03 May, 2021 22:45 am

How looking young can shape your career

How looking young can shape your career
Looking like a teenager who has accidentally wandered into the office can make or break your career. Should we want to look youthful – or does it come with a cost?

There’s the teacher who was loudly accused of being in the staff room without permission, and even asked for ID; the brewery worker mistaken for a "little girl" by a customer; and the many, many doctors assailed on a daily basis by alarmed patients observing “you look so young!It's well-established that people with baby faces look young because they literally remind people of babies.The facial structure of baby-faced people means they usually look young relative to others in the same age group, meaning that the associations this appearance comes with can still have an impact well into middle age and later life.Perhaps as a result, people who look young for their age tend to have lower-status jobs instead which lack this kind of authority.

It's been suggested that part of the reason Asian people stereotypically look young for their age might be because baby-faced traits are more common in this group.In Simpson’s experience, people can struggle with perceptions of how young they look in any profession, though it’s slightly more common among management consultants and people in leadership roles.

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