Interpersonal Edge: Would cosmetic surgery provide a career edge?
Wednesday, July 1, 2015


By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Content Agency
 Q: I'm a woman in my early 60s, and I've started noticing people in my workplace acting like I'm invisible. I've considered cosmetic surgery, but have conflicting feelings about being vain. Has any research been done on how cosmetic surgery affects people's careers?
  A: There's tons of research on physical appearance and how it relates to job opportunities. None of us need to look like a super model, however. In fact, being too good-looking can create problems. According to existing research, "normal weight" and "more attractive" generally translate into more money and better treatment at work.
  For readers who are social revolutionaries, please be aware that I don't agree with the idea that attractive people should get better jobs. My column focuses on laying out the facts, according to the latest social research, so readers can better navigate reality. Therefore, I must state the fact that more attractive people usually do get better job opportunities.
  Once we get over our huffiness about the unfairness of this, we can consider what to do. Ironically, our society doesn't have a problem with using cosmetics, attractive clothing, or jewelry to enhance our looks, but many people consider it "cheating" to have plastic surgery.
  Another irony is the fact that despite this sense that plastic surgery is a crass and vain, more women, and even men, are undergoing cosmetic procedures. Most are more interested in extending their careers than their youthful appearance. They realize that looking younger may help them work longer and more effectively.
  Keep in mind that many baby boomers were hit hard financially by the recent recession, their retirement savings dramatically reduced. Lots of people who thought they'd quit work at 60 now hope to work as long as possible.
  There's also been a dramatic surge of interest in "longevity" medicine. People over 50 want to know what herbs, lifestyle changes and supplements will keep them in the prime of life. Anything that helps mature professionals keep working has become a financial necessity.
  Obvious concerns about cosmetic surgery are the high cost and the risks. Anyone considering cosmetic surgery should consult a board certified plastic surgeon with a superb reputation. Most of these physicians are conservative and can provide extensive data on your options. Be aware that ethical cosmetic surgeons are not just trying to turn a profit; they'll do the least amount of work to get the result you seek and won't push you into any procedure.
  How you feel about yourself is another important issue to consider. Many of us find that getting older is mostly about looking tired. Conservative plastic surgery can simply help you look rested again.
  You're completely within your rights to weigh your goals and what supports your well-being. If plastic surgery supports those and goals, then your opinion is the only one that counts!
  The last word(s)
  Q: I tend to blurt out my ideas and often am not well-received. How can I more carefully craft my messages at work?
  A: Take the time to carefully taste your words before you spit them out. If they seem sour to you, they won't help you achieve your objective.
 Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel’s “Workplace Guru” each Monday morning. She’s the author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.
This column was printed in the June 28, 2015 - July 12, 2015 edition.

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