6 Things They Say Hurt Careers (That Statistics Say Help)

#3. Grow a Mustache

The mustache has gone through an interesting evolution. After the '70s, its popularity sharply declined, resulting in the cancellation of Magnum, P.I. in 1988. Loggers and rednecks kept "the stache" alive in the '90s, but somehow the modern mustache got corrupted after being adopted as the universal symbol of pedophiles and hipsters.

This negative perception of the mustache has even started to influence workplace policy. Many employers are starting to adopt stricter policies toward facial hair in the workplace, with some banning it altogether.

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We have no idea why.

So unless you're applying for a position at NAMBLA, it seems that sporting a mustache is a sure promotion-killer, right? Bizarrely, a survey conducted by finance management company Quicken, in conjunction with the American Mustache Institute (how did we not know that existed until today?), found that men with mustaches take home 8.2 percent more money than bearded employees and 4.3 percent more than clean-shaven employees.

That's right, it's that stupid upper-lip hair that's actually important, to the point where continuing to a full beard can be career poison.

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Yeah, tell that to Santa. We dare you.

Though the researchers didn't offer an explanation, it's possible that mustached men make more money for the same reason that women prefer men with facial hair. Studies have found that men with heavy or light facial hair are perceived by women as more masculine, aggressive and socially mature.

But there's a reason why mustached men aren't all millionaires. The Quicken study found that mustached men had worse personal finance habits than clean-shaven men, saving 3 percent less and spending 11 percent more. What, you think a perfectly groomed 'stache comes cheap?

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"My face is worth more than your car."

#2. Get Fat (if You're a Guy)

It's no secret that society isn't too fond of overweight people. And nowadays many companies are encouraging their employees to slim down by holding weight loss challenges (it helps keep health care premiums down, obviously). And just in general, isn't it the slim, handsome, athletic types who are always winning in life? That's what TV has taught us, right?

Actually, overweight men are earning significantly more than men who aren't nicknamed "E. Honda." Even more amazing is that there's a linear correlation between weight and annual salary, meaning the fattest men are bringing home the fattest paychecks.

Via Businessinsider.com

And as the above graph shows, ladies get the short end of the stick again, as heavy women 10 pounds overweight earn about $25,000 less than women who are 70 pounds below average. What? 70 pounds below average! With the average woman weighing 165 pounds, that means the richest women weigh about 95 pounds, and are nothing more than skin and bones.

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"For breakfast, I like to open the door and just take a deep smell."

This difference is again the result of Hollywood's stereotype of gender. Women on the silver screen today are far skinnier than their counterparts from 50 years ago, and this has given us the unrealistic expectation that women in real life should be that skinny. On the flip side, skinny men are typically assumed to be "sneaky," "weak," "nervous" and "sick."

So if you're working around the clock sacrificing your health to get a pay raise, you'll probably be better off not filling out your paperwork and instead coating your reports in gravy and eating them.

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"Jenkins is a vegan. That granola-munching bastard doesn't stand a chance."

#1. Be Less Attractive (If You're a Woman)

By now the ladies of the Cracked community must be feeling a little jilted; getting drunk won't make you richer, eating delicious fatty foods makes you poorer, and the known status of mustached women in the workplace is inconclusive at best. But here's something only women can do to increase their odds of getting hired: get ugly.

Conventional wisdom dictates that beautiful people are more likely to succeed in the working world, and everywhere else. And that may be true for certain jobs (specifically, where guys are doing the hiring and the applicant is in a position where she is visible to customers). But it's not true on the whole.

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"That's nice, can you just sort of jiggle around for me?"

At least, that was the conclusion of two Israeli researchers with borderline creepy access to thousands of female photos. These researchers sent out 5,312 paired resumes to job openings, with each pair being almost identical, except for one small detail. One resume in each pair contained a picture of either an attractive or an average-looking man or woman.

The researchers found that female applicants who didn't enclose a photo were 22 percent more likely to get the job than plain-looking female applicants and, strangely, 30 percent more likely to get the job than attractive female applicants. Being pretty made you less likely to get the job, with the exact same resume.

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"It's been four hours ... wait, is this a broom closet?"

However, the researchers noticed that there was a huge disparity between the responses of women recruited directly by the company and those recruited through other means, like an employment agency. Attractive women recruited directly by the company got a response rate half that of plain Jane's and non-pictured women. Why?

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"Your resume looks great. So tell me, what's it like to be a dirty, filthy whore?"

Well, the theory is that attractive women were less likely to get jobs when directly recruited because the person in human resources conducting the interview was almost always a young, single woman. That is, the type of person who not only isn't going to be hypnotized by the size of pretty eyes and big boobs, but also might, for whatever reason, take some pleasure in shooting down such an applicant. The researchers speculated that a young single woman might view a pretty girl as competition, but they have no way of knowing that. All we know is it's kind of depressing to think that actual hiring decisions are made based on a human resources person being afraid someone else will win Chad's heart.

Mike Cooney is a freelancer and can be contacted at Mikey.Cooney@gmail.com.

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