Here are 10 ways to never stop learning even after you’ve entered the workforce.
As babies, all there is to do is learn — first to figure out what we’re seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. Then to walk and talk. As young children, the entire world is our classroom. We learn to read and write. How to share and play with others. And later how to process situations and make valid decisions. Eventually, we throw ourselves into learning a craft or trade that we want to dedicate our lives to. For me, that was writing and journalism. For you, it was most likely nail care and cosmetology. We absorb everything we can to understand our specialty. And then, often, we think we are done learning. But that should never be the case. As humans (isn’t education one of the things that makes us different from other animal species?), we should never abandon learning.
There is always something new to learn — a new technique, a new product, a new nail art design, a new way of marketing, or a new social media platform. Here are 10 ways to never stop learning even after you’ve entered the workforce:
1. Read NAILS Magazine. Of course I’m going to recommend that. But it’s one of the easiest ways you can continue your education because you can do it whenever and wherever you want. And each month, we present a variety of topics to help further your career. But don’t just read NAILS. Read business magazines; fi nd design inspiration from decor magazines.
2. Attend trade shows. Don’t just go for the social aspect of it (although that’s fun too). Absorb as much as you can at each booth. Watch demos, ask questions, and sit in on classes.
3. Take a manufacturer or distributor-sponsored class. Often, all it takes to get a manufacturer’s educator to come teach a class in your town is a few interested students. Talk to your local distributor or call your favorite product manufacturer to see if there are any upcoming classes in your area.
4. Go to a networking event. There are many small (and large) networking events that you can attend to just immerse yourself in a social setting with your peers. If there isn’t one in your area, you might consider setting one up.
5. Network online. NAILS’ Facebook page has more than 120,000 fans. BeautyTech.com is another site where nail techs congregate to share stories and learn from each other. Find an online group that meets your needs and become active. In addition to Facebook, nail techs are active on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. There are also hundreds of blogs out there where you can learn new techniques. There are so many opportunities online, there is no excuse for not continuing your education.
We had a great time at Premiere Orlando this year. And it’s such great show for learning! Here senior editor Beth Livesay (left) and I (right) are networking with Star’s Elaine Watson.
6. Watch videos. Most manufacturers offer DVDs on how to use their products. And you can also fi nd a multitude of videos on YouTube.
7. Read a book. All of your continued learning doesn’t have to be technical. Maybe you want to understand marketing better or improve your customer service. Find a business book that addresses the area you would like to learn more about.
8. Spend some time on NailsMag.com. Did you know that NailsMag.com has more than 10 complete years’ worth of our archives online? We also have an Encyclopedia of nail terms, an extensive Q&A section, daily blogs, and thousands of demos, videos, and articles on every topic imaginable.
9. Check out your favorite manufacturers online. In addition to their corporate websites (many of which have professional-only sections with tons of great information), most nail product companies are also active on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
10. Find a mentor. If you’d like a little more intensive one-on-one training, fi nd a mentor (either at your salon or one nearby, or even someone online) who can share his or her knowledge and experience with you.
Whatever you do (and I suggest you do all of the above!) just keep your mind open to absorb knowledge wherever you go. It’s good for your business and it’s also good for your brain!