While looking in the mirror recently you discover a gray hair. In your eyebrow.
You also begin to notice that everything is starting to, well, sort of droop. Sag, actually. Your latest photo in the company newsletter bears an uncanny resemblance to your mother. And your great Aunt Edith.
You’re starting to feel more than a little old when your new manager doesn’t know who Ringo Starr is.
This is when you start to worry that others at work are noticing that you’re getting older. Have they noticed the body you once had that resembled a sleek sports car now sort of evokes thoughts of a wine cask on legs?
Looks can be deceiving, you tell yourself. Maybe you’re not running a 5K race every weekend, but your wisdom and experience should still be valued in the workplace, right?
In a perfect world, yes. But the truth is that people make judgments about you based on the image you project. So if you look old, then they will assume you are old. And maybe out-of-date. And possibly lacking current skills.
This doesn’t mean you need to race to a plastic surgeon and have everything nipped, tucked and hoisted while praying you don’t end up looking like a jackal.
But there are some ways you can spruce up your image at work and not look like someone who is trying too hard. They key is to just become a better version of yourself, and not try to turn the clock back unrealistically.
So here are some ways not to look old at work:
- Stand tall. Hours of sitting hunched over a computer and years of wear and tear on your body can start to damage your posture. Have someone take a picture of you standing from all angles, then examine where you can improve. Get a feel for how you need to align your body to stand taller. Often stomach exercises can help strengthen your core and help you stand up straighter, as well as practicing yoga. Consider having someone videotape your walk so can see how to adopt a more confident and upright stride.
- Start at the top. Hair, or lack of it in many cases, can be the first tip that you’re getting older. Hair that is allowed to go gray can become more frizzy (read more here)
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