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Don’t Let Bad Hygiene Cause Career Suicide

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 8:31am | by Guest Contributor

We’ve all had those mornings where we just can’t seem to drag ourselves out of bed in time to take a shower before work.  So what do you do?  Just brush out yesterday’s ‘do, put on some extra perfume and deodorant, and hope that nobody notices.  But if this type of occurrence has become more than just a once in a while kind of thing for you, or you consistently neglect your hygiene and appearance despite the fact that you work in an office with higher standards, then you could be committing career suicide without even realizing it.  So if your dental plan consists of running your finger over your teeth until they squeak and your skin is a stranger to a bar of soap, here are a few things you can do to get your hygiene in order and your professional life back on track.

1. Start showering!  Whether your water-saving strategy is aimed at helping the environment or your utility bill (or even if you’re just too lazy), you need to make an effort to shower more frequently.  This means at least every other day (and more if you’re working out daily).  Wiping down may remove moisture, but odor-causing bacteria will cling to your skin if you don’t use soap when you wash.  And if you’re really that concerned about being eco-friendly, install an aerated shower-head that uses half the water.

2. Use dry cleaners.  There are a variety of products aimed at people who would rather not wash their body and hair on a daily basis (a common occurrence in European nations, for example).  You can get “dry” sprays for hair and body that will soak up oils and leave you looking and feeling refreshed sans water.  Or you can even use powders (like talc or baby powder) that, when rubbed into skin (and even hair) perform the same magic and leave you smelling rather nice, to boot.  These cures could carry you a couple of days between showering.

3. Carry a kit.  If you have trouble remembering to do spot cleanings or touch ups throughout the day, keep a travel kit with the essentials in your desk at work.  Every time you open the drawer you’ll be reminded to pop into the restroom to blot your face (and reapply makeup if necessary), roll on some deodorant, and brush your teeth.  If you don’t have time for all of this, keep a compact mirror at your desk and carry sugar-free chewing gum for clean teeth and fresh breath in an instant.

4. Go for checkups.  One of the best ways to attend to proper ongoing hygiene concerns is with frequent visits to the doctor and dentist.  A lingering odor may denote infection or other medical concerns that a doctor can help you determine.  And if you fail to see your dentist every six months to a year you could end up with halitosis, gingivitis, or even worse oral complications.  You’re better off sticking to regular visits.

5. Ask for help.  Not all of us have been prepared for the many hygiene-related issues that can beset the adult body.  Whether your problem is physical (you’re unsure how to attend to hygiene problems) or mental (for example, you suffer from depression that makes it hard for you to meet your own needs), you should talk to a trusted family member, friend, or doctor about ways to improve your situation.  After all, any problems you have now will be even more difficult to deal with if you’re facing job loss, as well.

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