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One of the podcasts said if you want to move up, look at the people on that level and do as they do.

Very few, if any, of the managers in my company choose to express themselves boldly in the facial hair department. In fact, I can only think of one senior manager with a soup-strainer.

I wear a goatee. Sell out and shave it off, or stick with it and risk not "fitting in"?

TomW's picture

To risk sounding slightly snarky...
Is there a part of "look like them" that is confusing?

If you want to become management, you will probably have to make other decisions that you consider selling out as well. You will need to make peace with that first. Until then, whether you wear a goatee or not, you're not ready for management.

jhack's picture

It's not "selling out" unless you wear it for political reasons.

If you think you look good in a goatee, then you're simply making a different fashion choice (like going from double breasted suits to khakis and blazers).

Jesus*, Lenin, and the Village People wore goatees, so it seems you [i]can[/i] be a success with one. They weren't, however, in management...

John

*Photographic evidence for this is tough to come by...

AManagerTool's picture

My companies CEO has a full beard. Fortune 500.

Your assertion that you cannot become successful with facial hair is just not supported by evidence. That said, try being sucessful if you are under 6' tall! There is plenty of documentation of that bias. Short people loose...every time. :cry:

hyubdoo23's picture

Not sure I am asserting that I cannot be successful with facial hair. What I am trying to get at is whether "fitting in" extends as far as facial hair. If none of the people at the level to which I aspire have facial hair, should I then conclude that in order to advance it would be best to follow suit?

And, yes, it is selling out. I would lose my "essence of chin."

lazerus's picture

Clean shaven is the new goatee.

The goatee is the "safe" rebellious look. Today's fashionable hipsters are all clean shaven. Go against the grain and shave it! :twisted:

hyubdoo23's picture

Physician! Heal thyself!

(Shave yer avatar)

mtietel's picture

[quote="hyubdoo23"]What I am trying to get at is whether "fitting in" extends as far as facial hair. If none of the people at the level to which I aspire have facial hair, should I then conclude that in order to advance it would be best to follow suit?[/quote]

"Whenever there is doubt, there is no doubt" - Ronin

Personal choices may have professional ramifications. Until you're "on the inside", you'll have no way of knowing what "fitting in" means to the people at the level you aspire to (or to the people who make the decision about who is at that level). So, is that a risk you are willing to accept?

MsSunshine's picture

I find this funny because the CEO of my company just grew a goatee. All of a sudden I'm seeing lots of other people growing them. I've seen several people stop some of the new facial hair people and ask them if they did it to copy cat the CEO. :D When I used to work at GE, people used to openly snicker about the fact that when Jack Welch bought a new car or wore a different color tie a bunch of other people suddenly copy catted him! (I have no idea if that helped them or not!)

Seriously, there are two things to consider. First is your relative level of respect within the organization and industry. I.e. are you seen as a leader? If you are then it is probably more normal for you to chart your own path.

Secondly, in some jobs or industries it's more important than others. In a job where originality and new thoughts are important, individuality is a prized trait. In other jobs, it may be important to not stray too far outside the trends set by others. I think of the banking industry, for example, as conservative.

Finally, is there someone you respect in your company that you know pretty well and is or could be a mentor? Thinking about what their reaction to you doing this would be can be a pretty good barometer as well. If you don't have a mentor, this might also be a good time to think about getting one!

thaGUma's picture

Shave. When you are CEO you can choose a goatee or dreads. :twisted:

US41's picture

The fact that you ask leads me to believe you already think that you need to shave it, and you are looking for permission not to.

I think it is possible to fit in without doing absolutely everything that management does. However, there is a threshold beyond which you are too different to make it.

For example, if everyone plays golf with each other every Friday, and you do not, but everything else you do fits in, you are probably doomed. That's because the social time that they spend together without you will cause you to be seen as an outsider.

However, if you do the golf outing every Friday, and you fit in as much as possible in every other way and yet grow a goatee, I wouldn't think it was a big deal.

Caveat: If your boss comments your goatee is lame, then nuke it.

HMac's picture

[quote="US41"]The fact that you ask leads me to believe you already think that you need to shave it, and you are looking for permission not to.
[/quote]

Decide.
And then follow through on your decision.

And if you find out that despite your best intent you made a mistake, then use the new information as a basis to change direction.

-Hugh

kklogic's picture

The High D/I in me would just walk up to someone higher up and say, "I'd really like to move up in this company. Do you think having facial hair would hold me back?" Two birds - one stone.

Of course, as a woman, I'm quite glad I do NOT have facial hair :)

jkballentine's picture

I would say to shave it. There are other ways to express yourself and is work really the place to do that?

RichRuh's picture

If you dress well, keep that beard well-trimmed and get RESULTS, I wouldn't worry about it.

Having said that:
1. I'm biased, as my forum picture will attest.
2. I work in the software industry, where wearing a collared shirt is "dressing up."
3. Nobody ever got passed over for a promotion or not given a job offer because they were clean-shaven. The reverse, although rare, is not necessarily true.

And I agree with US41's caveat. I would broaden it to include "if your peers comment, even in jest, that your goatee is lame, then shave it."

--Rich

asteriskrntt1's picture

I think in the Interview Series, M&M comment how the interview is not the place to establish your personal fashion statements. That is probably also true for religious or political statements.

Ms. Sunshine smartly mentioned that there are some verticals where being "unique" is required. Most verticals don't have this requirement.

BLUF - make yourself unique with your relationship building skills and positive work performance.

*RNTT

thaGUma's picture

[quote]BLUF - make yourself unique ...[/quote] You are unique * only man to put BLUF at bottom ... BLAB? :lol:

svgates's picture

[quote="donnachie"][quote]BLUF - make yourself unique ...[/quote] You are unique * only man to put BLUF at bottom ... BLAB? :lol:[/quote]

I was thinkin' it, D! Glad you got there first. :)

lazerus's picture

Heheh
It is the [b]bottom line[/b], after all.

HMac's picture

True BLUF is hard to do - or at least a little unnatural...It seems that most people are more familiar with stating a case and then summarizing it with a sentence at the end. It's hard to step back and think: [i]"Hey, what do I really want to say?" [/i]- especially because it almost always means saying LESS rather than more...

-Hugh

stephenbooth_uk's picture

BLUF: Write, summarise, cut from the end, paste to the top

When I use BLUF I tend to write what I wanted to say, setting out and describing, then summarise at the end. I then cut or copy the summary and paste it at the top.

Stephen

terrih's picture

ISTR in a college class sometime hearing that TV newscasters shouldn't wear facial hair because subconsciously, viewers don't trust them as well when they have it.

Granted that's TV--2-dimensional rather than in person. I think there was some rationale that people couldn't interpret a guy's facial expressions as readily if part of the face is covered. I don't think that's a problem f2f.

Of course Geraldo Rivera leaps to mind. But I don't know if anyone would recognize him if he shaved off the mustache--it's part of his brand. And he isn't exactly the icon of "trusted journalism." :wink: