We all are looking for the 3P’s. No matter what field you’re in – this is the goal. Life is so much better when you can attain the 3P’s.
1. Perfect job
2. Perfect employer
3. Perfect employee
If you’re going to work 2000+ hours per year, don’t you want to be doing something you are passionate about? In a place you enjoy? To be respected? Treated fairly? Providing a valuable service to clients? Of course you do. That’s what we all want.
But guess what? Finding that harmony in a workplace can be a challenge.
Finding a mutually beneficial balance between the employer and employee is a two-way street. Both of you are going to invest a lot of time and energy towards each other. You want to make sure the fit works positively for both of you.
When you go in for a job interview, the prospective employer is not only interviewing YOU – you are also interviewing them!
So what do you look for to find that perfect fit when you are job hunting? Here are a few key points that should be on your radar as you go through the interview process.
When you first drive up to the salon, is it appealing to you? It doesn’t matter if it’s a large corporate situation or a small salon in an intimate setting. Is it visually attractive? When you step through the door, what do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear?
How did they greet you? Was it warm and friendly? Were they smiling? How did they present themselves? As you toured the salon, what was the interaction with pets that were being groomed? Did they look relaxed? Did the stylists look busy but in control or completely frazzled? (Remember that there’s a difference between being busy and freaking out!) What was the inner salon team vibe? Trust your gut on this one.
Goals & Standards
What type of expectations does the salon have of you? How many dogs a day are you expected to groom? What caliber of grooming are they looking for: basic maintenance trims or high quality pet grooming? What about scissoring? Show trimming? Hand stripping? Cat grooming? Will you be doing all the work on the pets (prep, bath, dry, brush out, finished trim) or will you have an assistant at your disposal?
Does the salon offer incentives for career growth? Do they encourage skill advancement? If you invest the time and effort to improve your skills, how will the salon reward you? Do you have the opportunity for employee reviews on a regular basis to discuss your work and your efforts within the team?
Would you be hired in as an employee, a subcontractor, or leasing table space? There are rules and regulations with each one of these hiring scenarios. The IRS is starting to crack down on subcontractors and leasing table space. With any of the these options, make sure you are clear on what is expected of you from both the employer as well as state and federal obligations within each category. (Read my blog: Independent Contractor or Employee – Who Do You Hire?)
Does the salon have any type of employee manual? Manuals set the expectations of both the employer and the employee. They hold everybody accountable as long as they are enforced.
There are many variables to a comprehensive pay package depending upon your hire status. Hourly, commission, or combinations of the two are common depending upon your role in the company. If a commission is being paid per pet, the percentages can vary dramatically. Don’t let that alarm you. Your earning potential will directly correlate to your abilities and the average ticket price per pet.
Average Ticket Price
The average ticket price per pet will vary from salon to salon. These variances will stem from their location and their operating costs. If a job is commission based – don’t think that high commission is the only way to go. There is a big difference when you combine the average ticket price in the commission price per pet.
Who would you rather work for?
Job hunting can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.
When you appear for a job interview, make sure you are prepared. Present yourself in a polished and professional way – and not just to the boss. Bring a typed, comprehensive resume. A bunch of information scribbled on scrap paper does not cut it (don’t laugh – I’ve seen it). Supply references. Learn how to “stack” your groomed pets (to see a video on this topic, click here) and take excellent photos of your work for your portfolio to bring along. If you’re a recent graduate from a training program, bring a copy of your final report card with attendance and GPA. If you do any activities to enhance your career, make sure they are listed on your resume. List your animal-related hobbies (dogs, cats, horses, etc.). All of these items will reflect positively on you.
Many salons will also request a “working interview.” Typically, this will be done only after the initial interview, so if you’ve made it that far – congratulations! The next step in the interview process will be to see how well you actually interact with pets. What’s the level of your grooming skills? What type of equipment do you have? How well do you maintain your equipment? How well do you follow directions? How you interact with the rest of the team? Remember, everyone is nervous with this type of interview. That’s OK. Just do what you do best: groom dogs.
When you land on your prospective employer’s doorstep, remember to breathe. If you don’t have a good, firm handshake – start practicing. And smile. Your prospective employer is always going to be looking for a bright, hard-working, and ambitious new hire.
That’s you, right?
Well-trained and comprehensive professional pet groomers and stylists are in demand. With some hard work and a little luck, you’ll find a job that revolves around the 3 P’s…
The perfect job.
The perfect employer.
And you’ll be the perfect employee.