Ways Poor Personal Hygiene at Work Can Stunt Your Career

Don’t hurt your career with dirty habits
Can an employee possibly have a stunted career because he/she has a poor personal hygiene? According to a study, 23% of employers affirmed that bad breath and certain aspects of a worker’s physical appearance would make them less likely to promote that person.

This means that as an employee, you could always meet deadlines, complete and follow up on all tasks and suggest brilliant ideas to management to take the company to greater heights but still not get a promotion because of your poor hygiene.

Ways Poor Personal Hygiene at Work Can Stunt Your Career (4)

You will agree that a good personal hygiene at work not only boosts the employee’s confidence but also has its positives for the organisation’s reputation. Maintaining good personal hygiene within the workplace impacts directly on the physical, social, health and psychological part of your life.

Personal hygiene cuts across your eyes, hair, body, oral care, feet, clothes, hands and choice of cologne as well as how you wear them. In this article, we will also take a look at a few things that can be done to rectify the situation in cases where the personal hygiene is on the poor side.

  1. Gives a negative first impression about you
    For most job interviews, there are two things that will happen. First, the hiring manager will be meeting you in person for the first time and will have his/her impression of you at the interview.

Secondly, the hiring manager will likely be sitting opposite you and will be in a good position to assess you physically.

As mentioned earlier, he/she is meeting you for the first time and a negative first impression about you will be your poor personal hygiene and the accompanying problems you will bring to the company.

  1. It will not be ignored
    If you think your colleagues and managers at work who constantly get assaulted by your unclean outlook will simply ignore it and imagine it does not exist, you are wrong.

For managers, they pay a lot of attention to the personal hygiene of employees. As a candidate, if your breath smells bad or you have body odour, they might not focus on your CV, experience and competence alone. Your ability to get the job done might speak volumes about what you are capable of but your personal hygiene also says a lot about your personality and lifestyle and conclusions will hurriedly be made the moment this is noticed.

  1. People will begin to avoid you
    If you have halitosis, the smell of garlic at work, wear unclean clothes or smell offensive at work, after some time, people will begin to ignore you. Not everyone has the patience to tolerate these manifestations of poor personal hygiene. While some might be diplomatic and not make it obvious that they are avoiding you, others lack the diplomacy to keep stay calm around you. It should also, not come as surprise if some of your colleagues begin to avoid working with you on tasks. Some will not be interested in speaking to you and will eventually begin avoiding you. This is bound to bite a chunk out of your self-esteem.

Ways Poor Personal Hygiene at Work Can Stunt Your Career (2)

  1. Stories will begin to spread about you
    Office gossip exists for a reason and the moment one, two, three or four people at work discover that your hygiene standards are abysmal, your name and reputation will be dragged through the mud. Some will make jokes about your hygiene habits and standards and might go as far as saying nasty things about you; many of which may not be true.

As expected, your self-esteem will take a bashing and don’t expect to be a darling in the circle of colleagues who belong to the opposite sex.

  1. You will have to deal with negative thoughts
    When your self-esteem takes enough bashing, you will find yourself dealing with quite a number of problems. In your case, you might find yourself dealing with a feeling of hopelessness, insecurity, the envy of friends and colleagues who have extremely good personal hygiene, frustration, embarrassment and guilt. In isolation, these feelings cage confidence and career growth. When combined, the result could be devastating on your professional growth.

Ways Poor Personal Hygiene at Work Can Stunt Your Career (3)

  1. Damaged reputation
    Few things are harder to fix than a damaged reputation and this is what happens when jokes about your workplace hygiene begin to spread amongst colleagues. This has a tendency to affect your professional career.

When you interact with your co-workers in the office for the first time, one of the things they notice about you is what you look like, what you smell like, whether you wash your hands after using the restroom and much more.

Therefore, if your appearance is predominantly not presentable or you constantly stick your hand into your nose, the story will spread and it would take a lot of work to redeem such a reputation.

  1. Socialising might not be fun
    Work isn’t just about being good at your job, constantly hitting your KPIs and nailing your performance reviews. When you socialise with your colleagues in and out of the office, you must always bring your A-game to the table and this includes being amiable, speaking confidently and making others feeling confident around you.

If your colleagues have to intermittently ask themselves if you remembered to wash your hands after using the toilet or see you wearing the same shirt three times within a week, then you will not enjoy a great social life with them.

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