So far, here's our list of physically related ways you can make more money:
- Wearing skirts and makeup (for women, of course)
- Being taller (heels, anyone?)
- Being attractive
- Having just a "touch" of gray hair (for men)
- Control your weight
Yes, we've covered the "being attractive" idea previously (even asking if you'd have plastic surgery to improve your career), but there's some more information on the subject that I wanted to share with you all. :
The Economist recently took a look at three books dealing with a topic that is both uncomfortable and endlessly fascinating: Whether attractiveness helps you get ahead in life.
The article, citing the research of experts including Daniel Hamermesh, notes that attractive people earn more than average-looking ones even in fields such as professional football.
This isn’t just pocket change, either: Over a lifetime, the article argues that an attractive worker might, on average, earn $230,000 more than a very plain worker.
As noted, the piece highlights parts of a post on the Economist on the same subject. :
Physically attractive women and men earn more than average-looking ones, and very plain people earn less. In the labour market as a whole (though not, for example, in astrophysics), looks have a bigger impact on earnings than education, though intelligence—mercifully enough— is valued more highly still.
Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, has long written about “pulchronomics”. In “Beauty Pays” he reckons that, over a lifetime and assuming today’s mean wages, a handsome worker in America might on average make $230,000 more than a very plain one. There is evidence that attractive workers bring in more business, so it often makes sense for firms to hire them. Whether rewarding them accordingly—and paying their less attractive peers more stingily—is good for society is another matter.
Interesting stuff, huh?
Here are some of my thoughts on the subject (and FYI, I'm not saying that I like this subject or that I even think it's "right" -- but I do think it's true and an issue we need to address if we want to maximize our earnings):
- So, we can add attractiveness to performance and likeability as the things that really propel your career, huh?
- You can see how these issues can substantially impact your earnings over a lifetime -- especially when you look at my thoughts on how to maximize your earnings.
- When we're talking "attractiveness" here, don't think that it's something you either have or don't have. EVERYONE can be more attractive depending on how they dress, bathe, take care of themselves, act (all attractiveness isn't physical, of course, but perhaps this borders more on "likeability"), and so on. Everyone can improve their attractiveness in one way or another -- and usually in many ways. So don't think you're a lost cause or you can't improve your performance in this area because you're "plain", "ugly", or any other word you might want to call yourself.
- Here's a basic example of the note above. When I was in college and grad school, I had a haircut/style that was suitable for a student. The fall semester of my final year, I changed my hairstyle to be more "corporate" and thus more "attractive" to potential employers. It was a simple change, but I believe it made it easier for them to hire me because I looked the part (in other words, was more attractive based on their criteria.) Would I have gotten the job offers I did anyway? We'll never know, but I doubt it.
- When you have information like "a handsome worker in America might on average make $230,000 more than a very plain one" it makes those clothing, make-up, gym memberships, hair appointments, etc. look less like an extravagant cost and more like an investment, huh? Then again, people can (and do) go overboard with those things, so you have to keep it all in perspective.
So, how about you? Have you ever consciously taken steps to improve your attractiveness? What were they?