Maybe you’ve dreamed of a career helping other people to look good and increase their confidence, or maybe you’ve discovered you’re talented at styling hair, providing skin care or applying makeup. You’re considering enrolling in a cosmetology program, but you aren’t sure what you need to do to get ready. Here are four things you can do before signing up for cosmetology classes to make sure that you’ll be a good fit.
1. Take classes outside of an established program.
Getting some experience and learning what’s involved with cosmetology are two important reasons to take classes before you enroll full-time. Where can you find classes that aren’t part of an established cosmetology school? Some high schools have vocational programs that offer some courses in cosmetology, or have electives that focus on hair styling and skin care.
You may also be able to do an informal internship at a salon near you; if you take the time to set this up properly, you can often get school credit for the work experience. Such internships might allow you to shadow workers in the cosmetology industry, perform some customer services like washing hair or checking in new appointments and explore the sales and marketing side of the business.
2. Set up informational interviews with people who are already working.
Without getting a lot of input on what work in the cosmetology industry is like, you may be basing your ideas about your future on what you’ve picked up from popular culture or the person who’s cut your hair since you were 12. To make sure that cosmetology is for you, and to gain a broad understanding of the different types of careers in the field, consider asking people already working for an informational interview.
These interviews usually last about a half hour, and you should come with questions to ask about their work and how they prepared for their jobs. Most people are willing to take the time to speak with a polite and interested student considering a similar career.
3. Get ready to study.
Some people enroll in cosmetology classes with the idea that they won’t have much class work. For most programs, this is a fallacy — you’ll have plenty of studying to do. Before you start your official classes, sign up for a course that will help you improve your study skills. If you are able to read, write and memorize information more efficiently, you’ll find yourself excelling in your cosmetology program.
Most cosmetology careers also require license, which means you’ll have to pass an exam. Being well equipped to study for your licensing exam puts you ahead of your classmates and better able to turn your coursework into a lucrative job.
4. Investigate study abroad options.
Studying cosmetology practices in other countries can be an eye-opening experience. You can learn different methods that you might not be exposed to in your regular U.S. program, and you’ll gain valuable experience working with a wide variety of people. Plus, learning about other cultures makes you more well-rounded and may give you a leg up in going on with your studies or getting your first job.
Multicultural experience can also help you with landing jobs in travel-related areas like on cruise ships or in hotels.
Getting ready for cosmetology classes is more than just wanting to practice skills in hair and skin care. To set yourself up for success in school and in your career, take the time to prepare thoroughly for your program. Contact a business, such as Tri-County Beauty College, for more information.