Nose job should not be seen as a career move

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am

Fresh graduates entering the interview room for their first jobs should never underestimate the importance of appearances and leaving a good first impression on a potential employer. What you wear can reflect whether you understand the importance of showing respect for the occasion - a sensibility that all employers in professional industries will expect of their new recruits. These factors are particularly important during an interview for a first job, since potential employers will want to know whether the candidate is ready to take up responsibilities in the professional arena.

However, there is no logical connection between the need to dress formally to impress an interviewer, with the need to undergo cosmetic surgery in order to look more physically attractive. Dressing appropriately for the occasion may reflect a certain work ethic, but looking physically attractive does not, or at least should not, have any bearing on working ability. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence from the city's cosmetic surgeons suggests that fresh graduates have drawn such an illogical connection between the two. According to surgeons, young adults, students and even teenagers are going under the knife, citing a belief that better looks would increase job prospects and that it was a worthwhile career investment. One girl said she had saved HK$40,000 worth of pocket money in order to have what was her second cosmetic surgery before starting to look for work.

Citing career prospects may have been a front for youngsters to convince parents to give consent and pay for cosmetic surgery. But whether the reason is genuine or not, it reflects an acceptance that a double eyelid or a higher nose are more likely to determine employability and scepticism that employers judge on merit. It is unclear how this belief set in, but it is at odds with a city which thrives on professional services. It is surely in the interest of businesses and Hong Kong as a whole to send a message to young adults that investing HK$40,000 on improving professional skills is far better value for your career than buying a new nose.