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Would You Get Plastic Surgery to Counteract Ageism at Work?


For every news item that says Baby Boomers hang onto their jobs at the expense of Millennial and Gen X workers, there’s another that points out that Boomers, once jobless, are inclined to stay that way for longer than their younger counterparts. A recent article in Philadelphia Business Journal says that some workers are turning to plastic surgery to even the playing field.

plastic surgery 

(Photo Credit: Ambro/

“I look at this as a competition, I have to sell myself to potential employers. If I’m looking old and haggard that’s going to be a minus,” says one worker, who was given a pseudonym to protect her identity. “People my age aren’t getting hired, they’re getting buyouts or getting laid off.”

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A plastic surgeon tells PBJ that he’s seen “a huge uptick” in older workers having procedures, either to look younger for job interviews or to give the impression of youth in their current position.

In this age of medical spas and widely available Botox, plastic surgery has become almost mainstream. Probably fewer people these days would argue that someone shouldn’t be able to fix things that bothers them, if they have the inclination (and the cash) to do so. The problem, of course, is if people feel that they have to have surgery or face the unemployment line.

Whether or not this even constitutes a real trend is up for grabs. While the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons releases data on how many people are getting plastic surgery each year — for the record, 14.6 million for 2012, up 5 percent from the year before — figuring out how many people are getting procedures to stay current in the workplace is a bit trickier.

Perhaps the most important thing is that hiring managers remember that with age, comes experience. Fail to consider older workers, and you miss out on an opportunity to give your company the perspective that only comes with years. (And sometimes comes with character lines, as well.)

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Do you think employers discriminate against older workers? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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