Warning: Confidence Boost on the Job May Occur

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It probably comes as little surprise that plastic surgery can have a positive effect on your self-esteem. Correcting an issue with your appearance can do wonders for how you feel about the person staring back at you in the mirror- but did you know that when it comes to cosmetic procedures, self-esteem is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak? Studies have shown that in addition to the boost in self-esteem and confidence most patients notice post-surgery, there are someb2ap3_thumbnail_confident-business.jpg other surprising benefits you may not have even thought about! Dr. Ryan Mitchell shares some surprising new findings.

In 2013, when researchers at the University of Melbourne surveyed 121 patients at prominent local plastic surgery clinics, they weren’t sure what to expect. They knew that plastic surgery would likely improve the self-esteem of their respondents, but they were surprised to find that it also improved their job satisfaction, too! Why job satisfaction, though? The answers might surprise you!


In the study, published in Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, researchers Alicia Kalus and Christina Cregan found that patients returning to work after surgery experienced not only higher levels of job satisfaction, but lower levels of job-related burnout than they did prior to their surgery. Kalus and Cregan theorize that in addition to benefitting from a deeper sense of self-esteem which boosted the overall happiness of the post-op patients, the responding patients also benefitted from a boost in what Kalus and Cregan refer to as a "beauty premium." This theory states that beautiful people are said to be treated better in the workplace (and in society) than those deemed less attractive. This is also known as an "attractiveness bias," and it has been shown to unwittingly cause employers to overestimate the confidence they have in an employee’s abilities, based solely on their appearance. In other words, the study respondents’ employers may have -whether correctly or incorrectly- believed their newly-refreshed employee was capable of more challenging work following their surgical procedure!

Ultimately, the most positive finding in this study was that patients returning to work had a more positive outlook on life and their job. This means that even if nothing else changed for the majority of the responding patients meaning their employers’ opinions didn’t change, and did not afford their employees the benefit of an attractiveness bias or beauty premium- the patient’s own boost in inner-happiness had enough of a positive effect in the patient’s job-life that it helped the patient view their job in a more positive light!

Kalus and Cregan concluded that despite the unfair and unintentional benefits of a potential beauty premium on this particular set of respondents, the overall concept of such a bias in the workplace is not a positive thing- even if it may have benefitted these particular employees. Employers should be deriving their confidence in each employee solely on the skills and productivity of each individual employee, not that employee’s appearance. The study suggested that new hires should be evaluated based on their resume and their responses in interview settings- not on their perceived competence due to their appearance, or the employer’s own ‘attractiveness bias.’  Once employers begin to evaluate employees and potential employees based on their merits and not on their appearance, employees might experience less job-related fatigue and a greater sense of overall job satisfaction all the time. While a boost of self-confidence due to a new, refreshed look can never be a bad thing, it reflects poorly on employers if employees only feel valued following a cosmetic procedure-  as they should already feel valued and respected before the procedure. Everything else is just icing! Ready for a boost in your own self-esteem? Give Dr. Mitchell’s office a call at 702-430-1198.

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