What NOT to Do to Get a Promotion

Photo (cc) by jcarbaugh

You’ve heard the workplace cliches, “Dress for success” and “A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.” Who knew they could cost you a raise?

But sometimes cliches are cliches because they’re true; something proven by two recent workplace studies. One polled bosses and the other that polled employees, but the results were similar: Looking bad can cost you big.

The employment website CareerBuilder asked 2,878 hiring managers in all kinds of businesses, “Which personal attributes would make an employee less appealing for a promotion?”

All but two of the top 10 responses involved how employees present themselves…

  1. Piercings – 37 percent
  2. Bad breath – 34 percent
  3. Visible tattoo – 31 percent
  4. Often has wrinkled clothes – 31 percent
  5. Messy hair – 29 percent
  6. Dresses too casually – 28 percent
  7. Too much perfume or cologne – 26 percent
  8. Too much makeup – 22 percent
  9. Messy office or cubicle – 19 percent
  10. Chewed fingernails – 10 percent

While it’s not always easy to hide a tattoo (and certainly not cheap to remove it), it costs no money to take out some piercings, iron wrinkled clothes, comb your hair, apply less makeup and perfume, and stop chewing your fingernails.

As for the other two problems: If you workspace is messy, it costs only your time – paid time at that – to straighten it up. In fact, the most difficult problem to solve from this list might be bad breath. WebMD says more than 90 million people suffering from chronic bad breath, known medically as halitosis. But the helpful website offers tips on how to combat it, including off-kilter ones like eating more carbs. (They explain the science.)

We haven’t yet discussed No. 6 on the list: “Dresses too casually.” While it’s no shock that bosses want better-dressed employees, it turns out your coworkers probably agree.

A study released last week by staffing firm Adecco quizzed employees about what makes appropriate summertime work attire. “Three-fourths of Americans think it’s OK for both men and women to dress more casually at work in the summer,” MSNBC reported. But at the same time, those employees said their peers were pushing the boundaries of good taste. Other survey results

  • 80 percent of women – and 61 percent of men – thought miniskirts were inappropriate work attire.
  • More than 76 percent of women believed strapless tops were inappropriate – but only 55 percent of men.
  • While only 31 percent thought open-toed shoes were tacky, a whopping 71 percent of both sexes agreed that their peers who come to work in flip-flops are really pushing it.

While the men don’t seem to mind as much skin, it’s clear that even employees are recognizing that poor dressing is a problem.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds
This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds

The right timing can help you prevent a big — and possibly fatal — mistake.

9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card
9 Things You Should Never Pay For With a Debit Card

Use your debit card for one of these expenses, and you could risk your bank account balance, your credit score or even identity fraud.

Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products

Here’s how to organize every corner of your home using only items from a dollar store.

8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

These 13 States Tax Social Security Income
These 13 States Tax Social Security Income

Uncle Sam is not the only one looking for a piece of your retirement income. Is your state on this list?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021
7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021

These projects will take a bigger bite out of your budget than in the recent past.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.