“I kind of fell into barbering,” Jacob says. “I felt like I was wasting my time at school, and doing an apprenticeship meant I could get qualified and start a career early”.

Jacob started at his barbershop in high school, working part-time as an assistant.

“I swept the floors, went for coffees, and helped out the barbers,” Jacob says.

Jacob then went on to complete the Gateway programme. Gateway gives high school students the chance to try out a career while they’re still at school. At the end of the Gateway programme, his boss Pete offered him an apprenticeship. Jacob just finished his barbering qualification in April.

“My parents thought I should be a builder or a police officer, but at the end of the day they were happy to hear I’d be getting qualified and earning while I was learning,” Jacob says. “My friends associated barbering with hairdressing, so there were some comments of ‘ohhh you want to be a hairdresser that’s a bit gay’, but that didn’t stop me. And they’re all happy with the discounted cuts now anyway”.

“The best thing about barbering is making people feel special and good about themselves,” Jacob says. “it’s also a job where you learn heaps about other people – you can take something away from every client if you start talking with them. That’s been a massive highlight for me – when I first started I couldn’t even hold a conversation.”

If you’re looking for a career in barbering, Jacob says “go out and do it”.

“Look for an opportunity and take it – life’s too short to wait for opportunities to come to you. But you also have to remember that you won’t be a the ‘top man’ straight away. You have to work hard and work up from the bottom. You have to be willing to listen to the seniors, and be confident enough to take some cheek too.”.

Jacob hopes to travel the world with his skills.

“I’m the type of guy to walk into every barbershop and see what they do differently and what I can learn from them,” Jacob says.

Jacob would love to take over the barbershop he’s working in currently and keep growing the business. He’s also got plans to pass on his knowledge and train his own apprentices.

“Thanks to Got a Trade for letting me tell my story,” Jacob says. “I hope others can read this and feel welcomed into barbering or get the confidence to go out and take new opportunities”.

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