I was scrolling through some draft posts to get an idea for what I would write today.

Last year, I copied a link (I think I remember my friend Rusty Speidel sending it to me) called “7 Sneaky Ways to Get Promoted” into my drafts folder and I just revisited it.

I’m not sure why I didn’t write about this a year ago, because it has me all fired up now, but it’s coming full circle.

It’s in Shine, the Yahoo beauty online publication.

If you begin to put two and two together (sneaky ways to get promoted plus beauty publication) you’ll know why I’m fired up.

In their recommendations:

  1. Use mantras; i.e. positive self-talk. Are you ready for this? The article says, “You need to do positive mirror mantras every single day, and then makeup will make you radiant because it’s backed up by a beautiful spirit inside.” Yes, you read that correctly. Makeup will make you radiant.
  2. Lighten up…as in your hair. Yep, it turns out blondes do have more fun. “Who’s making the big bucks? Blondes, apparently. According to a study in the “Economics Letters” journal, the hair color family you fall into can affect your bank account.”
  3. Emphasize your uniqueness. I’m beginning to cringe. But here you go. This is what they say, “Don’t be a slave to trends. Create your own personal sense of style and have a signature, like a red lip, a lined eye, a stack of bangles or a passion for different glasses. Something that’s unique to you makes people notice.”
  4. Flash some pearly whites. Ohhhh. So that’s why all the girls on The Bachelor have such white teeth. It’s so they can be promoted at work!
  5. Try a bold lip. Oh yes. Apparently people will listen to you if you have a bold lip. “The key is to look appropriate and confident without overdoing it. A stronger lip like a red or berry stain screams confidence and draws the attention to your mouth so people will listen to you.”
  6. Cover your roots. I’m serious. It should go without saying if you neglect your roots, you clearly are neglecting your job. Duh.
  7. Beware of happy hour. This is the only tip I agree with. I still remember the boss who hooked up with our client after a night of drinking. I was 23 and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Look, I’m a big believer in women using their assets in a business setting. We have different strengths than men. And we have the advantage of makeup and different styles of clothes to make us more interesting, day after day.

But, come on!

What happened to, oh I don’t know, maybe the following tips instead?

  1. Be passionate about your work. A promotion isn’t The Secret. If you only think about getting a promotion, you will not get it. If you’re passionate about your work, you will be radiant and fun to be around because of that…not because of makeup.
  2. Lighten up. As in don’t take yourself so seriously. I can point to plenty of women who are not blond (present company included) who are extremely successful. In fact, not one of the Arment Dietrich female employees is blond. But if you do learn how to joke around with clients, learn a bit about their personal lives, and get to know them outside of work, they’ll be recommending you for promotion.
  3. Emphasize your uniqueness. Know your strengths and create an ally with a colleague who is strong where you are weak. Work together in teams to complement each other’s unique abilities.
  4. Draw attention to your mouth. By having intelligent conversations. People will listen to you if you’re smart, confident, full of ideas, and willing to listen. It has nothing to do with the color of your lips. If it did, no one would listen to me because I prefer clear lipgloss.
  5. Beware of happy hour. I agree with this one for the aforementioned reason.

And, let’s be real. You’re not getting promoted if you don’t do all of these things plus you’re really good at your job.

Don’t talk badly about your colleagues behind their backs. Don’t hit reply all and say something snarky about your boss or client…who is on the distribution list (I saw that one happen, too). Don’t complain if you have to work occasionally work late. And for goodness sakes, don’t take career advice from the beauty magazines.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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