How "Looking Your Age" Can Affect Your Career

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What Impact Does "Looking Your Age" Have On Your Career?

As awful as it may be to admit, discrimination in the workplace is still happening. The two most popular types of discrimination that play a large part in the workforce, surprisingly, are age and looks. In general, younger, good-looking candidates for jobs end up receiving their desired position as well as earn higher wages. According to studies presented by Daniel Hamermesh in his book Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful, better looking people can earn up to an additional $230,000 in their lifetime compared to a more average looking person.

In today's society, "looking old" can just be as bad as looking "average." That is why looking your age can be a crucial disadvantage while trying to further your career. In a perfect world, none of this would matter and looks would have no bearing on your ability to perform. Unfortunately the reality of the matter is much different. If you are currently looking for employment or are trying to make the next step up in your career.

Additional studies have pinpointed some of the most important beauty specifications that may change the way a potential employer looks at you and if they want to hire you. As much as we all wish these points weren't true, they are. Until your job is judged solely on your merit, it's wise to take advantage of these points.


According to a George Washington University study that cited data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth men and women with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 are paid less than someone with an average BMI. The study estimates the average loss of $8,666 for obese women and $4,772 for obese men.

To avoid losing this potential income, focus on a healthy diet and proper exercise everyday. Men and women who appear fitter are regarded as more attractive because of their physical agility. If you were once obese and have lost the weight on your own accord, you may be experiencing stretch marks or sagging skin. Skin Tightening can help both give you a more youthful and attractive look. Although different techniques are available, they all provide non-surgical ways to encourage the production of collagen in the skin with virtually no pain.

Physical Health

One of the most beneficial ways to combat discrimination from physical looks is by staying as healthy as possible. According to a study in the Journal of Labor Research, people who regularly exercise earn 9 percent more than employees that don't. Obviously, exercise leads to many health benefits including healthier looking skin, toned muscles, and higher metabolism and energy levels. Those who work out, as well, are much more unlikely to be obese. Even those who moderately exercise (three times a week), on average, see more than 5 percent additional pay to those who do not.


For women, a study in the American Economic Review shows women who wear more makeup can earn over 30 percent more pay than those who don't wear makeup or very little. Makeup's best use is to cover up blemishes as well as accentuate the areas of the face that are most attractive. (It can also make one look more energetic and thereby more capable of handling heavy workloads.) Although it may seem like a simple difference, the London Times reported that 64 percent of directors (bosses) said women who wore makeup looked more professional.


Your actual age might not determine if you will or will not get a job, especially if your have many years of experience. Many employers are not looking for newly graduated applicants that promise to "learn the trade" when they know they can hire someone that "knows the trade." Forbes has a great article on how to use your age to your advantage. With that said, "looking your age," can still hurt your chances at getting a job. Imagine you're competing against someone for a job who is the same age as you with equal merit. If they look ten years younger, are in good physical shape, and have high spirits, they may appear a better long-term investment than someone with low-energy who appears to be aging. They may also project higher confidence and stronger presentation skills than someone who is overweight or has poor skin.

There are many ways to improve your looks. Lifestyle habits like eating healthy and exercising, as well as non-surgical improvements that help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, cellulite, and baggy skin are all good places to start. No amount of exercise or healthy eating can get rid of all physical signs of old age. In those cases, Dr. Dayan and his team at Impressions Face + Body in Chicago can help you look younger and more vital in the hopes an employer will notice that extra radiant look.

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