained therapists and stylists will deliver the latest treatments along with an improved customer experience which can enhance business revenue. Retaining a good stylist or therapist is cheaper and much less stress than recruiting for new staff, so if you see potential in an individual, investment in their development is good for your business.  

When booking training, check that courses are ABT accredited to ensure that skills can be added your employees' ABT membership*. You can check online at www.abtinsurance.co.uk or www.beautyandhairdressing.co.uk, where there are searchable listings of accredited training providers. 

Make yourself a useful member of the team

Being a good salon employee is about so much more than just performing treatments. It's about embracing your place of work and helping to make it a successful salon you're proud to work in. In addition to keeping your skills up to date, as a team member you should also consider how you contribute towards the day-to-day success of your workplace.

For example: 

  • Always arrive at work on time, or earlier than requested, so that you can prepare for a busy day properly.
  • Be flexible with your working hours where possible to help support the rest of the team during busy periods.
  • Act professionally at all times, and wear the appropriate uniform so that you look smart and part of the team. 
  • When you're having a bad day, or you're upset by something outside of work, leave this at the salon door and concentrate on giving your absolute best to your clients and co-workers.
  • Work hard to achieve any targets set, such as retailing or client re-bookings.  If you don't understand a task, ask for more support.  
  • During quieter times, fill your time productively by carrying out daily tasks without needing to be prompted, or think of suggestions to help bring new clients to the salon. 
  • Remember that all feedback is useful, even if it's not what you want to hear. Work hard to improve any areas that may be your weakness – you will benefit in the long run.
  • Be a Team Player. Try and get on with your co-workers, avoid gossiping especially about management, and be a positive member of the salon or spa team.
We spend so many hours of our week at work, it should be enjoyable as well as productive. Good employers will appreciate your contributions and support, and in return encourage you and your development, creating a successful and pleasant working environment for everyone. 

Dave Horton is Director of ABT, the industry's leading membership and insurance provider representing over 18,000 professionals. For more information telephone 01789 773573, email info@abtinsurance.co.uk or visit www.abtinsurance.co.uk.