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Do ‘Hotties’ Get Ahead Faster?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “I have worked at my company for more than 20 years. Whenever I apply for a new position, I am passed over. I think it’s because I’m older looking and lack the “babeness” of younger women.  What do you think?” -- Not a Hottie

Marie's Answer: If fast-track women at your company resemble centerfold material, then you may be onto something. But don’t jump to that conclusion too quickly. To reach your goals, you must stop gazing regretfully into the mirror and start developing an action plan.
 
•    First, consider other possible barriers to promotion. Have any problems with your performance been an issue? Your interpersonal relationships? Your technical skills? 

•    Twenty years of service should have given you some valuable assets: a wealth of knowledge, a track record of loyalty and a network of useful relationships.  Do you need to do a better job “selling” your strengths?

•    Get an outside perspective. Ask for honest feedback from a trusted manager or human resources specialist.  Describe the jobs that interest you, and ask what you should do to be considered. 

•    If you receive some feedback that disturbs you, don’t react defensively or blame the problem on others.  A job change is not in your future unless the decision-makers feel good about you, so you need to understand how you’re viewed. 

You should now be in a position to target one or two appropriate jobs and develop an action plan for attaining them. There are no guarantees, of course, but hopefully this approach will allow you to improve your career without resorting to Botox.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Des March 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

You really believe that you’re being passed over because you’re not a hottie? With the wealth of knowledge you should have, I am surprised you think the way you do. You should talk with someone you trust and value and ask them what they think the problem could be. Be prepared for the honest feedback. Have you ever thought that maybe you were overly qualified for some of the positions you’ve applied for? Just a thought.

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