Things That Shouldn’t Matter that Do

Your Looks:

Attractive people earn about 5 percent more in hourly pay than their average-looking colleagues, who in turn earn 9 percent more per hour than the plainest-looking workers.

This means if an average-looking person earned $40,000, their prettiest co-workers would make $42,000 while their least attractive colleagues brought home just $36,400.

Plain-looking workers may also receive fewer promotions than those awarded to their more striking contemporaries.

Where You Work:

Telecommuters are less likely to get promoted than peers who head into the office every day, according to a global survey of 1,300 executives released Tuesday by Los Angeles-based executive search firm Korn/Ferry International.

That’s even though most of the executives consider telecommuters to be at least as productive as their desk-bound colleagues, according to the survey. And three-quarters of those bosses also said they’d like a job in which they could regularly telecommute.

Your Personality:

Here at Fast Company, our top managers and editors were all recently asked to take the MBTI evaluation and submit their results to HR, resulting in more than a little anxiety. What would the results be used for? Who would get to see them? What if my type didn’t match what the boss thought he wanted in a management-level person? Turns out that these are all questions every applicant should feel confident asking their managers or prospective managers administering a personality test. Try to understand why your manager is interested in personality theory. Remember that this process gives you as much insight into the corporate management philosophy as the test will give the company into your personal philosophy. “They can be useful learning tools,” says Lara Kammrath, who teaches management at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business, “but are worrying in other uses because of their very low ability to predict actual workplace behaviors.”

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3 thoughts on “Things That Shouldn’t Matter that Do

  1. I have a colleague who can’t go to the bathroom without asking someone for permission (so to speak). As 90% of his clients are around the main office, he’s constantly in touch with managers, asking how to do this, that and the other. My clients are mostly 170miles away. I’m the kind of person who solves her own problems. Guess who will be considered most up-to-date and active?

  2. Aaargh! I have the same problem in my department. The people that are getting the largest raises and frequent promotions are the ones that always need “help.”

    I’m very independent (plus my boss couldn’t help me if she wanted too–not that she’s not bright enough, she’s just never done what I do and my function right now is very complicated and legally driven and she’s just no help) so I get docked for that.

    It should be the other way around. I think. :>)

  3. I’ve had to take the Meyers-Briggs personality test twice at jobs (both times AFTER I was hired) I don’t think the results really went anywhere; it just seemed to be a sort of curiosity thing for management. (Wait, is MB the color thing, or is it the 4 letter thing?)

    In case anyone’s wondering, I’m a near-perfect blind of Blue and White. (Which matches my high school’s colors!)

    Also, to cover my bases, ENFP.

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