Youth – The key success factor in business?
How important is looking young in our daily business life? Reading about measures like “Botox for work reasons” should make us think if looking young means all for success in the job. Isn’t competence and experience what should count more? Of course it is important – especially for jobs with a high visibility – to wear suitable clothes and have a neat appearance. A positive phenotype gives us a credit of trust. But the idea to look as young as a student while having the job experience of somebody in his mid-ages is ridiculous. Besides looking young not always is an advantage: It could also hurt the career, as colleagues, customers or clients do not believe in the experience and competence of the person. Anyway, the actual age of a person as well as his or her ‘perceived age’ shouldn’t be such an important factor for success in the job that employees make decisions for botox or plastic surgery. Instead, a culture of acceptance should make possible that differences – also in the appearance – are valued.
By the way, surprisingly also being beautiful is a disadvantage in some cases. According to research from Bianca Price, University of South Australia, good looking staff is no guarantee for better sales. She found out that women buy less when they have the feeling that the female staff member is more attractive than themselves. Price explains this with an upward social comparison (people compare themselves with others who they believe are socially superior – for instance more attractive) which results for example in anxiety and / or a lower confidence and thus in less willingness to buy.
One measure to prevent upward social comparison could be diverse staff, which does not only represent youth and beauty but reflects the appearance, age etc. of the customers.
What do you think: How important is looking young in our daily business life?