How To Get The Confidence Necessary To Survive An Appearance-Driven Workplace

by Makeda Waterman
20th Century Fox

I will never forget the time I received a promotion while working for a big organization. My new department was full of the most attractive people I have ever seen in one space. I would joke around with my colleagues, saying, “It looks like every person walked off the cover of GQ or Elle magazine.”

One day, I had a conversation with a seasoned professional, and she told me the more attractive a person is, the more likely the person is to be promoted. I really didn't know whether I should believe her or not because many people obviously get ahead (as they should) because of their contributions to their industry.

20th Century Fox

Recently, about 20,745 people between 16 and 29 years old participated in a study published in the Journal Business and Psychology that found:

Physical attractiveness may appear to have an effect on earnings, because more attractive workers are simultaneously healthier, more intelligent and have better (in particular, more conscientious, more extroverted, and less neurotic) personality more conducive to earning more.

Yeah. If you're like me, that kind of news instantly makes you feel nervous and self-conscious, especially when you're in a workplace filled with intimidatingly attractive people.

What I realized over time, though, was that the tricks to looking and feeling good at work are actually really simple.

1. It's all about the way you hold yourself.

 It's not about how you look, exactly -- it's about how you carry yourself.

Although many of us are trying to impress potential employers with an expensive suit, it's the non-verbal communication that counts. Despite what society defines as beauty, all you really need is confidence.

Human resources specialists are trained to read body language. If you walk into an interview with bad posture or act unsure about your answers, you better believe your resume will be tossed to the side.

In the morning, wake up and go to the gym. Dance to a few of your favorite songs or pick up the phone and call that one person that makes you feel like everything is going to be OK.

Bo Bo

You'll be surprised by how amazing you feel before you even get there, and your confidence will be evident to the hiring manager.

 2. Style works wonders.

Fox 2000 Pictures

We all have that one dress we can't fit into, or that blouse that makes us look like an actual box. An important aspect of looking good is simply dressing well.

A few days before the interview, go to the mall and buy a stylish dress that actually fits you well. Don't be afraid to ask for advice or second opinions.

3. Accept who you are.

And when it comes down to it, no matter what any study says, looks are only a small part of it. We all have qualities about ourselves we love. Embrace those!

The truth is, the only person who can determine whether you get a job or promotion is you.

Let's be honest. Think about some of the people in the C-suite that work at your company. Do they all fit society's standards of being attractive? Aren't there plenty of powerful people who have more charm or intelligence than looks?

Nabi Tang

No matter how you look, there are ways to improve yourself, both inside and out. That starts by changing the way you think about yourself first, and loving yourself for the amazing person that you are.

That self-love will show, and it'll make people gravitate toward you more -- and that can only help you succeed in the workplace.