In the workplace, we want everyone to be treated equally. But with every organization, whether it’s educational, social, or business, there will always be a hierarchy that people will follow. There are a variety of factors that will usually affect an individual’s positioning in the workplace. Although most won’t admit it, appearance plays a significant role in a person’s success.
Throughout much of our lives, appearance always made an impact on whatever we are doing. However, a professional demeanor, especially when it comes to customer service and experience, would tell us that treating customers and workmates equally can yield the best results.
Most of us want to believe that success in a career will usually mean that we’ll need a good degree of talent, commitment, energy, and skill. But although many of these things are formulas to success, other factors are not necessarily related to performance at work, such as our appearance and hygiene.
But the question remains: does appearance affect your success in your career? Well, there are lots of things that we will need to consider before we can have a coherent conclusion. To find answers to this compelling question, we’ll need to look into some comprehensive data. Here’s what you’ll need to know.
Understanding the Industry
So does appearance matter when it comes to the professional scene? It will depend on the nature of your work and the industry you’re in. Naturally, many industries that require workers to face customers will need naturally attractive people.
Most businesses want to ensure that they are maximizing their customer experience. Having attractive employees who are facing customers is the best way of bringing in long-term customers and clients.
But let’s look at things from the perspective of the employee and their long-term advancement in their career. Does it have a lasting impact on the likelihood of getting hired? Will this influence their chances of getting promoted? Does money come in easier? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
What Does Data Say?
Most experts would suggest that a person’s influence may have a greater degree of influence in their ability to advance professionally. A particular study that sociologists have conducted has shown that most women who have gained weight throughout their careers will decrease their “prestige” in the workplace. When it comes to men, the adverse effects were relatively minimal or almost non-existent.
In another study done by prominent universities in the United States, women who were wearing makeup were seen as more competent and “skilled” in their position than those who didn’t wear any makeup. Makeup is known for increasing a person’s likeability and how trustworthy they are when facing potential customers and clients.
Many are still skeptical and reluctant to admit that a person’s appearance will influence their career advancement. Most business psychologists and experts would say that personal appearance is something that falls under a person’s “subconscious.”
Although the subliminal part of our mind will play a role in how we perceive others, most people are already “mature” enough that it’s not the only factor that should matter when interacting with others.
Although appearance does impact the decision-making process, many individuals will also weigh in on various logical factors that will ultimately help with decisions. Many of these factors are conscious, and most people will think many of these through. However, most would say that there’s a balance between the two.
The good news here is that technology and cosmetics have constantly been evolving to help individuals look good. Whether it’s through makeup, cosmetic surgeries, haircare, skincare, or accessories, there are various ways of looking good at the office. Some businesses are aware that many employees and workers won’t have the time or resources for cosmetics or looking good alone. Fortunately, some companies sell high-quality and realistic wigs that will help with a person’s overall appearance.
Being Pretty Has a Cost
Although appearance does have many advantages, many executives say that looking too good can cause problems. A study showed that a good percentage of women since 2018 had had plastic surgery at some point in their life. However, some professionals would say that your looks can be used against you.
In an office environment, there will be co-workers who will make various assumptions on how a person could get hired. This can cause a rift in some workplaces, with some co-workers eventually leaving if they think that the upper management might have a sense of favoritism. That said, many businesses would suggest having a balance of both appearance and professionalism.
Based on research and studies that have been done, appearance does matter when it comes to career advancement and increasing overall customer experience. Still, it’s not the be-all-end-all factor that could influence a person’s professionalism. The bottom line? Having a balance between skill, knowledge, and professional demeanor can go a long way.