new job/bad pay!


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Do-it-all Deb

Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2004
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Hiya all

I can't decide whether I'm really happy or really sad! I am starting some part time work this weekend at a beauty salon as a therapist. A friend of mine works there and suggested I approach them as they were needing staff. I currently work at home, but some time soon we will be knocking the house around and I won't have a workplace for a while. So I offered my services and they accepted!

I haven't worked in a salon since my first job, which put me off for life (almost) and so it's a big step back into the big wide world! I'm sure the experience will be great and if I don't like it I can always move on, but the big disappointment is the pay.

As I hadn't applied for a job, there were no terms and conditions per say. I have been in to the salon today to get to know my way around and once there I was finally told what the rate of pay was. Now I won't say exactly what it was, but I felt it was derisory. I am doing some temporary work at a school which requires no qualifications and it is the same as that. I could earn a lot more as a cleaner :lol: . (No I really don't want to do that!)

Now is it just me being naive about the pay? I know you can't make a fortune and that's why so many of us work for ourselves, but I feel so sad that after 20+ years my experience counts for nothing?

The pay is an hourly rate and I have now offered to work on commission, so they only pay me when I'm working but hopefully at a higher rate. I hope I haven't shot myself in the foot with that and earn up earning less!

After petrol and parking costs it really doesn't seem worth the stress, but I need to earn as the interest rates keep rising (!!!) and I'd rather do something that I enjoy and that I've trained for.

Anyway, love your thoughts/experiences on the matter. I'm feeling lonely; my kids are at their dads this weekend and my new hubby is working about 18 hours a day, seven days a week currently! It's a mad life isn't it :!:

I am sure that once you prove yourself, you will be able to get a better hourly rate. It is probably the fact that you approached them and they are creating a new post. They are probably being cautious in case you are not busy enough. I don't think you can really lose out of the situation - you will get back into the big wide world and gain confidence to move on, if necessary. Bid your time and then I am sure you can call the shots a we bit more. It certainly sounds better than enduring a building site (which I know all about). Good luck & have a wee glass of vino!
I would suggest that they paid you an hourly rate a basic pay then earna commission on all the treatments you do and or products you sell this way you will still earn money on quiet days but on busier days you stand to make more with your commision which will encourage you to sell more products and work harder for your rewards!!!! It is very disheartening when we study so hard and for so long then go out to work for such a small wage. I think many companies try to get away with paying their staff the least amount possible. Fortunately i now work for myself but when working employed in a salon my basic pay had always been low and the same with all the other therapists I knew but the way I earnt decent money was on commision by selling more and doing treatments. As it did make me try harder I got sales person of the year. I think having to try harder for my commision helped me achieve that. I hope that you resolve your pay issues but what I will say is that if you have a problem and are struggling with the pay be honest with them you never know it might work in your favour. :)

love Loo xxxxxx
Thanks for the comments

I just finished my first day (Sunday :sad: !) and in four hours I did a full leg, bikini, lip, eyebrow wax, manicure and pedicure! So I certainly feel as if I have proved my worth to the salon.

The owner did not want to pay me commission in the end; they only pay commission on retail rather than treatments. Ah well. I did manage to negotiate a better hourly rate which is a little bit better though.

I will now put my hours in for the summer and see how I feel after a couple of months. It is a nice environment and next week I am the only therapist in on Sunday, so there's nothing like being given responsibility straight away!

Speaking from an employers point of view, now hear me out!, IF you work out the ammount that you take and then minus your hourly rate, cost of products, rent , and utilities ect ect, how much profit do you think the salon makes?? Believe me not as much as you would think.
I pay my girls a basic rate and then commision on top plus comm on retail. I do feel that this way the more they do and the more they sell they more they earn, That way my top performers earn more which i think is the fairest way.
Hi, We can back up what Little Angel says, remember you also paid for holidays and sick when you don't work, the employer has to cover this. If the salon is quiet you still get paid whereby the owner will not have received income to cover this.

We totally back up performance related pay, the harder you work, the more you get paid. We pay 10% on retail at base level, and 10% after a weekly target on services. We feel this gives the girls their own opportunity to bump up their wage package as well as receiving a slightly above market salary.
Again another employer here. I also pay a basic plus commission and we do a good rate as well

You also have to take into account the advertising that a salon does.
This subject is different depending on your point of view ie employee or employer.

I see positions in my local area for Nail Technicians for £4.50 per hour for working 40 hours per week. Now the problem I have is I earn over £6.00 per hour in my 9-5 job which i must earn to pay my mortgate, bills etc.

This is great if you live at home with mom and dad and dont have the household overheads, but at the same time if you are new unestablished salon i understand you can't afford to pay the earth - let alone take a full wage for yourself..

Now i realise there is the retail sales to add to this but 10% maybe of £6 every say third customer still don't make it affordable surely...theres only so much solar oil / moisturiser a girl can use in a month

Its so frustrating that I cant afford to take the pay cut to do what I love, I know one day i will be able to but until then I feel like banging my head against the wall :cry: .

Anyway thanks for listening
i agree , i cant go for a job in a salon coz the pay is so low, it would probably just cover my child care and travel expenses, but i know it is hard if you aare the owner of a salon wot with the over heads and such, its just a shame it isnt a well paid proffession, good job we enjoy doing it so much lol
Hi Dee,

I wish I could open somewhere with other technicians who wanted a Salon dearly with a profits share but I think too many bosses not work either, plus you'd have to get a contract drawn up and if someone wanted to pull out later in it could be too messy...
It's really sad to hear that techs in the U.K aren't pais as well as techs in the U.S. Here, there are so many opportunities, so many new salons. Ans these salons advertise well, have the best equipment, decor, and are located in posh, AND nice residential areas. I think that most salon owners try to look out for themselves at first, and offer a very low pay until they feel you have proved yourself. Byut you can turn the tables on that. TELL THEM what you expect as a decent wage. If they really like you initially in the interview, then they should be willing to pay you what you ask for. Most salons here offer either straight commission on services and products, or base PLUS comm. A fair hourly rate for a tech should be at LEAST $8.00/hr. And a fair commission should be at the least 40%, if not 45%-60% on products AND services. My experience is that you CAN ask for what you want to be paid. Don't settle for anything if you can help it.
I am the same as many of you. The job just doesnt pay enough. I was offered £4.50 an hour too, and this was working more hours + weekends than I do currently in my £7 an hour admin job. There was just no way I could afford it - I have my house to think about!!

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