No, Your Appearance Actually Shouldn't Determine Professional Worth

No, Your Appearance Actually Shouldn't Determine Professional Worth

The idea that having tattoos or wearing jeans indicates poor performance is ludicrous, and it needs to go.
2061
views

Professionalism is a perplexing concept, particularly because it's so difficult to define. The modern workforce has evolved so that a large number of companies have become far more liberal in establishing company rules.

Unfortunately, just as many organizations maintain a conservative stance when it comes to creating office policies.

While it makes sense to preserve certain practices, even when they originated decades ago, it's time for all companies to embrace a more progressive shift when it comes to dress codes.

Personally, it's always baffled me that managers deem it reasonable to determine an individual's professional worth based on his or her appearance.

You've heard it before. It's impossible to find a job with that many visible tattoos. You should really take your nose ring out before going on that interview. And don't you ever wear jeans to work - unless it's Friday. It's acceptable on Friday.

Most of us nod and accept these statements as gospel. But when you really give these sentiments some thought, it seems obvious that they're ridiculous.

If you excel at every project you're handed, why should it matter what sort of pants you're wearing? How does your decision to have art on your body affect your workflow?

The honest answer is that it doesn't.

As a society, we've crafted a model of what an ideal employee should look like. We claim that this profile is a step to being successful, but there's no reason that any of these things should equate success in our careers.

In reality, someone put these policies in place because it was what they preferred.

And bosses continue to perpetuate them because they benefit them. Dress codes encourage obedience and conformity, two valuable qualities from a management perspective.

From the employee perspective, however, they just seem like a pointless nuisance. Most of them can't even identify one positive aspect of having strict dress codes.

In fact, a OnePoll survey of 2,000 adults from the UK shows that many employees are willing to quit their jobs over inflexible dress policies. They prefer more "relaxed" standards when it comes to office guidelines, and they certainly don't appreciate being told what to do with the hair on their heads or faces.

Similarly, a Los Angeles Times survey reveals that 58 percent of individuals questioned prefer a casual dress code to a formal one.

With results like these, it seems clear that employees desire the freedom to look the way they want at work — without inviting harsh criticism from management.

And if we're honest, companies absolutely should grant their workers that freedom.

It goes against every old-school management strategy in the book but allowing employee-driven policies in the workplace benefits companies in the end.

After all, increasing numbers of surveys and studies report that happier employees tend to be more productive, more dedicated to their work and more likely to stay with an organization for an extended period of time.

I mean, studies or no, this is really just basic human nature. If you value your staff for what they bring to the table, instead of what they look like, they're bound to show you gratitude and respect. And believe it or not, those things will get managers far better results than conformity and obedience.

So let's do away with the medieval dress policies. We'll all be happier (and comfier) for it.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

Popular Right Now

I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
23188
views

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

697
views

It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

Related Content

Facebook Comments