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Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Nailbomb, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Nailbomb

    Nailbomb Bit Poster

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    Hi everyone,

    I've yet to finish my course, so I haven't applied for any jobs yet.
    However, when I do there will be some issues possibly...

    Firstly, I have my nose, lip and ears pierced.
    Secondly, I have a mohhawk that consists of three foot long dreadloacks.

    Now I know these attributes don't affect my work ethic, ability, skill and suitability for a job(web-design in my case), but do you think that employers would discriminate against such an appearance?

    Obviously, I would wear a suit/shirt-tie etc, but would that be enough? My self-image is very important to me and I don't think i'd ever change it for a job(especially being the commy b***d, that I am)

    What are your thoughts? Would you disqualify me for the way I choose to look?
     
    Certifications: none yet :-{
    WIP: C.I.W. website design manager
  2. _omni_

    _omni_ Megabyte Poster

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    personally i think you would definately need to "shapen up".

    certainly while youre breaking in, at least.

    i have the same "problem", but i'm slowly changing my image for the sake of being more employable.
    though i still have alot of studying so no worries for now.

    ah, conformity. how i hate thee :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE 2003, MCSA:M
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I'm trying to imagine you from the point of view of a potential employer. The fact that I'm 51 probably doesn't help. I know it *shouldn't* matter but I'd be willing to bet that you will be (unfairly) judged because of your appearence.

    I remember when I was back in high school, a couple of counselors from the local university (UNLV in this case) came to one of my classes and talked about getting a job. The one thing that I remembered was that in order to do well in an interview, make sure your appearence is conservative. Once you have the job and you've proved yourself, you can start letting your hair grow out and grow a beard (guys) if you want.

    Of course that was over 30 years ago and times have changed. The "appearence" factor is more variable depending on the company you apply to. Maybe I'm just behind the times. Other opinions?
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. _omni_

    _omni_ Megabyte Poster

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    only guys? awww... :cry:
     
    Certifications: MCSE 2003, MCSA:M
  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    To tell the truth, most likely I would. It would depend a lot on how you present yourself, your work history, if you would have to deal with the public, etc....

    However, if you think I'm being biased, bigoted, or whatever, let me tell you I spent many years as a guy who was very much a hippy in outlook, dress, speech, etc.... As someone who spent a lot of time(more than a decade) in one of the "counter cultures" I know from experience that those who become so much a part of one of those cultures that they dedicate themselves to looking the part completely usually aren't reliable. Their lifestyle almost guarantees that they aren't going to be reliable.

    Now, whether you think that is a fair assessment or not it's a very real perception to many people my age, and younger. I mean, it's like why should I trust you when your entire appearance and chosen lifestyle says that you are very much at philosophical and life style polar opposites to the business/conservative community and everything they stand for. Whether or not you are at odds with those values is immaterial if everything about your appearance says you stand at odds with those values.

    I'd say it's a huge negative for you to overcome. However, you adopted one appearance to fit into one way of life already--the punk rock scene or whatever you call it--so why not change your appearance to fit into another way of life if you want to fit into it? If you think that's an unfair way of looking at it, just ask yourself how much acceptance you would have in your present set of friends if you had a conservative hair cut, wore conservative clothes, and listened to a far more conservative music. You conformed to a certain look to fit in. I've done it too. Didn't realize I was doing it at the time, but that's exactly what I did. I wanted to fit in with the people I ran around with and whose lifestyle I liked at the time so I made my appearance fit in with the "norm" I had chosen.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Girls grow beards? :blink
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. _omni_

    _omni_ Megabyte Poster

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    welcome to the 21st century, where the differences between sexes is dissolving :dry
    god knows whats next :eek: :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE 2003, MCSA:M
  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Very well putt Freddy.

    I can't emphasise enough how important appearance is. I too was sucked into this must be different, I am young, gotta look like I am fashionable. I was a fashion victim, same as you are now. When you grow out of this phase, you will look back on your photographs and laugh at yourself. I know I do now I am 50.

    Not many employers will be impressed with piercings and dreadlocks let alone a Mohawk. That doesn't mean you couldn't do the job, you may be brilliant at it. But most businesses have customer visits from time to time. They would be concerned about the impression you gave to their customers and rightly so.

    If you conform to society, society will reward you. If on the other hand you dress and look like a rebel, then society will treat you as such.

    First impressions are very important!

    Having said that, outside the corporate world I couldn't care less what you looked like. I would be happy to have a chat and a beer with you anytime but employ you, well I think not.

    I spent the first seven years of my life as a TV technician, I was really good at it, very gifted and well qualified but I never got promoted, why, well because I had long hair, wore scruffy clothes and was basically a rebel.

    I left that industry in 1987, got my hair cut, bought a couple of decent three piece suits, a few nice shirts and ties and got a job in the office equipment sector. I got more promotions than I could possibly remember over the next seven years and ended up as the area technical manager responsible for 40 staff.

    Nowadays I work for me and can dress as I please. However, if I am visiting a client I try to look as smart as possible, bearing in mind this is Australia and dress codes are more relaxed here than in the UK.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Personally I am not a fan of facial hair on men or women :eek:

    :D
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  10. moominboy

    moominboy Gigabyte Poster

    must admit i've seen a few trip..... scary stuff!

    as well as the company image that they would prefer you to conform too, have an outlandish image does actually worry a lot of people and i don't mean any offence by that mate.

    i have a friend who is covered in tattoos, shaved head and,on occasion, wears doc marten boots. generic skinhead look but he doesn't have that attitude, it still makes people he talks to wary of him because of the image.

    and as a lot of entry level jobs are customer based i think you're going to have to bite the bullet my friend, and get a hair cut.

    i know it sucks, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. good luck! :tongue
     
    Certifications: ECDL
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  11. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    I'd say it depends on what industry you want to work in. I've worked in banking and the civil service and I've worked for funky advertising agencies where suits were 'banned' from the workplace.

