1. When it comes to my nail skills…
a. Quicker is better; polish will hide the imperfections.
b. I’ve got some serious room for improvement.
c. I’ve got some things to learn, but my skills are better than most.
d. I’ve done a little bit of everything in the nail industry and would love to share some of it.

2. When it comes to planning, I consider myself…
a. Fairly impulsive; I like doing things spur of the moment.
b. I’m organized, but would rather follow a plan, if someone has one.
c. I’m really organized and have started to develop plans in the salon.
d. I’m really organized. I love to read trade information and can see myself writing lesson plans for students.

3. When I talk with other nail techs, I find myself …
a. Annoyed that the state has such silly regulations.
b. Talking about anything but nails.
c. Interested in salon current events, but not sure where to turn for information.
d. Energized discussing salon issues because I feel confident that I am up to date and informed.

4. Within the salon, I…
a. Know the ropes and am building a clientele.
b. Have a steady clientele and think about owning my own salon.
c. Lead others in the salon and attend many training events to keep up my skills.
d. Have a stable career and clientele, but look for outside opportunities to mentor others in the nail industry.

5. In addition to a nail professional’s license from the state board, I have…
a. Well, I almost have my nail license.
b. I have certificates for several products I use.
c. I have many certificates for products and some technique-specific training certificates.
d. I have many industry and product certificates, as well as an educator’s license from the state board.

6. When I am at my table with a client…
a. I’ve got this; they would never go to another technician.
b. I’m eager to do a good job and have them rebook a service.
c. I’m energized to show my clients what is new and know they will take my advice.
d. I have a great clientele but am known to help other technicians in the salon as I work.

7. When another nail technician needs to find information…
a. It’s not my problem.
b. I listen up because I might learn something.
c. I will help them look for it.
d. I probably know where to find it or at least where to start looking, and am willing to share.

8. When it comes to competition in the salon…
a. I need all the help I can get; I’m still learning.
b. I’m up for a good contest.
c. I’m used to winning and pull it all out for a contest.
d. I’m all for a contest but have been doing this long enough that I’m just as happy if I can help someone else to succeed.

9. When I go to a nail show…
a. I scoop up as much free stuff as I can.
b. I spend most of my time on the show floor, shopping!
c. I try to schedule as much classroom time as possible and still be able to shop.
d. I strategically pick my classes by the presenters I want to observe and interact with. Shopping can wait.

10. The areas of education that interest me are…
a. Free products.
b. Testing out product in research and development.
c. Sharing my love of the industry and shaping careers.
d. All of the above.

11. The gratuities I receive from clients…
a. Let me know how I am doing as a nail tech.
b. Are a huge part of my income and I count on them.
c. Are an honor, but I have built service revenue that can support me.
d. Do not measure my worth as a nail technician as much as what I can offer new technicians.

12. I would describe myself as…
a. Impatient
b. Impulsive
c. Caring
d. Patient

13. I believe that…
a. Teaching sounds boring
b. Teaching sounds interesting but I could never leave my clients.
c. I would enjoy teaching, but I don’t know where to start.
d. Teaching is the next logical step in my career and I know other teachers.

14. I follow my State Board closely...
a. Actually, not since I got out of school and passed my state exam.
b. Enough to get recertified and keep my license.
c. Fairly closely. I quickly pick up on the shortcuts some technicians take.
d. So closely that I have the State Board number programmed into my cell phone and can name at least one board member or current state issue before them.

Get Your Score

Maybe you’ve been feeling the nudge for a while. Perhaps you have investigated being a manufacturer’s representative or even worked for a manufacturer, but don’t want to be away from your family. If you are intrigued by the idea of mentoring others and finding new ways to share best practices of the nail industry, then becoming a school instructor may be a good fit.

For every question answered with (a) award 1 point _______(a) x 1 = _________
For every question answered with (b) award 2 points _______(b) x 2 = _________
For every question answered with (c) award 3 points _______(c) x 3 = _________
For every question answered with (d) award 4 points _______(d) x 4 = _________

If you score:
14-18 points: You are still establishing your spot in the nail industry. You have time to build your career and pursue your path, but instructing isn’t for you right now. Strengthen the bonds with your mentors so you have plenty of options. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

19-38 points: Your career is growing. The salon is taking more of your time and for now, is rewarding and fulfilling. Nurture the relationships with your mentors and continue to seek out industry information. Even if teaching at a school is not in your future, you can be a mentor to someone who looks up to you.

39-56 points: You are a mentor and belong in leadership. If the salon is no longer as fulfilling as it once was, a change of pace and a class full of eager students may be just the thing that lights a fire in your belly. Go for it! Get working on an instructor’s license and exploring what would be a good fit for you. Make friends with other instructors or volunteer to help out at your local academy.

When You’re Ready to Make a Move

> Call your State Board to get the current requirements for a cosmetology/nail technician instructor’s license.
> Research local schools within driving distance. Contact them and make arrangements to take a tour and find out more about them. Most will be happy to share with industry mentors.
> Make a point to follow changes in your local and state codes that govern salons and the industry.