Be Grateful

Be grateful for your job

How many jobs have you had in your life? Lets re-phrase that question, how often do you change jobs? Are you a serial job hunter or are you a faithful hound, still working in the same job you have been for the past 25 years?

I was listening to Cape Talk / 702 this morning and the topic of unemployment was being discussed. On one hand you had employers calling in to say that they could not find young people with the right qualifications, experience or attitude and on the other hand you had job seekers of all ages calling in to say that either they were very qualified and willing to work but did not have the required experience (if they were young) or that if they were a little older they had years of experience but their age was perhaps working against them.

So, it was a situation of employers saying they cant find staff and job seekers saying they cant find jobs.

All of this got me thinking about our own company and our employees as well as our clients and the staff that they employ and the many positives exist in the hair industry when it comes to the question of employment.

Jobs don’t grow on trees

When you don’t have work you will do anything just to get a job. Once you have a job it’s funny how quickly you become dissatisfied and start looking around for the next best deal. Why is this?

Have you ever seen the newspaper billboards that say: “Hate your boss? Find a new job today!” I really dislike these billboards! Sure, the newspapers are just letting you know that they have jobs for you to check out in their classifieds but there is something more sinister at work here that is based on the notion that generally all bosses are evil and to be disliked and you can jump ship at the drop of a hat. Imagine if the billboard read “Hate your boss? Work it out or suck it up as unemployment is on the rise!”

When we advertise a position at ESP we sometimes get applications into the hundreds. It is common to begin interviewing an applicant who is not even 100% sure which job they are being interviewed for because they have sent off their CV’s to so many companies. Sometimes applicants are so ill equipped for the positions they apply for that they can’t even define the position. The net result is that out of a hundred cv’s you usually find that only a few are actually suitable to be interviewed. The reality is that some people are so desperate for work that they will take chances by applying for any job they see.

Things to be grateful for in the hair industry

When thinking about employment there are many things that you can be grateful for about the hair industry.

It is a resilient industry

Generally no matter what is happening in the economy people are still getting their hair cut, even though they may not be splashing out as much. Many other types of businesses face closures and mass retrenchments during tough economic times. Im not saying hair salons never close down, but the hair industry has definitely stood the test of time. People’s hair just keeps growing back …

Hair salons are everywhere

As a hair stylist you often have a choice of location to work in. You will always find salons in shopping centres and they will be in every town, city and suburb, which means to a certain extent you have a choice of where you work and if you relocate to another town or even country there is a very good chance that you will be able to find work.

Your work is honest and you fulfil a real need

It seems like an obvious point but it should not be taken for granted that there is a lot of integrity in being a hair stylist. You are fulfilling a real need that people have. They are the ones coming to you. You are not making false promises, nor are you convincing them to buy something that they do not need.

You have freedom to grow

As a stylist you almost have the opportunity to run and grow your own business within another business. To some degree you can control the results by the effort that you put in. You can build relationships with your own clients and win new clients based on your reputation. On the flip side you don’t have to have all the stresses that come with running a full business (unless you are the actual owner of course).

You get to express yourself

Because of changing trends and fashion and tastes you are always able to have an expressive and creative element in your work, which many people do not get to have in other lines of work. Either you can observe trends being set by others, or set a few of your own.

Owning your own business is a realistic idea

As a hair stylist owning your own salon one day is a real option. It may not be the right option for you because of your own strengths and weaknesses but there are countless stories of stylists who went on to open their own salons and if being your own boss is a dream of yours then you could make it happen.


If you are a hair stylist and have a job, be grateful. Be grateful that you have work as there are many people who have been without work for a long time. Conduct yourself in a way that reflects your gratitude – be on time for work, don’t take sick days when you are not sick, have a positive attitude towards other staff and to clients, develop your knowledge and your skills, treat your bosses business as if it were your own (not their money though).

Unemployment has many negative effects on individuals and their families. Don’t take your work for granted and whenever you become despondent about your work consider those that do not have work. Think about if you were out of work, not able to pay your bills or put food on the table. If you were in that situation how would you react if someone gave you a job? Would you work as hard as you could in gratitude for the work that you have?

I am very much against exploitation and we need to speak up on behalf of employees when we encounter this but I cant help feeling that we fall into the trap of a sense of entitlement when we get too comfortable in our jobs and we quickly forget the desperation of joblessness.

If you are a salon owner ensure that you treat your staff fairly so that, as far as it concerns you, every effort has been made to meet the needs of staff.