It’s that time we all know and dread: you’ve decided to quit and move on from your current salon. For stylists and owners alike, dealing with employees leaving and giving (or not) giving notice beforehand is a tricky business. Should you give the owners a heads-up in advance? Or is that simply stretching out an already uncomfortable situation? Maybe you shouldn’t give notice? After all, so many places seem to let you go the same day, anyways. With questions like these no doubt swirling in your head, it’s hard to know what the right choice is.
Susan Ames, a BTC Community member from Cincinnati, recently found herself in this predicament and reached out to BTC Facebook fans for advice: “I have recently taken a rental chair at a salon and I start in about three weeks. My current salon is commission-based, and I have been there for 5 ½ years. I love the owners, and I am wondering how I should go about giving notice. I have heard that in most cases, you will be let go on the spot when you give notice, but I have such a great relationship with my bosses that I feel that wouldn’t be the case. Any suggestions on how I should make this transition?” Here’s what our Facebook friends had to say about it.
Of Course It Is!
For some, the debate on giving notice or not is actually not a debate at all: giving notice is always a good idea.
David Torres says, “It sounds like you have enjoyed working in your current situation and have been treated well. If you are truly a professional, give your current employers notice. As a salon owner, I am engaged in the growth of my stylists’ careers, even if it means that it takes them elsewhere. My stylists who have left on good terms always have a place in my salon.”
Erin E. Brown agrees: “Be forthcoming with your owners , give them a two week courtesy notice, and if you are asked to leave immediately, thank them for the opportunity to grow alongside them for so long, and move on graciously. Start your new journey when the new venue allows you to, and at the very worst, you have to make up for two weeks out of the salon before you start your new gig. Honor yourself and others at the same time and you can’t go wrong.
Jana Waldron Taylor said, “As a salon owner, I hated losing a good stylist but respected their desire to grow. Honesty is always the best policy. Be professional and kind and express your appreciation for the opportunities they have offered you up to this point. Giving two weeks of notice is the best way to leave.
Shaune Detrich Haas also comments that communication with your employers about new opportunities is essential even before you’ve made that final decision to move on. “If you’ve had a great experience with your current salon, doesn’t someone there know your dreams and goals and that this day would come? Sit down privately and have a heart-to-heart with them. It is true, they may prefer you leave immediately, but this should be a celebration.”
Laurie Bourassa is also offers a suggestion for the next time you are faced with living a beloved employer or boss: “If you [Susan] love your owners, why didn’t you be upfront with them and let them know you’re leaving for a rental instead of commission? Maybe you could have asked them if they were willing to offer this to keep you? Then it is out in the open and you gave them an opportunity to work with you. If they couldn’t match that, then they would understand why you needed to leave for an opportunity they can’t provide for you. It’s a win-win: respectful, honest, out-in-the-open, and mature. That would have been a good way to avoid ‘burning a bridge’, and it would be a mutual understanding.”
Speaking of burning bridges, Tessa Garrett VanVuuren reminds us that things may not always work out as we had hoped at new opportunities. She says, “I’ve found through my experience that you should do your best to never burn bridges; you never know when circumstances may change, so do everything you can to maintain a good relationship with all past, present and future employers and workmates. Be humble and respectful even if others aren’t –especially if others aren’t, actually.” Sometimes, you find yourself right back at the door of somewhere you’ve quit, asking to be re-hired. In these situations especially, leaving on a ‘good note’ with previous employers is all the more important.
Deirdra Vierra sums up the point perfectly: you can’t go wrong doing the right thing. “At the end of the day, don’t let your fear be your voice, and leave with your integrity in-tact. You will regret the action if you don’t honor yourself.”
Don’t Waste Your Time
Those on the opposite side of the debate believe that though giving advanced notice may be professional in a lot of cases, the hair industry often takes a very different approach. For these people, giving notice seems like a wasted effort; especially when the two weeks is not accepted.
Debbi Hahn laughs at the idea: “Finish your last day, pack your stuff and say bye-bye! There are no two week notices in salons!”
Penny Slick reluctantly agrees, saying, “Make sure you have all your clients’ phone numbers and prepare for the worst. This [situation] has happened to me twice and believe me; owners do not take leaving well. They generally ask you to leave immediately and or hand you boxes to pack, unfortunately.”
Indeed, taking precautions before the big day you decide to break the news is a good way to prepare yourself for the worst. By having your client information and other aspects in order ahead of time, you won’t be caught completely off-guard if you are asked to leave the same day. Pamela Ottava knows this to be true from personal experience: “Give notice but be prepared to get kicked out ASAP. I had a great relationship with my boss, or at least I thought I did! I had my client list, though, so I wasn’t too upset. Just be prepared. I tried to keep the door open, but they closed it pretty quickly, which I was not at all expecting.”
Bekka Vania easily sums it up: “Don’t give a notice. It creates drama. Give them a sincere thank you. I’ve been on both sides of this one, and the truth is, when you leave, the owner will be losing your income and this is when true colors show. Be organized. Be professional. Put your business and your future first. Be respectful. Leave quietly. Best of luck!”
At the end of the day, salon owners are running a business and everyone is trying to make money. Because of this, finding a middle ground when handling employees moving on can be a sticky situation. Whether you decide to give notice or not, being prepared beforehand, making sure your new opportunity is the right step, and leaving in a respectful manner is always the right move. Stay professional and take the high road – even if others don’t.
Originally published here.