Professional Dog Groomer burnout is real. Even experienced pet groomers who love grooming dogs will admit that they face this challenge at some point. Maintaining professionalism and job integrity is vital to your career longevity. Self-care, including maintaining a manageable schedule and client load, good diet, exercise, regular chiropractic visits or massage therapy sessions are some high level proactive strategies you can employ to make sure you do not reach this point of exhaustion. The grooming table is a challenging places but here are some thoughts on how to sustain your career and offer excellent grooming services for a long time.
Overview: The Grooming Industry
Occupational burnout/emotional exhaustion is typically and particularly found within human service professions. Long hours on your feet, high pressure situations that come with jobs like nursing, police officers, medical professionals and customer service are just some examples of careers notorious for burnout.
The recent explosion of the pet population in the US alone has created increased demand and volume for dog groomers and grooming services. Breeds with increasingly difficult coats like doodle mixes and double coated large dogs have made the grooming process even more difficult and physically demanding.
What is groomer burnout?
Burnout brings frustration where someone gets irritated with minor issues. It's occupational stress resulting in lack of motivation, enthusiasm, exhaustion, and the feeling of ineffectiveness. However, you can control burnout by finding a balance between your job and your personal life. That means that you also work smart, take care of your mind and body and use effective equipment and products in your grooming.
Signs of groomer burnout: Your mental health is important
Mentally and physically exhausted.
Mental Health is vital to sustaining your grooming job. This is when you feel exhausted by doing the simplest of tasks. You feel your mind is exhausted, and you don't have the right mood to continue grooming. On some occasions, you may feel like you don't want to talk with anyone. On our Pride+Groomers chat group many pet groomershave expressed how challenging this feeling can be, and at some point in your career, you may face this type of exhaustion. Being a dog groomer is a tough job but a rewarding one too.
Loss of passion: I used to love grooming dogs
When you started out you were so excited about your career choice. Dog Grooming was exciting! You dreamed of working with animals and loved to make pet owners happy with your work/creations. Then, you get this awful feeling all of a sudden: you don't love grooming the pets anymore. Sometimes you even feel like you have forgotten how to groom! This is a tell-tale sign you need to rebalance. Dog Groomers need to check in with themselves mentally and physically.
A Dog Groomer may start noticing everything that irritates them. They come home angry and cannot seem to shake it off. This may extend to colleagues and customers or worse the animal. As a professional dog groomer, catch yourself if you are seeing these signs. This career requires serenity and patience to do the job well. These animals do not speak and the grooming experience is often very stressful and scary for them. They need you to be calm and kind.
With the increased volume of pets these days, it is not your imagination that your calendar is getting increasingly full. You feel like you have a lot of work to do, and it's like you'll never finish. Every time you groom one dog, you feel like you have attended to ten of them. You feel like you can't do the job anymore.
Causes of groomer burnout
Long working hours at Grooming Salon
Many pet groomerswork up to 14 hours a day. That is without a break or lunch: the whole week. All this is to try to fit in their client's schedules and impress them. Financially you may think I need to take on as many dogs as I can. Especially if you have your own shop. This may be the reason you have burnout. You may be taking on too many dogs. Try and establish routines with pet owners. Creating a good grooming schedule and communicating good home routines for pet parents will result in a better experience for everyone involved.
Grooming complicated or large dogs without help
You may experience burnout because you're grooming challenging dogs that even bite. And you don't have anyone to help you deal with the pets. With time you're starting to feel unmotivated to do the job.
Negative boss and co-worker's attitude
Negative and drama at the workplace can make you feel stressed up. Sometimes the boss pushes you to do something that you don't like. In the end, you feel wasted and frustrated.
Unsafe/Bad working conditions
Antiquated or old grooming equipment may make your job complicated. An example is dull scissors and blades that may complicate your work. Sometimes it's you having unsafe products that are even hazards.
Stress at home
If you have a stressful occurrence at home, it will affect your job. Why? You will get frustrated attending to pets where the probability of making a mistake is high. When that happens, the dogs will react badly, adding more stress to you.
How to manage groomer burnout
Regular chiropractic visits, massage sessions, at-home or gym exercise routine, good eating habits and simple downtime are just a few key practices that will help to keep your body and mind high-functioning and avoid burnout.
Use high performing products to be efficient
You should use products that speed up your prepping process. That is sourcing a quality product but must also be affordable. A good shampoo and conditioner can save you extra time in drying a dog. When you do your calculations, you will notice that you're saving many hours in a day, making you efficient. It's one of the strategies used by smart pet groomers.
Use effective grooming tricks
It's always recommendable for you to use grooming tricks learned in training and seminars. Paragon School of Pet Groomingoffers a lot of online mini courses and time-saving tips.
Organization is Key
Smart pet groomers are fully prepared and organized to be efficient. Keeping your area clean, organized and reviewing your schedule for the day is a great way to mentally and physically prepare yourself. Have all your tools cleaned and ready before you leave for the night. This makes the next day a fresh start. It's like making your bed in the morning. It is always nice to come home to (in reverse I suppose).
Create a Good Working Environment
As a smart professional dog groomer, you must have a solid and effective team. If you are sole proprietor or even just starting out in a larger grooming establishment make sure to surround yourself with a good team or mentor. Even though; there are bad and good days, it is essential to surround yourself with like-minded, hard working and organized teammates. If you work by yourself, look into digital apps that help with the booking process. Take time to organize your inventory and create autoship programs so you are never stressed about products and refills.
Use good equipment
Investing in appropriate equipment is vital for your efficiency. You will not be productive when you've old and outdated equipment that is difficult to use. Buy good blasters, dryers, tables, and especially grooming products. Sulfates, Parabens and other harmful ingredients can directly contribute to painful skin irritations like eczema. Gentle, all-natural pet shampoos like PRIDE+GROOM formulas will make your job easier. You will enjoy a swift and smooth job experience when you do so.
Conclusion: You are Valued
Though you may not hear it often enough, or at all, you - the professional groomer - are appreciated and valued. You are the expert with knowledge and training to care for this special population of pets that make our world a better place. Communication is a two-way street, however. Communicating with pet owners, your colleagues and superiors are key to a successful professional grooming career. Give pet parents good home maintenance tips so when the time comes your work with their pet is not as stressful and more routine. Tell your boss and teammates when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Talking helps alleviate a lot of stress. Professional chat rooms likePride+Groomers can offer a safe space to ask questions and share experiences with other professionals.
Burnout is real, but can be avoided if you take proper precautions, work smarter not harder and care for yourself. You are a valued member of an incredible professional community. Stay strong and healthy!