    If you want to keep your look and get a good IT job learn Apple Macs, no joke- all the media/advertising type jobs require IT staff who can support Macs.

    Don't know what course you're doing or what field of computing you're interested in but if you get into design/Mac type of stuff you'll find it easier to get a job where your look will fit right in.

    As for judging books by their covers- well there's 2 sides to every coin, we've all seen american psycho haven't we. :twisted:
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
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  12. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Pete makes a good point here. In my previous job we had a customer who did a lot of design work using Mac's, and whilst the majority of the office 'conformed' those that were working on the Mac's all wore what they liked.

    I wonder if NoelG has had any experience of this?

    8)
     
  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I used to work in HR management and did a lot of recruitment.

    There is a strange contradiction going on, where recruiters usually have strict instructions about not discriminating against ethnic background, age, sex, disability or appearance.

    Yet once hired, the company will expect you to portray the company image, and the handbook may lay down rules about what is and isn't acceptable in terms of dress/appearance. Your line manager may have some very old fashioned ideas too.

    I'm afraid to say that I would have discriminated against you big time if you had walked into my office for an interview.

    It's true what they say that 'first impressions count'.

    Immediately when you see a candidate with green hair and a safety pin through his nose, you think 'why has this person decided on this appearance?'

    Are they an 'individual'?
    Do they dislike conformity?
    Are they making a statement?
    Are they a rebel?
    Are they compensating for a failing elsewhere in their personality?

    And so on.
    None of these are what you look for in a company employee I'm sorry to say.

    (I don't mean to say that any of the above actually apply to you, I'm just trying to say what goes through people's head).


    There are some jobs where it really matters less than others. You may find a 'radical' company that encourages free expression and individuality, but they aren't as common...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  14. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    9 times out of 10 they'll use Apple Macs as well :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
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  15. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    This is actually one of my pet hates. Where do employers get off judging my ability to do the damn job by looking at how i choose to dress? I have fangs, and paint my nails, yet when i started at my current job, i had to stop that (tried wearing the fangs in the second week, they went mental). These things dont affect my ability to do my job, so why is it an issue? Furthermore, i work in a CALLCENTRE. customers dont get to see me, so it should be even LESS of an issue. I would much rather have my employees (if i ever have a company) dress how they want, so long as they are good at doing what i employ them to do.

    In response to earlier comments, i dont wear what i wear because i subscribe to any particular ideal, i wear it because i WANT to, and because i like what i wear. just because i wear black, paint my nails, and wear fangs, doesnt mean im a Goth. And i personally think its shocking that people think that way. None of my close friends wear what i wear, or like what i like. We are all individuals and are free to do what we like, so its not like im conforming to some social group or another, i do it because i like doing it.
     
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  16. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I've found that expectation levels differ to career areas, your age, and your aspirations.

    I've never grown a beard, and I'm sure if I did my boyfriend would be most unhappy. Similarly, I've told him that if he ever gets more than a 5 O Clock shadow, he's out the door. That being said, I wouldn't actively discriminate against someone with facial hair. It's an automatic reaction we have to people, due to our personalities. It's all to do with something called Transactional Analysis, a rather interesting little topic.

    Anyway, digression...Right now, I'm a 22 year-old trying to make it. I go into work suited and booted, hair up, admittedly no makeup, but I'm not that proactive. I don't think I would be regarded in the same light if I were still treating my body the same way I did 2/3 years ago when I worked for Asda. My hair was a multiplex of colours, piercings, grunge clothing, the stereotypical lot.

    I agree with Fergal, when he says if people don't see you, who the heck should care? And when they claim to be so culturally embracing these days (that'll be the national 'they'), it's just damn hypocritical.

    We'll wait to see what NoelG says. And then advise you to spend your career working on Macs.
     
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  17. Clyde

    Clyde Megabyte Poster

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    not on company time we're not....
     
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  18. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I meant in my group of friends. whilst i agree that people should abide by the rules of the company, i dont agree that companies should have the right to dictate what you wear, etc. Its called discrimination, especially if they use that as a basis for rejecting you at interview.
     
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  19. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Sorry if you mean mine. In my private life I like to think of myself as very open minded. I don't use the same criteria to select my friends as I do my employees.

    Yet when I'm in work, I'm paid to do the company's bidding, as is everyone else.
    They might tell you that you can't smoke in the office, and they might tell you that you can't have fangs.

    Unfortunately when people see you walk into the room, they are going to go 'Aargh! GOTH!'. Sad to say it's human nature.

    Likewise I'm sure Nailbomb is a nice guy, but I bet people cross the street when they see him coming at night.

    I don't mean to judge, I'm just saying how people react.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  20. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I meant several comments, although yes yours was included.

    Its an unfortunate fact of the industry that this happens, i understand where you come from when you think this, but you (employers in general) need to consider the fact that this IS essentially discrimination. and sooner or later companies are going to be sued for it.

    I dont have an issue with wearing a shirt. ill even wear a suit if required (although ill pass on the tie wherever possible). But my fangs and nails, and hair are my business and mine alone (unless you can give me solid health and safety grounds for not doing it - never wore nail polish when working in catering). My nails are especially the case if you allow women to wear nail polish without issue. Consider that allowing one sex to do something the other isnt is discrimination again, just think about that next time you see your secretary's with bright red nails. Your male workers could easily do the same the next day and there is NOTHING you could do about it without fear of recrimination. (many companies ban nail polish outright in these cases, or allow only flesh-like tones to be used - id much rather this than simply not allowing the guys to wear nail-polish).

    Fergal
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present

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