According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, one of the most glaring trends among those seeking plastic surgery in 2007 was the increased need to look good to “remain competitive in the job marketplace.” Far from a nose job, an eyelid lift, or a chemical peel being the domain of Hollywood has-beens (or wanna-be’s), average people now believe that an investment in plastic surgery to improve their looks will help them climb the corporate ladder. Can a chin implant, a face lift, or a Botox treatment really lead to a job promotion? The studies seem to suggest the answer is yes. But is this wise?
Gordon Patzer, author of Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined has researched the impact of physical attractiveness. His research, after conducting and reading a host of study results, indicates there is a distinct advantage to good looks, hence the increase in ladder climbers seeking plastic surgery. He says that cute newborns in a nursery are cuddled, touched, and talked to more than less attractive babies. School teachers unknowingly tend to hold higher expectations for better-looking children and even parents may be less protective of less-attractive children.
Then, when people enter the work force, the good looking ones are more likely to get hired, especially when they have the education background to justify it. Employees are willing to go above and beyond for better-looking bosses. Attractive supervisors are perceived as more credible and more persuasive.
What makes matters worse is that, when confronted with the evidence or when asked about their preferences, people vehemently deny that looks had anything to do with their decisions. Are we blinded by beauty?
This is a sad state of affairs isn’t it? Not only does the evidence suggest that we prefer people based on looks, but we deny it. Prejudice wins again, it seems.
So, other than job performance issues, what’s an average looking person (that would be me) to do to make extra money and climb that ladder? Since I have neither the resources, not the inclination to go under the knife, what should I do?
Learn to use what I have:
1. Sit up straight. Better posture will project confidence and health. Some studies suggest that our hard-wired preference for the better looking among us stems from seeking to associate with healthy individuals. Slumping over your desk makes you look dead … or close to it.
2. Eat right. Consuming unhealthy, processed foods will cause you to be sluggish and potentially to develop health problems down the road. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain breads. Lay off the processed sugar. Bleh!
3. Exercise. It helps fight disease, lowers cholesterol, and makes you look healthier. It also causes you to have additional energy and stamina to make it through the day with a positive attitude.
4. Learn to control your non-verbal language. The subtle cues you give others can communicate more than your words. You want to communicate confidence, enthusiasm, and health.
5. Learn to dress properly. Ask for some honest feedback about your wardrobe and be willing to ask for help. The clothing you wear can flatter you or embarrass you. Guess which is better?
6. Get plenty of rest. Poorly rested eyes are easy to spot. Plus, you tend to make more mistakes when you’re fatigued.
7. Upgrade your skill set. Don’t let the lack of certifications or education stand in the way of getting the promotion or job offer you want. And don’t fall for the fallacy that says “It will take 3 years to get that degree (sigh), so it isn’t worth my time or efforts.” Baloney. You’ve been saying that same thing since 1994. Get on with it.
8. Learn to speak confidently. If you need speaking lessons, sign up and use what you learn. How you speak communicates your confidence level, your education, and your overall health. Think about how sick people sound over the phone for comparison, get the picture?
9. Shake hands like a real man. Yes, that includes you too, ladies! You don’t have to be the Incredible Hulk and make someone beg for mercy, but a solid, firm handshake especially from a woman communicates confidence and enthusiasm … two traits that will take you far.
10. Jettison the emotion. Business is a logical process run by emotional beings. If you can remove the emotion, you can find the logical way to approach the challenge of getting a promotion or job offer. Don’t take things personally, it shows on your face and is difficult to hide.
11. Slather on the sunscreen. Yes, a little sun on your face helps you have “that glow,” but too much and your face will look like the bottom of my shoe. Think of sunscreen as Botox in a bottle.
12. Learn to be more persuasive. By learning to negotiate, you’ll be able to overcome the perception that better looking people are more stronger at using convincing communications.
13. Practice good hygiene. I don’t think I need to go into detail here. Just don’t ride your bike to work or exercise on your lunch break without understanding that your best efforts can be thwarted by a sweaty shirt.
14. Think about what your face looks like. Consciously focus on relaxing your facial muscles. Smile. Laugh. Lighten up. Very few things are really as important as we make them out to be.
15. Learn to motivate yourself. Knowing what makes you tick will increase your own confidence and will make you appear more able to do the job at hand. Motivation is usually written all over your face.
Everything in life is about making the most of what you have. How you look is no different. Provide value to your employer, make the most of your situation, and don’t focus on what someone else has that you don’t. You cannot change other people. You can change your attitude and how you carry yourself. That may be all you need.
[tags]plastic surgery, good looks, climbing the ladder, clothes, employee, boss[/tags]