Mounting workplace pressure
It’s no wonder then that the pressures of social media in the workplace may be adding to modern day anxiety and concern about our appearance. A recent study from the National Citizen Service found that the pressure of looking good on social media is causing young people to experience stress and anxiety.
In my cosmetic practice, I’ve seen a huge increase in the number of patients who are concerned that the way they look is effecting their work. Concerns can range from a lack of confidence when meeting clients, pressure amongst colleagues to retain a youthful look, and worries that the ageing process will hamper their chances of getting a promotion. In addition, I have also seen many patients who are concerned that age-related facial lines or bags around the eyes are being misinterpreted by colleagues as being due to poor sleep, partying all night or other assumptions being made about their lifestyle that may jeopardise their promotion opportunities. These patients will often ask for botox, filler injections or surgery to give them a fresher look.
And, in recent years, this anxiety has been heightened by the rise in employers using social media to access information about potential candidates and current employees. This problem is not just being felt in traditional “high powered” professions like law and business management. The pressure to maintain a good visual social media profile in the workplace now crosses almost all sectors of industry from teaching to retail – with most companies expecting employers to have a photographic or film profile on a company website, make contacts via professional networking sites such as Linked-In and use video conferencing technology on a daily basis.
So are people just being vain or is there a real cause for concern? The truth is that as we age, our faces do change. For example, one of the earliest ageing changes is the descent and deflation of the brow, as well as lack of “volume” in the face. The loss of that former youthful look can be upsetting, especially when updating your social media profile triggers a noticeable change. For younger patients, simple non-surgical treatments such as botox or filler injections can be very effective. However, employees should be reassured, that the ageing process is perfectly natural, happens to everyone and it should never be acceptable to judge others or yourself on this basis – in particular in the workplace. Having said that, it’s natural for people and employers to want to give the right impression via their social media profile.