At some point in our careers, we’ve all had to assess our current employment situation and decide whether or not we’re in the best salon for us and our career goals. Sometimes, the decision is easy and obvious. In other instances, you may end up “on the fence” so to speak. Coming to a conclusive decision may be difficult. You don’t want to make a rash decision you’ll end up regretting later but you don’t want to stay in a toxic workplace either.
When it comes down to it, you spend quite a lot of time at work–you shouldn’t spend it being miserable.
This article will help you decide if it’s time to leave your workplace, approach the owner about making some changes, or wait it out.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before submitting your resignation:
1.) Do you wake up excited about your workplace and your coworkers? Obviously, you are not going to jump out of bed every day thrilled about going to work. There will be good times and bad times at your workplace. However, if you’re waking up every day dreading the time you’re going to spend in the salon, you need to start considering your options.
2.) Are the salon’s professional values (or your own) starting to drift in conflicting directions? Let’s say you’re working at a family salon. When you began your employment, the dress code dictated that everyone wore black and conducted themselves professionally. As time goes on, things change and those values slip. Eventually, the dress code no longer applies. As a result, the employees are behaving unprofessionally and acting inappropriately at work. These changes cause you to lose clients. Your professional values no longer mesh with the environment you work in.
Consider whether or not you want to allow the salon’s reputation to alter your own.
In this case, approaching the owner and proposing a solution first is a good idea. If the owner is unwilling to compromise, hit the classifieds.
3.) Are you hearing complaints from your clients? This business is about service. If the people you are servicing are expressing to you that they are unhappy, you have two options: you can take their complaints and address them or you can ignore them and eventually lose their business.
Talk to the owner and try to resolve the issues. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to go.
If clients are unsatisfied with your coworkers and your work environment, get out.
It’s only a matter of time before they all bail and the salon goes under.
4.) Are you at a salon that helps you grow as a professional? If you’re interested in being more than “just another hairdresser” are you at a salon that encourages and helps facilitate professional growth? Plenty of salons offer continuing education and opportunities for advancement. Some even offer portfolio building assistance and participate in fashion shows and photoshoots for local fashion magazines.
If you want to grow as a professional and your salon is not willing or able to offer you those opportunities, resign and find another salon that will.
5.) Are you making enough money? If you’re not getting enough business to build a decent book or the prices are set so low that you’re barely making enough to get by, pack up and get out. Business is business.
You’re at work to make money. Once the cash flow dries up, there’s no reason for you to be there.
My personal rule is this: I will give a salon a six month probationary period. If, at the end of that probationary period, I am not booked six weeks out–I need to move on. I know what I’m capable of in terms of building my clientele. If I haven’t built a following after six months, I know I’m in the wrong place for me.
If you know what you’re capable of as well, you can set a similar benchmark and deadline.
(Side note: If you don’t understand that you should be getting paid at least the prevailing minimum wage–even if you’re considered “commission-only,” you need to read this post.)
6.) Are your coworkers making you miserable? Every salon has at least one asshole who makes it their personal mission to make your life a living hell. Hopefully, you’re in a salon that’s managed properly and those problem employees get dealt with accordingly but if you’re going through constant bullying and mind games and the manager or owner has failed to put a stop to it, it’s time to leave. Nobody deserves to be miserable at their place of employment or suffer abuse at the hands of malicious coworkers.
Bottom line: business is business.
Leaving a toxic workplace can be hard. Despite the problems that compromise your professional happiness, you may be close with the owner or your coworkers on a personal level, which complicates matters even further. If you’ve decided it’s time to go, read this post about how to quit your job the right way.
Have you ever had to leave a toxic work environment? What happened and how did you know it was time to make a run for the door? Let us know in the comments!