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Signs of Ageing Affect Career Opportunities Warns Skincare Expert
Corrimal, Wollongong, Illawarra, New South Wales, October 2018
When people attend a job interview, they might be expecting to have their abilities, experience, and interpersonal style evaluated. But even recruiters aren’t aware of how much age-bias and the signs of ageing affect their judgement says Shelley Stevens of Platinum Face and Body Clinic.
Shelley first became interested in the effect an ageing appearance might have on job opportunities after finding that many of her skincare clinic’s patients cited the need to enhance professional opportunities as the reason for wanting a rejuvenated facial appearance.
“I began to wonder just how much superficial signs of ageing affected career advancement,” she says. “It wasn’t just the women who thought their appearance might result in discrimination. Men who visit our clinic often say that’s why they paid us a visit.”
So, Shelley decided to do a little digging. If superficial signs of ageing weren’t going to damage careers, she could reassure her clients that their issue was self-confidence rather than age bias, but the research results she turned up painted an alarming picture.
To us as human beings, the appearance of youth is subconsciously associated with vitality, energy, health, and creativity. It’s a biological instinct. Unfortunately, the opposite is true once one begins to look a little older. The keyword here is “subconsciously.” Recruiters and managers may consciously consider your ability and nothing else, but even if they do, their subconscious reactions affect the overall impression.
This was underlined by a 2017 study on the effect of facial ageing on hiring choices. Research subjects evaluated younger and older candidates based on a photograph only and then rated them according to perceived hire-ability. The conclusion was easily reached: an ageing appearance made HR professionals think twice about the prospective hire.
However, a second trial determined that how young you looked was of less importance if the HR person thought they were hiring for a back-office job. As Shelley points out: “That’s mildly insulting to say the least, even if it isn’t intentional.”
Career choices may also make a difference to how ageing affects your hire-ability. Some, such as modelling, are obvious areas where a younger look will be a benefit, but some are less obvious. Tech employees have the hardest time, Shelley a found.
“When you’re in a cutting-edge tech industry, people expect you to be young and look young. The older you get, the less credibility you have. Many of the men who come to the clinic are in their 40s or 50s and have careers in tech.”
“They want to look younger because they aren’t perceived as being young and edgy enough for such a quickly evolving industry. Some tell me they’re already being asked about retirement at 50. That’s not a comfortable place to be when you’re genuinely good at what you do, but it’s how the world works.”
Shelley isn’t happy about age discrimination, even though it benefits her business. Making people feel better about the way they look is her area of expertise, but she doesn’t like the idea of her clients feeling pressured to conform to one or the other norm. Unfortunately, it’s a reality, she says. Whether discrimination is conscious or unconscious, an older-looking face can harm your career opportunities.
Platinum Face and Body Clinic specialises in non-surgical treatments that can help clients look younger. If you’d like to ask Shelley or co-owner Jacinda McKay about the options open to those who feel their careers are being negatively affected by signs of ageing visit Non-Surgical, Medical Grade Aesthetic Treatments For The Face and Body | Platinum Face and Body Clinic website to book a consultation online or call +612 4200 9468.
Written and syndicated by Baxton Media.
Also published on Medium.
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The information contained in this article is based on the authors opinion only and is of a general nature which is not indicative of future results or events and does not consider your personal situation or particular needs. Professional advice should always be sought relevant to your circumstances.
Also published on Medium.
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