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Are You Pretty Enough For Your Job?

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The image is meant to be sarcastically highlight the pressures we all face  - our success shouldn't be linked to beauty and youth.  Chere offers some great advice for navigating the world today - in our present form of beauty.

Your Hidden Weapons

By Chere B. Estrin

Editor’s Note: This article really struck a chord with many of our readers. We got a lot of great comments! We didn’t like all of them, yet we are super happy people are sharing their thoughts.

The title and main graphic hit a lot of reader’s buttons – the intent was to show the insecurity that many of us feel as we age in a playful, very personal, self depreciating way. Many saw the sarcastic title and graphic for what it was, others took it literally. (To be clear Chere is not advocating cosmetic procedures to be successful.) For many of us have experienced the pain of misogyny and sexism at the workplace, the graphic is too real. We apologize for hitting that nerve.

We, like many of you, are pushing to see things continue to improve in the workplace. Stop judging on the superficial, judge us by our work and skills.

In the article, Chere does reference some things that still affect perceptions of us in the workplace – some of these things we can, and some can’t, change. We are not celebrating these things, but discuss them to make you aware that, right or wrong, they still do have an impact in the workplace today. Knowing about them and talking about them is not the same as embracing them.

As a top recruiter for paralegals and lawyers, Chere is an advocate for her clients and wants to help you succeed.


Some time back, I was on the cover of a legal trade publication. I was so excited. The editor wanted to portray me as a fortune teller predicting the future of the legal industry. The photographer dressed me up in a spectacular colorful costume complete with a bandana, lots and lots of jewelry, big earrings and very heavy makeup while holding a crystal ball.  I hardly recognized myself. This, I thought, was going to be a winner. 

Fast forward and the magazine comes out. Actually, what happened was one of my staffers picked up the magazine from the mail and came into the conference room where we were all having a meeting. He held up the magazine and proudly announced, “It’s here!” I took one look at it and my immediate thought was, “What is my mother doing on the cover of that magazine?”

It’s true. In this day and age of Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapshot and all other social media, how you look has become important. Perhaps too important. What happened to “beauty within”? Out the window, I’m afraid. 

Now, I am a woman of a certain age. It’s true. I no longer deny it, even to myself. The good part of this is that I find myself unafraid of almost anything. At this stage in my life and career, I have been there, done that and honestly, sometimes won’t do it again. 

I tried everything to look not necessarily younger, but just more, well, put together and ride this horse in the direction it is going. Looking at myself constantly on Zoom was a nightmare. Oh sure, I used the gadgets that softened you up, gave you fake eyebrows and puffy lips but the problem was, if you so much as moved an inch, you had eyebrows floating above your head and lips that were to the side of your mouth. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work.  

In a desperate attempt to fix myself up, I bought that stuff advertised on TV that you rub on your face and in 10 minutes, it gives you a faux face lift and all your wrinkles magically disappear along with the bags under your eyes. So far, so good. I was amazed! I actually looked 10x better (in my mind, anyway). I put it on every chance I got. There was a slight problem. It only lasts 6-8 hours at most, sometimes even less. One day, I was in a very important Zoom meeting with a client and I guess the 6 hours were up because I saw myself, right there in front of God and everyone, slowly turning into a craggy old woman as the stuff wore off. Geez, now that was embarrassing. So much for the fake face lift.

...... Continue Reading



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