If you’ve recently made the choice to enroll in a dog grooming course online, congratulations! You’re embarking on an exciting and challenging journey. And by choosing the flexibility of an online school, you’ve ensured that the rest of your priorities stay intact. So now that you’ve chosen your direction, what should you do next?
Don’t feel overwhelmed – keep reading and find out the next steps you should take in your training as a dog groomer!
Find ways of organizing your time
We can bet that when you were researching dog grooming courses, one of the most attractive features of online learning was the flexibility they offer. Who doesn’t want to work at their own pace while learning new skills, and keeping their full-time job and family priorities? Online dog grooming courses are an excellent choice for busy individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have the time to travel to a brick-and-mortar school to attend weekly lectures.
That being said, however, online dog grooming courses are a whole other beast (no pun intended). You’ll need to be extremely self-motivated and manage your time well to ensure your assignments are completed, and you have time left over to practice. Ahead of starting any assignments or lessons, we recommend creating your own weekly schedule– only you know the amount of time you can realistically devote to your studies. Be brutally honest with yourself during this exercise and take into account your work ethic and energy level. Set aside a few hours per week to practice on dogs, and then allocate additional time to complete assignments and review your tutor’s feedback. It’s not a bad thing to set aside more time than necessary– you may find that your course work is complete earlier than you expected, rather than the other way around!
Know what to expect
Choosing an online dog grooming course is a big step, but we highly recommend knowing what you’re getting into before diving in. Just because there are no formal deadlines or in-person classes doesn’t mean that you can forget about your assignments and practicing. In reality, it should be quite the opposite! As mentioned above, you’ll need to carve out time each week as part of your commitment to the course. Plus, in order to set yourself apart from your fellow students, you’ll need to go above and beyond, which often requires some extra time.
Because you’re enrolling in an online course, your materials will be mailed to you (these can include course texts, assignment booklets, and a starter grooming kit with the tools you need). While you wait for this package to arrive, take advantage of your online student center, specifically the student forums! Many schools will grant you access to this system once you enroll, so you can get started right away even without your physical course materials. In the online forums, you’ll be able to connect with other students and share your approach to assignments, personal insights, as well as experiences. Also, prepare yourself to spend a good chunk of time practicing and completing assignments, even the optional ones! While these assignments won’t be graded, they are an excellent opportunity to sharpen your skills, and will show your tutor that you’re serious about the course, and dog grooming as a career.
Pro Tip: As with any new endeavour you pursue, try to prepare yourself ahead of time. Read through your school’s website and the course units. Start by logging into your student center as soon as you can, and dive in head first! This is an exciting time, and you need to make sure you have everything you need in order to succeed, including accurate expectations!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When searching for an online dog grooming course, one of the highest-ranking items on your list should be the availability of student support. What do we mean by student support? Well, we don’t mean a generic email address that you can reach out to, and expect a response in a week’s time (or longer). In fact, scrap any school that offers this subpar support to its students!
When we refer to student support, we mean a team of professionals who are always available to answer questions through a variety of channels, be it email, a chat system, social media, or over the phone. If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that you’ll have questions throughout the duration of your dog grooming course. Perhaps you’re not sure about which blade length you should use, or you need clarification on a certain technique. A good student support team will be happy to discuss your course materials with you, and answer specific questions about your assignments. The best online dog grooming schools will allow students, graduates, and potential students to reach out with questions at any time, and will ensure they receive prompt and helpful responses from student support. To succeed, you really need to feel like you have the right resources at your disposal, and the right support behind you. Get comfortable with asking for help when you need it, and know that the best dog grooming schools will be there for you!
We saved this one for last, simply because at the end of the day, this is a wildly exciting time for an aspiring dog groomer. You’ve made the decision to pursue online learning, and are ready to carve out the time needed to complete assignments and practice your skills, t to ultimately get the most out of your course. While there are a good number of details to consider before taking the leap into any new endeavour (especially training), you also need to see the bigger picture and enjoy the adventure for what it is!
So, don’t get discouraged if you receive constructive criticism from your tutors – it’s meant to help and push you to become the best possible grooming professional you can be. Expect your tutors to be critical of your work, and then apply their notes to your next assignment. You can only improve! Be prepared to keep an open mind as much as you can, and know that your dog grooming certification is going to seriously impress employers and set you apart from your fellow groomers. It’s going to be so worth it!