The Relationship Between Your Appearance and Your Career
If you’re hunting for a new job or looking to boost your career, you’ll know how important it is to put together a strong resume, highlighting your strengths and your experience. While your skillset and your attitude towards work play a major role in landing your dream job, there’s also another essential factor to consider — your appearance.
Why Your Looks Matter in the Workplace
First impressions matter — especially in the workplace. And one of the first things your potential employer will notice about you is your appearance. Even if your stellar resume makes you look good on paper, you still need to present yourself in a professional, well-groomed manner to ensure you look good in person. Likewise, if you’re seeking a promotion or wanting to advance your career, you’ll want to show your employer that you’re the whole package — inside and out.
Of course, your appearance isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of your career progression. Your experience, abilities and attitude are also contributing factors. But your looks can have an impact on your career in a number of ways, including:
The Hiring Process
Your overall behaviour and demeanour in an interview are crucial. But so is your appearance. A number of studies have found that certain physical characteristics can affect your chance of getting hired. It has also been found that a person’s employability can sometimes be based more on their attractiveness than education or job characteristics.
Sure, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. But studies have also found that attractiveness is an enduring, positive labour market characteristic — and may impact your earning potential. In fact, candidates who are perceived as ‘attractive’ may even secure higher pay.
Unfortunately, in our modern society, people are often discriminated for their physical appearance and attractiveness. But discrimination of appearance is not just reserved for those who are perceived as ‘less attractive’. One study found that the common perception that attractive individuals have a greater sense of entitlement than less attractive individuals, can result in negative treatment of attractive people. A separate study also found that attractive women face discrimination when it comes to landing certain kinds of jobs. Interestingly, that same study found that attractive men did not experience this discrimination and were always at an advantage.
How to Take Control of Your Appearance and Career
When it comes to your career, it’s important to always present the right image — in your attitude, behaviour and appearance. Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do to keep your appearance in check and put your best self forward in your professional life.
Smiling not only makes you appear more approachable and positive and
can also have a powerful impact on your confidence
Dress the Part
Always dress in accordance with your workplace policies or culture. For example, if you’re working in a more casual office environment, you may not be expected to suit up in corporate attire every day — but there may be policies around such things as wearing closed-in footwear or keeping your hair tied back. If you’re unsure, ask your HR team. It also goes without saying that you should wear clothes that are clean, neat and well-fitted, regardless of the dress code.
Good Hygiene Goes a *Long* Way
This one *should* be a given but we’ll emphasise it anyway — personal hygiene is a MUST. General grooming, including dental care, goes a long way in the professional world and it can impact how positively you are perceived at work. One of the easiest things you can do to improve your overall appearance is to look (and smell) fresh and clean. Good hygiene can also give a little boost to your self-confidence too. After all, who doesn’t feel good about themselves after a hot shower and freshly-brushed teeth?
A simple smile can open doors. Smiling in the workplace not only makes you appear more approachable and positive, but it can also have a powerful impact on your emotions and the emotions of your colleagues. In fact, psychologists have found that smiling can make you happier. And happiness can have a major impact on your productivity and job satisfaction. But that *doesn’t* mean you need to walk around the office smiling like a Cheshire cat all day. Keep it natural and avoid smiling insincerely or smiling at inappropriate times.
If you’re holding back your smile at work because you’re not 100% happy with your teeth, we’ve got you! Maybe you’d like to freshen up your smile with teeth whitening. Or maybe it’s time you *finally* get your dream smile with dental veneers or teeth straightening treatments like Invisalign and Invisalign Express. Simply get in touch and we’ll help you feel more confident in your pearly whites.
Carry Yourself With Confidence
Presenting a positive and professional image isn’t just about your physical appearance — it’s also about your confidence. In fact, exuding confidence in yourself and your abilities can have a far greater impact than changing your appearance. Even if you’re feeling nervous at work or before a job interview, there are a few small things you can do to appear more confident, such as standing or sitting with good posture, keeping your head level, maintaining appropriate eye contact and speaking slowly and clearly.
Focus On Yourself
While appearance is important in the workplace, don’t forget that “beauty” starts from within. This means that you should be focusing on your inner self (i.e. your mental and physical health) just as much as your outer self (i.e. your physical appearance). Good daily habits like eating a healthy diet, exercising and reducing stress are essential for taking care of your physical body and ensuring your overall health and wellbeing. And when you feel good inside, it will shine through on the outside.
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