04Apr

The bearded truth: What does your beard say about you?


beards and facial hair at workFor any man who sports facial hair, whether it’s a goatee, moustache, stubble, full-length beard or sideburns, how it’s worn says a lot about you.

After all, people judge a book by its cover. Which begs the question: what does a beard or no beard say about the man?

Let’s look at some research
Men’s haircare manufacturers Remington conducted a study analysing the facial hair styles of professional men, taking their career choices into account.

As you might have observed, creative types hardly shaved at all. In fact, 63% of those in the advertising world sported a beard, moustache or goatee. It was noted that 80% of top-earning actors stepped onto the red carpet with a beard or stubble during awards season.

CEOs in the UK tend to favour a clean-shaven appearance over a beard; same for academics, authors and your everyday office worker. Sporty types were seen to prefer a little bit of beard or stubble – also known as the ‘Beckham effect’.

But aren’t beards fashionable?
Well, not according to the men that Remington surveyed. There’s still very much a conventional approach to facial hair – and following the trends doesn’t always translate to the boardroom.

But then, it depends on where you work, and your age may come into it. With more young entrepreneurs entering the boardrooms, it’s clear to see that beards are being embraced.

How you wear it can make or break your career
In positions of authority, there appears to be a direct correlation between moving up the corporate ladder to more senior positions and sporting less facial hair. Look at the board members, the CEO, senior management.

Why are beards popular?
According to Emeritus R.D. Guthrie, a professor of the University of Alaska and author of Body Hot Spots: the Anatomy of Human Social Organs and Behavior, male beards have undoubtedly a sociobiological impact on job interviews.

As the argument goes, beards are often perceived by others to represent ideas of masculinity, wisdom, attractiveness, and even aggression. On the other hand, a clean-shaven look is often associated with youth, cleanliness and good health.

Guthrie explains that historically, people got what they wanted through persuasion – and job interviews are all about the art of persuasion.

So, in a world obsessed with image, a man’s image is powerful. Are you projecting the image that reflects your career aspirations?

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