Business Management

From Military to Management

When nail tech Jen McClain set out to hire a manager for her salon — Completely Polished in Cranberry Township, Pa. — she sought out a military veteran.

When nail tech Jen McClain set out to hire a manager for her salon — Completely Polished in Cranberry Township, Pa. — she discovered she had a small problem. “I had planned to promote from within or hire someone with cosmetology experience, but this didn’t really work out. All the staff prefer to do nails and don’t want to do management,” she says. Her solution? Hire a military veteran. “I really wanted the manager to have a high level of integrity, punctuality, a thick skin, and dedication — a willingness to work through tough times without just up and quitting. A veteran would have learned these skills in the military and be able to lead by example,” she says.

Jen McClain
<p>Jen McClain</p>

This was not such an out-of-the-box idea given McClain’s background. “I come from a military family. I was one of the few not to join,” she says. “The reason I didn’t — and I grappled for years whether it was right for me — was you can’t wear nail polish!”

So not long ago she posted an ad on Facebook seeking a veteran to train in the ways of the salon and has begun the interview process. Though duties for this supervisory position include payroll, hiring, training, and inventory, her ad reads: “No experience necessary, scholarship included, and paid training provided.”

Her motivation in providing training is simple. “I really hate hearing about how veterans are unable to find jobs — and realized I could do something about it,” she says.

McClain’s parents both served in the military.
<p>McClain&rsquo;s parents both served in the military.</p>

A young Jen McClain helps out at her mom’s promotion ceremony
<p>A young Jen McClain helps out at her mom&rsquo;s promotion ceremony</p>

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