Overweight men are judged more harshly at work. Employers judge an overweight man as someone who is not in control. His appearance and clothes speak of his low self-esteem. This is not a man who gives off the vibes of success. Your employer, staff, colleagues, and clients, though they may not admit it, are strongly affected by the way you present yourself. Ask yourself this question: “If two equally smart and qualified men apply for the same job, and one is overweight and one is not, who is more likely to be the successful candidate?” It’s an unhappy face, but in fairness to the potential employer, there are reasons why they come to this conclusion.
There are two specific ways your being overweight will affect them. The first is absenteeism. They look at you, and they have the statistical proof that you will miss work for health reasons more often than your trim coworkers. When you’re away from the job, your employer needs to find someone to replace you. This costs them in dollars spent and productivity, because your replacement is not going to be able to do your job as well as you do. As a result, the company is faced with overtime or even more temporary help. If you’re in the service business, they also risk unhappy clients. The other cost to your employer comes from increased insurance premiums for the company. The more you use the health care system, the more it costs. An employer who hires you has to anticipate taking on a greater cost than if he or she hires someone who does not have a weight problem.
If you’re the heavy guy, when you eliminate the excess weight, you take away those concerns and bias (justified or unjustified). Being trim and healthy man will give you the confidence and the energy to compete successfully for years to come! As we’ve discussed, being overweight has a very direct effect on the chances that you will be afflicted with a serious ailment. Your employers know this as well as you do. How many CEOs do you know that are fat? Most men come to a realization that they could be in line for a promotion and wanted to do something about their weight before the moment of truth arrived. Not everyone is destined to be a CEO, but pretty much everyone is destined to work, and we’d all like to advance in our jobs. If you’re like most of the men I know, then you’re hoping that you’ll be maximizing your return for those hours that you’re spending at work. I know that you will only do this if you have high self-esteem and are making the best possible impression with your colleagues.