Education Is Everything
By Melissa Verplank
We have a motto within my companies when it comes to learning.
Education is everything.
It is at the very core of everything we do. Why?
I see learning as never ending. It does not matter what stage you are in your career. Or what stage you are in your life. Continued learning offers positive opportunities around every turn.
I was never a great student in school. Traditional academics did not excite me. But once I got into dog grooming, now that was a different story.
I became passionate about learning. About growing my career. I didn’t seek out traditional methods. Most of my learning was self-directed. Something much more challenging before the age of the Internet! I quickly understood the wealth of benefits continued education unleashed.
For my grooming skills. For my customer service skills. For my
operational skills. For my management skills. For my business skills. For my marketing skills. Or even my personal well-being, both physically and mentally. The benefits were immense. The opportunities were limitless.
I started learning the value of ‘education is everything’ before I even started my first business. Once I started my first business, I was off and running. The amount of information I needed to be efficient and effective to grow my business while developing my team was incredible.
Today, I think back at those early lessons. The mentors I had. The early industry magazines I kept for years. The volumes of books still sitting on my bookshelves today – highlighted, tagged and totally marked up. The notebooks and journals I kept, and still have. The friendships I made by attending workshops, clinics, industry trade shows, certification programs or grooming competitions. I turned almost everything into a learning occasion.
Every step of my career journey included continued education. And I’m far from done! There is still plenty to learn. Education IS everything!
Have you ever noticed the word learn contains the word earn?
But the benefits go far beyond that.
Here is my personal list of 7 key areas continued education can have a positive impact on anyone’s career path.
- Knowledge—Knowledge can be both factual and practical. The information you learn is not just interesting. It will also be of great use in your current position and/or where you want to go. If you want to grow your career – you need to grow your knowledge.
- Career Advancement—Being well educated allows you to bring new ideas and creativity to the grooming table. Doors of opportunity will begin presenting themselves in areas you never thought of.
- Higher Earning Potential—The more skilled you are as a professional pet groomer or stylist typically translates to a higher earning potential. It also means you will attract a higher caliber of pets into your business as your skills advance.
- Networking—By networking with fellow pet professionals, you can interact with a wide variety of individuals. As humans, we are wired to help others. It’s what we do. Being exposed to this broader network of like-minded individuals can have far-reaching benefits when it comes to advancing and expanding your knowledge base – especially when you need help.
- Dedication to Personal Improvement Creates Growth—When passion and dedication collide, there is no end to the excitement. Fresh ideas and new opportunities will be unveiled at a rapid rate.
- Respect—When you combine knowledge with humility, respect comes almost automatically. It comes from the pet you work on. From the pet parents you deal with every day. To your coworkers and your peers. Respect is earned through shared knowledge.
- Personal Confidence—When you take the steps to advance your skills, you do more than just gain knowledge. You gain personal confidence - in all areas of your personal and professional life. And guess what… personal confidence is directly tied to your success.
Regardless of where you’re at, you can always advance your career and professional skills. Dedication and focus to learning offers you the edge to take your next step. It is a powerful leg in staying competitive in the field while enhancing your skills.
It does not matter whether you are just starting your career, or you are building upon years of experience, seeking advanced educational opportunities keeps you moving forward in your career.
Continued education may not be as exciting compared to other things in your life – but the benefits will be lifelong.
For me, continuing my quest to be the best I could be has never failed me. It’s made my work exciting and interesting. There’s always been something to learn. Something to do better. It has allowed me opportunities to grow and expand my own career. Plus, I’ve been able to help thousands of pet lovers enter the field or expand their careers.
The positive benefits of continued education has unlimited benefits at all levels. It’s a win for the pets you work on. It’s a win for the pet parents who bring their pets to you every day. And it’s a win for you personally when you know you’ve done a great job after each groom or finished a busy day.
Education is everything!
About the Paragon School of Pet Grooming
Founded by grooming industry icon, Melissa Verplank, Paragon is focused on the success and career development of pet professionals at all levels, beginner to expert. Melissa has authored the industry’s most complete grooming guides such as Notes from the Grooming Table and Theory of 5. Paragon offers grooming education at its On-Campus training center in Michigan. It also brings the on-campus experience to everyone through its Distance Learning Program and Learn2GroomDogs.com. Paragon is regarded as one of the best grooming schools in the world. Ms. Verplank and her team have created award winning platforms with traditional education programs and web-based learning tools.