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  • Greenhorn groomer worried about new job

    Hello all. I am a fairly new groomer, having only been grooming for about a year and a half (including my training period). I was originally working at a big box store when my local vet office put out a job offer for a groomer to replace their current one who was retiring this year. I was ecstatic to get the job - great hours, commission, more control of my schedule - and I really like the environment. I wanted somewhere I could grow my skills because I recognized that I knew only the basics. However, since I've had the chance to work with the retiring groomer, I've realized just how little my year+ pales in comparison to her nearly fifteen years experience. I have learned so much from her in just three weeks that I wish I could have had her as the mentor I was denied during my original training, and I am terrified of what will happen after next week when she leaves for good. I have always had at least one other person working at the same time who had marginally more experience. I don't know what I will do when I run into a situation or dog that I can't/don't know how to handle and I don't want to disappoint her or her clientele that were used to the high standard of grooming that she provided.

  • #2
    Take a deep breath and repeat to yourself , " I AM the groomer and will accept that I will always have more to learn. I will take each day as it comes and learn from it. I will never give up and I will always do my best. I will work with love and respect for my four footed clients. "
    I start each day with this and have gone from barrly managing to complete three dogs axsay ( when I started 6 years ago) to what I a today ( today was a 13 dog day - including three std poos and a cocker in full show coat)
    Your human clients do not know your lack of experience and will only know if you tell them -so keep quiet. One client asked me how long is been grooming shortly after I started. I looked them in the eye and laughed saying ,"some days it feels like I just started yesterday" and then turned the conversation back to their pet.

    Stay calm. Get a copy of ' Notes from the grooming table ', a breed guide, and 'theory of five '. Prepare for each day by checking out breed grooms for you next date booked clients. When you do your intake be sure to check the friction areas and talk about how to best meet the breed standard while making it a manageable cut for bye owners lifestyle.
    Keep good notes on each client - including things about the family like children in school, anniversaries, pet birthdays ( send a card to the pet ), things they say that you can ask about the next time you see them. These notes help you and let the clients feel that you care enough to remember what they say to you.

    This is long and I'm sorry, but you have such a wonderful opportunity in front of you.
    Try to remember, there will always be people better at anything than you are. Applaud them and learn to emulate them. But never feel that you've failed if you can't do what they do. You will build your own strengths. You will create your own signature look and style. Stay true to your esthetic and you will excel.

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    • #3
      I'm in much the same boat. Moving from corporate to a private salon where it may eventually end up just being me and a bather. Thanks, HoneyandChewiespal. I needed to hear that sage advice as well!

      Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        I did what several people on this board said not to do.....and that was not to go on my on right out of school. I was a 50-year-old student, having spent most of my career in the business world. When I started my training, I told my instructor that my goal was to open up my own shop when I graduated. If she thought after a couple weeks that I didn't have the skills to accomplish this goal, I needed to know so that I could start applying at grooming shops in my area. After a month, she told me to go ahead with my plans. My instructor was wonderful because every situation that I was in, she would always ask me "you're going to be on your own how would you handle this?" When I opened, of course my first clients were friends and family. They knew I was coming right out of school, but my confidence in myself and my ability to learn each and every day instilled trust with my clients. I strive to do the very best each and every day. Since I have opened, which is about 1 1/2 years, I've only had one person asked me how long I've been grooming. And like Honey, I've basically said the same thing; that it feels like I've been grooming forever and turned the conversation back to the client. (Which is really not a lie, because I have been grooming my own dogs for almost 30 years.) I definitely have had days where I feel overwhelmed, but again my instructor gave me a solid piece of advice when I felt this way. She told me to take a step back, take a deep breath and start my process of grooming from the beginning-cking of a list in my mind, making sure I did this & that. I use my client check-in sheet as well, reviewing all my notes, so I would not forget any part of the process. I also have extensively immersed myself in the world of reading (I have learned SO MUCH from everyone on this board), watching videos online (Learn2GroomDogs is fantastic!!) and attending tradeshows. How I was taught almost 2 years ago versus how I groom now (prepping, bathing, drying) - it's completely different. And that is based on everything I have learned from staying current & learning. You sound like you are ready for this challenge and you always have this wonderful board of groomers here to help you. Enjoy yourself and all the best![emoji106]🏻[emoji3][emoji252]


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          I agree with HoneyandChewiespal and would like to add that joining Learn2GroomDogs.com is also a fabulous resource to actually watch industry leaders groom and guide you through. There are also DVD'S available. Start collecting a grooming library of not only grooming instruction books, but canine behavior and health books as well. I also have a set of notebooks/binders (one for each AKC group) I made. I printed each AKC breed standard off their website and put it in a plastic sheet protector. I add any notes I took at seminars, or breed profiles from certifying organizations in their own sheet protector to the appropriate section. Sort of my own custom grooming book. We all started out as apprehensive newbies, and many of us started back in the day when information sharing was the exception and not the norm, so please know that we understand and are here to help you.

