It seems older job candidates (read: Baby Boomers) are flocking to go under the knife in order to boost their chances of getting hired.
I read it in Time Magazine, which in turn got it from The Chicago Tribune. Essentially the story is that people need jobs, and because jobs can be harder to get when you’re older, they’re heading to the plastic surgeon to achieve a more youthful appearance. And then, some candidates are lying about their ages.
“Spending money can often improve your chances of earning money. Money spent on education and special training, for instance, can lead to a decent-paying career—or at least it should in theory.” So, money spent on one’s appearance can be considered another investment.
The Chicago Tribune says older (would be) workers are “dropping tens of thousands of dollars” on cosmetic surgery.
If you’re one of the many who probably think this is a bad thing, hey, it’s not as disturbing as the female Chinese students who are eating roundworm eggs to be thin for job interviews. Bright side!
Interestingly, I keep reading about lookism and ageism in the workplace, but nobody in the actual workplace ever seems to acknowledge the existence of either.
I contacted two headhunter friends, one of whom works in IT and the other in mid to executive level recruiting. Both asked to remain anonymous as I didn’t go through their respective partners, then both denied that age or attractiveness is at issue.
In fact, the IT guy told me that most hiring managers he deals with want “a touch of grey” in their people, “meaning,” he says “‘Senior guys who have been round the block before, since I don’t want to hire some fresh-faced bright young thing who will have learn it on my dime.’”
And the other said, “It doesn’t matter – if you produce, collaborate, and remain fluid you are valuable to an organization. Of course there are case by case differences but, overall, organizations really do get that there is a war for talent and that there will be a shortage of workers as the boomers retire.”
Huh? But you guys are anonymous! You could say anything!
It obviously works on an industry by industry basis and there may be some excuse making here. Many, I’m sure choose to blame their appearance or age when, in fact, the issue is something else entirely, like their attitude or skill set. I know a woman in her mid 60s who needs work and can’t find any. Once a PR heavyweight, she has failed to keep up with the changing industries of pop culture and media – once her area. You know what she has done? Keep up her looks. She looks fabulous. But that isn’t getting her a job.
Hollywood starlets and people in sales are going to need more Botox than computer programmers, neurosurgeons, aerospace engineers and mathematicians. That’s a fact. So, those of who didn’t go into one of these nerdy professions may wind up either wishing we did or looking at the pointy end of a needle.
Because ultimately, no matter how idealistic you are, it’s also probably a fact that it’s easier to change faces than to change minds.
But that’s just me. Your thoughts? Would you consider altering your physical appearance for a job opportunity? Becareful, as we’ve already discussed, you can in fact also be too attractive to be hired.