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Job Search: Plastic Surgery To Get A Job?

posted 20 Dec 2010, 07:20 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 Dec 2010, 07:23 ]

Recently, Tory Johnson, the Good Morning America career
contributor, talked about how job seekers are using plastic
surgery to help them get jobs. Obviously, Tory didn't
support the concept and neither do I. While I've conceded
the point that there is age bias out there in the work
place, there is also a perspective I would like to impart on
my peers.

First, if you want to get plastic surgery because you'll
feel better about yourself, I'm all for it. I think plastic
surgery is a personal choice and when made for the right
reasons, it can help a person feel better. Having plastic
surgery simply to make yourself more competitive (unless you
are in Hollywood) as a job seeker or on the job, means you
don't fully understand the turf you're playing on.

I agree there is age bias. I also agree there are a ton of
other biases including race, gender, professional
background, sexual orientation and weight. Pick one or two;
I'm sure you qualify for a couple of different biases.
Unfortunately, we have a part of us that does judge other
people for purely irrational reasons. It's part of our
genetic makeup. We can legislate overt prejudices, but we
can't make a law to govern what goes on in someone's mind. I
hope you get the point I'm making. All of us will be judged
for all types of reasons by those who are interviewing and
hiring. It might not be fair, but it is reality.

With that thought in mind, here is the perspective I'd like
to impart: -It all equals out at some point. For every
person I've heard tell me their concerns that their boomer
age is getting in their way, I've heard a twenty something
say the same thing. Both are true and both even out. Let me
tell you this quick story to illustrate my point. I had a
gal tell me she thought she was not getting a job because of
her age. After a bit of inquiry, I found that she had been
sending her resume to online postings. No one had a chance
to tell what her age was. She was working against the odds
of high volume and made up a story that it had something to
do with her age. Once I pointed this out to her, she
realized her error on many levels. As a result, she changed
her approach and her attitude. My point is that the age
issue can all be in your mind sometimes. Even if it's not,
just know that someone in their twenties is having the same

If you are in this group and think you honestly have had
your age work against you, then it simply means you have to
work harder or differently to find a job or get promoted. If
what you're doing isn't working, then change what you're
doing. You might also think through what the age bias means
to others. See if there is anything you can do to behave in
such a way that age simply isn't an issue. When I speak to
groups on this problem, I ask what issues drive the bias. I
get answers like: Lack of energy and drive Inflexible
Unwilling or unable to learn technology Slow

I suggest you think about this list, self assess and see
what you could be doing to perpetuate the bias. Notice the
list of age-related issues did not include wrinkles,
glasses, hair color or knee braces. We all face bias, but it
doesn't mean you have to be so desperate you go under the
knife. I challenge you to think about this problem in a new
way. You have a choice in your own attitude on this issue.
You can think it's totally unfair and be frustrated or
unhappy much of the time; or you can decide that it's just
part of life, which means you adjust and move forward.
What's your choice?

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