People who look good are paid more. That doesn’t mean you have to be blessed with drop-dead good looks, but it does mean that before showing up for work each day, you take care to wear nice clothing and fix your hair properly. In other words, don’t come to work looking like a slob. All that time you spend in the morning in front of the mirror styling your hair, trimming your nails and applying makeup will likely pay off with a higher paycheck, according to a study from Elon University in North Carolina. The more time minority men spend on their appearance, the bigger the payoff. Specifically, minority men who spent at least 80 minutes a day on personal grooming saw a 4% rise in average earnings. If women spend too much time on grooming, especially by applying too much makeup, it will backfire on them as they will be perceived as not taking the job seriously and instead using the workplace as a dating pool. Such women saw an average decline of 3.4 percent in their earnings. Grooming had little cause-and-effect on white men’s pay. The top three grooming techniques to look polished on the job:
- For men and women: A proper haircut. Your hair is the first thing people notice about you. Your haircut should say you’re serious about your career.
- For women: When it comes to makeup, jewelry and perfume, less is more Overdoing the makeup and dress sends a signal that you are more interested in being a fashionista than a professional.
- For men: Good shoes The shoes don’t have to be expensive, but they must look good. They should be appropriate for the job and they should be polished. Scruffy shoes send a signal that you don’t care about the details. Wear shoes that fit properly. Also alternate which pair of shoes you wear each day. Wear flip flops at the pool and in public showers. This reduces the risk of infections caused by a fungus that can get in your toenails.