Many of you out there have people working under you, or people looking up to you. Some of you are cosmetology educators, some of you are managers and some of you are simply Instagram famous with 10,000 followers. Some are just the head stylist at your salon or maybe you’ve just been there the longest. Maybe you are at the top of your game in the industry and have many assistants running around attempting to make your life easier and move their career forward ever so slightly. Wherever you are in the beauty game, there are always people above you but most importantly, are the people below you. For too long we have looked at the next wave of hair care professionals as competition. This is a backwards way of thinking and can potentially bring your career to a grinding halt.
The people that are assisting you, the people you are managing, or the fans you have built up on your social media platforms will be the next best thing after your fifteen minutes of fame are over. You must build relationships with these people, you must do whatever you can to help them move forward, move up and shoot for stars that are out of your reach. As professionals we need to think of ourselves as ladders. We are all working to achieve a sense of fulfillment and success, to get to a destination but that destination must be viewed as a stepping-stone for the next person after you. Eventually there will be something that out performs the iPhone one day and yes, there will always someone out performing you as well. It’s important to mingle with those that have more money, experience, education and reputation than you do. This brings you up, teaches you things you cannot learn in school and puts you in an arena that will further your career and social life. But it is almost more important to mingle with those that have less money, experience and reputation than you.
These are the people that will be creating and taking away jobs. These will be the people on TV, at New York Fashion Week and owning salons. These are the people you want to influence. You want and need them to remember you, how you made them feel and what you taught them. How did you help them? Why should they remember you? Because you did great hair? I would say 70% of our industry does great hair. That is not what matters in the world of business. All that matters are the relationships we build. Not just the relationships with those above us that have what we want but those beside us and below us that are playing the same game.This may sound like a survival tactic or a fear driven agenda for the future. It is neither. It is smart, it is the right thing to do and it is kind. It is job security at its finest.
This is the new loyalty. Gone are the days of a twenty-year career and a gold watch for retirement. Say hello to the days of collaboration. Build your team from the ground up. Find those around you that you can help. Help them. This is an investment, a smart investment. Catapult those around you forward and wait to see what happens next. Some will hold onto you for the ride, others will thank you in their speeches but most importantly you will have been the seed level of peoples careers. You will always be taken care of and remembered. The new loyalty has already begun, who are you pushing forward?