Starting a new career is never easy, but why stay stagnant in an unfulfilling job when you don’t have to? With the New Year just around the corner, there’s no better time to get started on your dreams! How can you make sure that you’re prepared for what lies ahead? Don’t be caught by surprise! Keep reading to find out how to prepare yourself for a smooth transition to a career as a professional dog groomer!
Assess your skills
Most people are afraid of embarking on a new adventure because of the possibility of failure. It can be terrifying to wipe out before you even begin! Accessing your strengths and weaknesses will increase your self-awareness and position you for success. For example, if you’re great with your hands but lack interpersonal skills, that’s something that you can easily develop through time.
You probably know that you need an eye for detail and a passion for pets, but there are some skills you might not have considered. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but some essential skills include, discipline, physical strength, and patience. You’d be surprised at how many aspiring groomers find that grooming is tiring—you need to lift fairly heavy dogs in order to get them up on the grooming table! Do yourself a favor and study up on the job description to get a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into.
Break down your goals
Besides taking deep breaths, you can keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks.
If you’re starting off by taking a course, the list will start with researching your local schools, looking through program syllabi, and then figuring out your tuition. After you’ve graduated, your list will change to coming up with a business name, doing market research, launching your online website… the list goes on. If you had just said:
- Get educated
- Start Business
- Become successful
… how on earth would you tackle each stage?
Breaking them down into realistic and accomplishable goals will make it much easier to get started. You’ll also want to plot a time frame to finish each task on your list. If you work a full-time job, section out a set time each week to dedicate only to your course. If you carve out a three-hour time block, you can then break down the task-of-the-day into subtasks to create a timeline. Don’t feel like you have to rush into anything! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your career won’t be either. Take your time with each step, and you’ll find yourself having a much more enjoyable time as you’re on the up-and-up.
Make sure you’re getting the right support
Speaking of courses, how do you make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with all the material? Even if you’re presented with how-to instructions for grooming a certain type of dog, it can be quite daunting to start work on a real life dog—you know, one that eats, sleeps, and loves humans!
Find yourself a program with unparalleled student services to make your first grooming tasks less intimidating. Do the tutors/instructors provide personalized feedback? Nothing can help you improve your skills more than targeted, relevant feedback.
Blanket comments such as “it needs more detail” is a bit too vague to allow students to know exactly what to do. Especially if you’re starting your career by taking an online grooming course, you’re going to have loads of questions and guidance. A bad grooming school will probably leave you out in the dark by not providing assignment help and educational support. If you are prompted to write up a profile detailing your personal motivations at the beginning of your course, your tutor will use that to help construct feedback that will help you reach your grooming goals.
When you’re finally out in the real world…
Write a list of all the reasons why you’ll succeed. Being able to recount all the reasons for why you’ve got a fighting chance in the industry is important. Once you’ve armed yourself with the knowledge, skills, and business acumen to become a professional dog groomer, there’s no reason why you should fail.
Our last piece of advice? Don’t just stand there and wait for opportunities to fall on your lap! How will anyone know that you’re even competing in the job market if you’re just sitting at home all day? From something as small as handing a business card to a friend to applying for a position at an established grooming salon—big or small, each action can make an incredible difference in the grand scheme of your career!
We’re myth-busting today!
You have options when starting your dog grooming business!
Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!