To Dye Or Not To Dye

A friend sent me this article “To dye or not to dye” by Cheryl Howard.  I’ve put a copy below.  It’s about dying your hair in preparation for a job interview.  It’s a well written article but think about this.  My sister started her family at age 40 with twins.  She’s younger than me but her hair was grey even before the twins arrived.  She stopped dying it when she was pregnant and no longer colors it.  People often comment to her that it’s nice she can spend time with her grandkids.  Ouch!  And, this comment doesn’t come from younger people. 

So, think about the image you want to present in an interview.  Dye or no dye, an up-to-date haircut and glasses (if you wear them) can make a world of difference.  If you do decide to dye your hair, get expert help.  Here’s what Patricia, co-owner and hairstylist at Salon Eau told me about grey hair:  Your hair and your complexion go lighter as we age.  So dying your hair your natural hair color may not work anymore. Grey hair is actually hair without color.  To get a dye to take hold, the colorist must damage the hair shaft with harsh chemicals to get the color to stick.  Even when done professionally, your new dye job will only last 2 to 3 weeks if you have short hair.  Patricia recommends that you invest in a great, up-to-date hairstyle instead of an increasingly expensive dye job. Above all, I recommend that you do what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident.  

Here’s the article: 

I was discussing an upcoming job interview when a friend kindly suggested that I prepare for it by dying my hair.

I am nowhere near the age to qualify for Denny’s senior menu, but I do have some silver strands on my brunette head. I’ve brought the subject up to various job seekers. One and all bristled at the idea that we should be compelled to change our appearance to overcome some subtle bigotry.

Career advisors invoke an image reminiscent of an invasion, where hordes of youthful, vibrant workers are streaming from their universities to compete against us older folks for a dwindling number of jobs. They imply we would be on more even footing if we looked younger.

Putting that imagery aside for the moment, a friend of mine looked for a human resources role for six months with no results. Then she dyed her hair from silver to blonde, and she had an offer three weeks later. She doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence. Yes, I did say human resources, and I do see the irony.

The pressure isn’t just because I’m a woman, either. A colleague said he was advised to airbrush his image in Photoshop to look a bit less “worn,” shall we say.

But the tide may be changing. According to a survey by Watson Wyatt, workers ages 50–64 are postponing retirement. Although the average planned retirement age for all employees is 65 years old, half of those surveyed plan to retire at age 66 or later.

Their reasoning is sound: 76 percent cite a decline in 401(k) value, 63 percent the high cost of health care, and 62 percent higher prices for basic necessities. While the youthful horde might be lining up for interviews, the so-called silver generation is not marching quietly out the back door. 

I have no wish to be a young pup again. Those lines around my eyes are from years of laughter as I brought energy to a struggling office. I developed furrows on my forehead from successfully managing declining budgets and increasing workloads. My hands, not as smooth as they once were, have shaken thousands of hands, taken countless photos, designed hundreds of posters and pamphlets.

Most of all, companies need us older folks to teach the next generation. Technology has changed how we contact one another but not why we do so. We have the experience to establish communication with purpose, not just empty air. We also have the wisdom to value continuous learning.

If I dye my hair, it will be because I make a great redhead, and I find the silvery glint on my head distracting. However, if I’m supposed to dye my hair as an apology for actively living my life, then I refuse. 

Monitoring Job Announcements

Are you watching job announcements these days to discover: 

  •  who is getting promoted
  •  who is moving to a new organization
  •  who is retiring? 

I saw an announcement last week about a former colleague’s promotion in an industry e-newsletter.  I quickly sent him a congratulatory e-mail.  No surprise, his former position is now posted on the company job board. 

So, I recommend that you take the time to monitor these announcements  – in newspapers, company and professional association websites, professional journals and industry e-newsletters.  They may be opportunities for you:

  •  to re-ignite your connections with past colleagues,and other people in your network (They may need your help in their new position.); and
  • identify positions that may be open now so you can quickly jump on the opportunity.


3 Great Habits for Ending Your Week on a Positive Note!

I like these suggestions from Andy Robinson, Executive Coach at Career Success Partners. I’m going to start using them today!

It’s Friday(!), and as the week comes to a close (for most of us), I wanted to share a set of habits that have become an end-of-the-week routine for me.  This routine has been key to ending my week on a positive note and “teeing up” a great start to the following week for me.

Consider these Three Weekly Habits each Friday before leaving the office or your place of work for the weekend:

Habit 1:
Reach out with a quick email or (better yet) a short thank you note expressing gratitude for those that went out of their way to help you this week.  This is literally a 10 minute exercise that has powerful results.  You’ll feel great in expressing thanks and the recipient will receive a nice message to end the week on.  Who went out of their way to help you this week?

Habit 2:
Make note of what you believe were your three greatest accomplishments over the past week.  Embrace the sense of satisfaction and positive emotion associated with getting these important things done.  Interrelate this Habit with Habit 1 noted above — was there anyone who contributed significantly to your three greatest achievements?  Follow up or reach out to those people with a word of thanks.

Habit 3:
What are your three most important goals for next week?  Do you have sufficient time set aside to accomplish those goals?  Who do you need to solicit for help (go ahead and reach out and confirm their participation before you end this week)? What is the VERY NEXT ACTION associated with each of those goals, and do you have that task clearly identified on your calendar or task list with a due date?

Give these habits a try and add others that are relevant to your situation.  The message here is to begin a weekly routine that will help you end the week in a positive way and help you get clarity on the most important things for next week.

All the best to your Career Success!