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          • #6
            This is exactly what I was needing today HoneyandChewiespal. Thank you so much!! I have been feeling very down on my grooming ability these last few weeks. Some days I go home feeling very defeated. Whether it be from a mean/rude customer or just feeling overwhelmed with having to stop grooming to answer the phone and help customers with questions. Setting me behind on the dogs I am scheduled.

            I went from a private salon to corporate. At the private salon we did mostly shave downs and a cute head. At corporate I am seeing all sorts of breeds and clients wanting a wide range of cuts. Which is challenging me both skill wise and time. I did find a mentor there that is helping me on our days off but there is only so many hours in a day. Of course at corporate the all mighty dollar is a big deal. We are to figure our productivity and what we are making daily and weekly. Being new and seeing that my numbers are low gets very discouraging sometimes.

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            • #7
              If you can keep in touch with the person retiring and work out some sort of deal that would be helpful. That way you can get refresher. Also joining organizations like www.thenapcg.com that cover not only creative but breed profile, pet trims, business advice, sanitization, bugs, zoo logical disease etc for the one low annual amount, plus you get free magazines full of helpful info
              Free webinars on variety subjects, and access to fb group where you post your what do I do here questions and such.
              I also love Jody Murphy DVDs and super styling sessions DVDs. Joining this site years ago also helped my grooming improve in speed and quality.

              Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Great info on here. Do what Chewie said. Take a deep breath, and go! I was soooo nervous when I first left my apprenticeship to go to another salon. Same here, I was the only groomer so I had noone to help or ask advice. I wish I new about this forum back then and probably could've avoided a lot of mistakes. But we live and we learn. I will tell you the same thing my mentor told me. "There is nothing more I can teach you. You just have to go out now and learn for yourself." At a certain point she can show me a 100 x's how to do a poodle topknot, but until i start going out and doing them myself and experiencing the different coat textures and trying new things I'll never master it.
                Congratulations on the new job and the next step in your career! Have a great adventure and remember you may not have a person physically there to give guidance, but you always have us on the board to help and support you! Good Luck
                It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
                Henry David Thoreau

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                • #9
                  Well OP are you not glad you posted on this board. Always great answers and helpful people. Glad you found us.

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                  • #10
                    I am very glad I found this board! I did talk with the departing groomer and she offered to stay in touch which is wonderful. This has been my first week alone. It is kind of nice to have the room to myself but I think I will like when the new trainee comes back and we can proceed together. I have a cat-related problem so I will be heading over to seek the guidance of the cat grooming board.

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                    • #11
                      How is it going Capricorn?

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                      • #12
                        Some of the best priced DVDs are Jodi Murphys by far. But if you don't have even that, for a monthly charge you can stream at learn2groomdogs.com. Try to figure out the dogs coming a few days ahead and do some research. Sounds tense, but try to make it fun.

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                        • #13
                          Do you have a cell and can post pictures here? You might get some quick help.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wild4westies View Post
                            I agree with HoneyandChewiespal and would like to add that joining Learn2GroomDogs.com is also a fabulous resource to actually watch industry leaders groom and guide you through. There are also DVD'S available. Start collecting a grooming library of not only grooming instruction books, but canine behavior and health books as well. I also have a set of notebooks/binders (one for each AKC group) I made. I printed each AKC breed standard off their website and put it in a plastic sheet protector. I add any notes I took at seminars, or breed profiles from certifying organizations in their own sheet protector to the appropriate section. Sort of my own custom grooming book. We all started out as apprehensive newbies, and many of us started back in the day when information sharing was the exception and not the norm, so please know that we understand and are here to help you.
                            I made my own breed group binders also. I started by taking my "Notes from the Grooming Table" book apart. Then when I booked a new breed, I added the AKC breed standard, instructions from the breed groups and some color pictures. I rely mostly on the breed standard info. The "notes" makes things complicated with all the arrows and talk about patterns.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BeeJL View Post
                              I made my own breed group binders also. I started by taking my "Notes from the Grooming Table" book apart. Then when I booked a new breed, I added the AKC breed standard, instructions from the breed groups and some color pictures. I rely mostly on the breed standard info. The "notes" makes things complicated with all the arrows and talk about patterns.
                              Good idea. Lots of us can answer within a day if you let us know a day or two ahead of something grooming coming up that concerns you.

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