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What an Engagement Ring Means for Your Career


Unless you’re reading this blog post from inside a romantic comedy, you probably didn’t give much thought to what your engagement ring means to your working life. Probably, you and your partner just found a ring you both liked that didn’t cost more than your car, bought it, then moved on to the other 100 pressing items on your wedding to-do list.

In a recent post at the Levo League, Meredith Lepore explains how your ring can impact the perception people have of you at the office. Get ready to grit your teeth.

But first, a quote from a woman with clueless (former) coworkers:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

“I was the newly hired People VP at a company, spending time getting to know employees one-on-one,” writes Magnet Consulting Co-Founder Sandy Fiaschetti. “Enter smug young finance guy with apparent chip on shoulder. During our chat when I asked him what he already knew about me, among other crazy things he blurts out — ‘Well, I can see by the size of ring on your hand that your husband does well and despite that and having five kids at home you still think you should work.'”

What else can people “tell” about you from your ring? Lepore lists some common assumptions:

Small ring? You married for love.

Giant ring? You’ll be leaving work after the wedding to embark on your career as a soccer mom.

New ring? You’ll need time off for a wedding and honeymoon.

Engagement ring and wedding band, during a job interview? Might have kids at home — or need time off soon to have kids.

It’s not all bad news for the paired-off, though. Shelby Rice, a personal stylist, told Lepore, “I think engagement/wedding rings, and jewelry for that matter, make women seem more competent and taken seriously. I am not married, nor engaged, but I wear a ring because I think both men AND women respond better. It elevates my status and respect. We live in a society where being in a relationship is respected and being single is construed as something less desirable.”

Actually, on second thought, can we all just agree to stop judging people based on the presence or absence of jewelry? Unless we’re talking about those giant plastic charm necklaces from the ’80s. Anyone wearing one of those is clearly a definite hire.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Do you think people judge you based on your ring? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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(Photo Credit: stevecoutts/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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