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« Alltribes March Madness, Round 1, Posts 21-24 | Main | Ten Simple Ways to Make Your Boss Think You’re Brilliant (And Indispensable) »

January 30, 2009

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I'll admit to using my good looks to get ahead. When I try, I'm pretty in a non-threatening way (ie, not so good looking other girls hate me on sight). It backfired when the owner's son asked me out, I refused, and things got bad at work for a while.

The other downside to looking pretty is that people assume I'd be amazing in sales, instead of the benchwork I prefer. My boss keeps bring up "Kaitlyn! as soon as have so more experience, don't you want to do sales?" Boo.

Please... no one takes this as me bragging or trying to be important online. I'm just going to share my experiences regarding this article :)

My girlfriend, who I work with, is a very attractive woman - she gets hit on daily walking down the street. While she understands that she is good looking, it's always been interesting to see how she is treated by the executives in our company compared to the other women in her similar position. She has been oblivious to this treatment until I started bringing it to her attention.

When there is an important client meeting, dinner, or first impression to make, they *always* bring her along. She is often times the face of our ~600 people company throughout the country. If there's an event (like a golf outing, dinner, happy hour) that we invite current and perspective clients to, she's always the person that greets them and introduces them to everyone else. She's also tasked with trying to smooth out some any big issues that arise between our clients and the work we do for them by sending gifts, flowers, chocolates etc.

Besides being the life-saver of our current executives, her responsibilities have allowed her to network better than anyone else I know under the age of 30. She knows most of the executives in the 3rd largest city in the country and can always call on them for favors, as they are in love with her. She could also have a new job within 2 days of decided so, and is usually offered a new job at least once a week.

Being attractive has its perks, but you still need the personality and work-ethic to impress people past their initial impression of you.

I hired an attractive lab technican and like FMF said I had every guy hanging around her while she worked and she could not get anything done. After a day of that nonsense we talked to all the male employees to back off.

I have a slightly different story. I had a very attractive female boss for a while. She used her looks to her advantage by wearing tight clothing and low cut blouses and I can tell you it was a big distraction. However, she was intimidating overbearing and the looks thing never really got in the way of my doing my work. It is hard to like someone when they are not nice no matter how good they look. Luckily she left the company a few months later.

I'm a young, attractive female in a predominantly middle-aged male industry. I found that it was a bit to my disadvantage when I started my current position. I didn't feel that I was taken as seriously as my male peers.

While I was never harassed, I stopped wearing skirts/dresses as well as perfume. I felt it was drawing more attention to my beauty vs my brains.

Being a relatively attractive female, I know that it has offered me advantages at work - like it's easier to get in front of clients and executives than for others - but at the same time I have always had to fight the stereotype that women are either pretty or smart. I have to do more to prove my competence than any of the males or more homely females in the office.

It's really funny/annoying when guys do a double take as soon as I ask an intelligent question or make an offhand remark about investing or finance - especially if I'm in a bar and not at my office where everybody knows I'm a banker.

Hah! This only applies to women. A very good looking man would be written off as gay or it wouldn't make such a difference unless the senior mgmt team was a bunch of cougars.

For men, the keys to charm and charisma is the power of a deep, confident voice and an imposing presence / personality.

It's nice to have attractive women around as eye candy (sorry if this sounds un-PC but where I work abroad there is no PC) and often these are in the front reception and secretaries. No issues there. Sometimes if a woman is too attractive she can get an elitist attitute and that can be very tiring. That personality wouldn't last long.

For women, I'd say it's better to be cute and skilled than stunning. Sometimes stunning is a liability unlesss you have great control not to let your ego inflate out of control.

Big C.

good thing I'm borderline ugly.

Ugh, my boss once made a remark that implied that I was hired based on looks which *really* peeved me until I decided it didn't matter because I've more than proven myself since. Thereafter, though, I realized that he only hired attractive (to him) females, and cut his interviews with unattractive females uncharacteristically short.

He did use me, plenty of times, as the "reason X or Y (male contractor) would work with us" as well, and while it gave me more depth to my experience, I felt slightly tainted.

All things being equal, looks will tip the scales anyday.

The danger is when people hire the better looking ones when all things are not equal. I have had my fair share of pretty ladies being employed and all they knew was how to apply make up.

I have also had my share of attractive lady colleagues who could give anyone a run for their money.

Like Stephen says, looks are only the first impression. The work ethics, attitudes, knowledge and commitment win at the end of the day.

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