Why Plastic Surgery Won’t Do Much to Advance Your Career


I was recently contacted by a big news outlet to comment on the topic of plastic surgery for career success. I realized in the process of doing speaking with them that I really needed to write on this topic as well, so you could benefit by it, in case you missed the recording.

First, it’s important that you know that I think plastic surgery is a great option for people who want to correct or improve upon what they currently have. I have no moral or ethical issues with it. I also think that if a person should decide to do so, they need to pursue plastic surgery for purely personal reasons.

However, plastic surgery done for any other reason than your own internal desire is a bad idea. Surgery of any sort is serious business. Simply doing the surgery has its own share of risks, not to mention the outcome. To pursue something that can be so life-altering as plastic surgery solely to give your career or job search an advantage is even riskier. There are never assurances that an improvement in your appearance will do anything to advance your career or get a great job offer.

The Truth About Our Appearances

Anyone who believes plastic surgery will give their career a much-needed boost doesn’t understand the dynamics of working for someone. Unless your career is in entertainment or fashion, your appearance is way down the list of things that will give you a competitive advantage.

You may argue that there are studies that show that beautiful people get ahead or get doors opened for them when others are left in the dust. Yes, attractive people get picked first, get asked to the prom first and may even have an advantage in interviews — but that’s where it stops.

All you have to do is to look at our political leaders or captains of industry to get the full story. Most of these people have very average appearances, and a few could stop a clock. One or two are attractive and that’s it. So, what happened to all of those “hot” people on the way to the top?


You might be able to get a door opened when you’re beautiful, but once you have entered, it all comes down to how well you perform. (Like this thought? Tweet it!) Those who are used to trading solely on their appearance rudely find out that if they can’t get the job done, they will be shown the door again — on their way out.

What’s an Average Person to Do?

That means that for the rest of humanity, the playing field gets leveled very quickly when it comes to careers. We can compete with the beautiful people. The great thing is that for the average-looking person, we’ve always known we had to perform well because we didn’t have our looks to help us along the way.

If you’re contemplating plastic surgery because you’ve packed a few years under your belt, guess what? You won’t be able to hide your age that long to employers. Even if you cut off your years of experience in your resume, sooner or later your age will show because of things like the age of your kids or stories of past experience you tell.

If you aren’t in the “mature worker” category but think plastic surgery will give your job search or career some help, what planet are you living on? You aren’t going to change that much. You might look like a fresher version of you, but that fresher version is still going to interact with people the same and have the same skill sets, unless you plan to do a major overhaul from the inside out. (And by the way, if you are going to change your behavior game, change it first and see how it goes. You might be shocked to find it’s the best thing you could do for your career.)

Put simply, you’re focusing on the wrong things to achieve success in your job search and career if you think the answer is plastic surgery.

Would you ever contemplate plastic surgery? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image: Flickr

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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