That’s right; because I worked as a salon receptionist, I am a better doula. Now, you may be wondering how that works out. What does working in a salon have to do with being a doula? Surprisingly, A LOT!
I’ll be the first to say I never thought I would work in a salon; it’s just not my thing. I took the job just a few months after graduating from college with a degree in the social sciences. Coincidentally, this was also a few weeks after completing my first doula training. My friends and family were baffled, and I felt so judged.
“THIS has nothing to do with your future!”
“How are you going to make time for your clients?”
“You’re going to drive an hour to work to answer the phones?”
but I needed a job...
Feeling judged is not a good feeling. I felt like people thought I was taking a job that was below me. Several comments were made about how I could do better than that. They didn't understand that working was something I needed to do in order to support myself financially.
"That's a job for someone in high school." Yes, a few people actually said this to me. They might as well have told me I was wasting my time and my education meant nothing.
Like I said, I had just graduated from college and moved back home to Minnesota. Oh, I had also just left my previous job as a caregiver which was very flexible and full of wonderful benefits. I was running out of money fast so I held my head high and took the job nobody saw me working in. Through this I gained self-confidence and so much more.
When I started I couldn’t tell you the difference between an ombré and a balayage or the difference between a double process and a dimensional color; I had no idea how long a perm took versus how long a foil took. Despite my lack of experience and knowledge, the amazing women I worked with at the salon were more than willing to help me figure it all out.
During my time at the salon I saw and heard a lot of things.
-People preparing for their weddings
-Women who had been cheated on
-Young adults who just wanted to fit in
-People who had lost their loved ones
-Girls who let a friend color their hair blonde using a cheap box dye only to have it turn out bright orange (Note: please don’t do this!)
Some of the things I learned while working at the salon include:
-How to connect with customers in person and over the phone
-Knowing what to say to make people feel like their very best
-How to talk people through a major life crisis
-How to hold my tongue when I had a million things I could have said
-How to manage my time to call 35 people in one day.
How to be the best ‘me’ I could be…
Because I worked in that salon I have the skills to support you and tell you we're going to figure out a way to get you through this; even if you’re in a fog at the moment. I specialize in providing you with personalized professional support as we work together to meet the needs of you and your family.
Have you ever taken a job position at a place you never thought you would see yourself in? What was the result?
My ending results turned out to be amazing. Everything we go through in life is a learning experience and I believe there are lessons to be learned, skills to be taught, and knowledge to be gained with each life experience.
Everything I learned during my time at the salon translates over into helping me provide the best unwavering, unbiased and unconditional support as an affiliate doula at Northeast Iowa Doulas. Life is not entirely predictable; yet we are always able to learn and to grow from our experiences, and if we're lucky, we can find surprising gifts of insight and experience by enduring what we had hoped to avoid.
This can help us connect with others -- to know that they are not alone. We are all doing the best we can. We are doing what we need to do in our own unique situation.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Written by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach
For more great #WorldDoulaWeek blogs from doulas across the country, visit http://louisvilleareadoulas.com/blog/2016-world-doula-week