not alone. I am a licensed barber and a cosmetologist, and I have been in the industry for well over 20 years. Unfortunately, the feeling of frustration has been with me for all those years.

The reason, I have decided to share about it here on Craig's List is because the falsehood that stems from our industry begins here, the job ads the ultimate overpromise and underdeliver. However, I also, want to caution the passionate and hardworking members of our industry not to waste your precious years working for the companies that continuously mistreat us.

Red Flag #1:

First of all, don't fall into the trap about up to "$20 per hour or $50,000 per year" in the title section of the job ad. Too many, times when I called or interviewed with prospective employers, the actual hourly wage was $10.20 or $12 per hour. Supposedly, the difference comes from tips, health benefits, discounts on professional products, and vacation paid. I was afraid they are going to add toilet paper usage into that $20 per hour.

Why is this so confusing?! Just post the actual per hour amount and don't confuse me with all the add-ons to make the difference. It is okay to interview but make sure you clearly understand your payroll structure before committing. Ask to see a most recent paystub from one of the employees currently working 40 hours per week.

Red Flag #2:

Another interesting phenomenon is when the company offers a hiring bonus, "$500 bonus." Only to find out, that you have to work for six months and then you have to sell the outrageous number of retail and sell shampoo services to every client in your chair. Now, I know where my bonus is coming from, my performance, which has nothing to do with me getting hired. Also, if you miss the target say adios to your bonus. Thanks but no thanks.

Red Flag #3:

"We offer training" this one is a little tricky because you will not know until you are already hired. However, to save you from broken promises if the training does not start within one month from the hire date that means none is coming you have been duped.

Red Flag #4:

"60% Commission" If anyone is offering above 50% commission that could mean two things. Either, they don't have any clientele, and they want you to work for them for free. Alternatively, you are a 1099 contractor which means you will be double taxed on your paycheck, provide your back bar, etc...

No establishment can afford to pay over 50% and stay afloat while at the same time pay for your taxes, provide your back-bar, online booking, credit card fees, marketing, etc... If you have nothing to do and don't need to pay bills, it might be the right place for you.

Quick tip: don't be afraid to ask to see the appointment books during the interview to make sure they have clientele and whether you are a 1099 or W-4 type of employee. Because if you don't, you might owe IRS a lot of money at the end of the year. Also, ask to see a most recent paystub from one of the employees currently working 40 hours per week.

Red Flag #5:

"Take all the money home on a daily basis," i.e., commission for services. Hold the horses. At first, it might sound cool, but in reality, they are just dumping the burden of heavy taxes on you. Because as I have stated in number 4 above you are probably a 1099 contractor so yes you are taking home the service cash, but that means you will be double taxed. Ask to see a most recent paystub from one of the employees currently working 40 hours per week.

Red Flag #6:

Flexible schedule is another lie. You show up for the interview, and they already asked you during the interview if you can sometimes work six days or stay for 10 hours instead of regular 8. Here is a quick tip, look at the shop schedule if you see less then six to seven people on the floor scheduled, there is no flexible schedule you have just interviewed for a non-flexible position with much overtime.

As you can see, I have seen a lot but not everything. I hope this post will give you the tips that will help in your next interview or get enough courage to leave your current place and look for a better place to build your career. Our industry is great but there is a tremendous amount of falsehood, and it can cost us our health, financial stability, and professional growths. I am still looking for the place to work, but I have few interviews lined up so I will take my time to make the right decision.

For the list of companies that you should never work for unless you are fresh out of school, you can email me, and I will provide the information.

What I have shared with you today, it has taken me 20 years to understand, so I guess you are welcome if you have just started in the industry or have been only under 5 years it is not too late to make the right decision and look for a place where you can build your passion and bank account.

Good Luck!

-Gina