For whatever reason, you’ve decided to move on to another business. How do you make your exit? How do you bring it up with your boss? What do you do about your clientele? This article will help you plan a strategy that will get you out of there without burning bridges or starting a war.
Your goal should be to leave on good terms so that your prior boss will be willing to serve as an excellent reference. The better the conditions under which you leave, the more likely that owner is to refer your loyal clients to your new place of business. You also want to leave the door open in case you discover that your greener pastures aren’t as green as they seemed and you wish to return. (You never know, right?)
1.) Make sure you’re ready to walk.
You’re going to give 2 week’s notice in your resignation letter, but be prepared for your salon owner to decline it and send you packing as soon as she’s done reading it. If you haven’t yet found a place to go, make sure your resume and list of references are updated. (Walking into a business and asking for an application is tacky. You’re a grown up, not a high school student looking for a part-time job at the mall. Bring a damn resume.)
2.) Protect yourself and your clientele.
If you’re a booth renter, or if you didn’t sign a contract regarding how the clients are to be handled in the event of a termination or resignation, you need to follow this step. Do not breathe a word of your intention to quit in the salon before you’ve handed in that resignation letter. Read this post about whether or not it’s appropriate for you to take your client data before you do anything. If it is appropriate for your situation, the day before you give the resignation letter to your boss, bring your client book (if you have one) home with you and do not bring it back to the business. I’ve seen a lot of salon owners steal client books that they had no right to claim. (Salon owners, if you’re looking for information on how to ensure departing employees have no legal right to take client data with them, read this post.)
Protect your clientele.
3.) Do your research and have a plan.
The last thing you want to do is spend the next week researching salons and applying. Do the research first. Make a list of places you want to work, regardless of whether or not they’re hiring. Keep a list with the names of the businesses, their addresses, the names of the owners, and their contact information (phone/email). This shortens your “search” time and the time you have to wait for responses. Instead of spending several days looking, you can dress to impress and spend one day hitting the places on your list. Get copies made of your cover letter, resume, and reference lists so all you have to do is walk in, drop them off, and if the owner is available and willing to see you for an interview, you’re all set to go.
4.) Type a letter of resignation.
Dear Mr./Ms. Manager or Owner,
Please accept this letter as my two-weeks notice of resignation. My last day of work will be [LAST DAY].
While I have been very satisfied at [SALON/SPA NAME], I have decided to make this move to advance my career. I have enjoyed working with you and appreciate the opportunities I have been given here.
Please let me know if you need my help in any other way.
5.) Make an appointment with the owner or manager to discuss your resignation.
Don’t just drop the letter on their desk and walk out. Make an appointment to speak with the owner or manager and hand it to them during that meeting. They may want to know more about why you’re resigning.
Don’t be afraid to be honest during this meeting. If an owner or manager wants your feedback, it’s probably to help themselves become better at their own job.
They deserve to know where they went wrong so they can have the opportunity to improve in the future.
At this point you also might want to discuss how your clientele will be handled. This can get messy. If you signed a contract that restricts you from contacting clients, then you must abide by it. Period. However, if no contract is in place and you work at an establishment that allows you to keep your own client records, both you and the salon have the right to contact those people. For more information on who gets the kids in this divorce, read my article, “Who Do the Clients Belong To?”
6.) Don’t get nasty.
Regardless of who you’re speaking to, whether it’s your current coworkers or your potential employers, do not talk shit about your ex-employer to anyone in the industry. It’s unprofessional. It’s tacky. It’s just poor form. Don’t do it. Everyone tends to knows everyone in a local market.
You don’t want them running their mouth about you and you don’t want your new employer to think that she might be the one you’re ranting about one day, do you?
No. So shut it. (However, feel free to rant to your friends and family members.) Besides that, you want to be able to use them as a reference. So, don’t be a dick.
7.) Find another job if you haven’t already.
Get a new outfit, do your hair and nails, and hit all of the locations on your list. Hand out your resume, cover letter, and reference lists. Spend an entire day interviewing and applying. Wait for the offers to come in. Think about and evaluate about the offers carefully.
Don’t immediately accept the first offer you receive.
Follow up with the employers you haven’t heard back from 48 hours after you dropped off your application/resume via phone or email. Be sure to inquire about their employment contracts during the interviews and ask for a copy to bring home and read over.
So many people email me because they signed contracts that they shouldn’t have, so I feel like I need to say this in all caps: DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT READING IT.
If you’re not happy with the terms, negotiate them. If the owner refuses to negotiate, thank them for the offer and LEAVE.
For more information on how to find the perfect fit for you, read my article, “How To Get a Job in ANY Salon or Spa.” For more information on contracts in the salon, read my post series, Contracts 101.