Grin and beard it

Appearances matter in business. Whether it’s an investment bank or a Silicon Valley startup, there are certain expectations when it comes to how you look. Facial hair, specifically beards, are a natural stumbling block for the junior businessman; Hardly Business weighs in.

The first question you need to consider is whether you currently have a beard. If so, in lieu of any howls to the contrary, you should probably keep it. Your appearance is part of your personal brand, and if you’ve got a beard, people will know you for it. Rebranding is a minefield, remember when Royal Mail rebranded as Consignia? Exactly. You don’t, because they had to undo it. Don’t be Consignia.

If you have confirmed your lack of beard with one or two thoughtful strokes of the chin, you might consider several more, as you contemplate a bearded future.

The first thing to consider is the job you currently have. If you do not currently have a job, consider a beard. It is a good hobby to pass the time. If you do have a job, then your industry is very important. If you are a lumberjack or a general outdoorsman, feel free to grow a beard. If you work in the media, you should have already grown a beard. If you do anything else, then I’m afraid a decision lies before you.

Can you grow a beard? If you confidently answered yes, with past beards to prove it, grow a beard. You’ll probably have one in 5 days, and have a promotion in a week. You handsome son of a gun.

If, on the other hand, you answered a more tentative ‘maybe’, consider your options carefully. If it’s a ‘maybe’ borne of optimism rather than realism, then your journey ends here. You cannot grow a beard.

And so we end with those standing hairless and unsure on the edge of a great unknown. We can offer but a few pointers. If you are the most junior member of a beardless team, do not grow a beard. Do not be Galileo. If you are considered very wise by your coworkers, grow a beard, it will only add to your reputation as an oracle. If you are a messy eater, do not grow a beard. Hair-trapped leftovers undermine even the most erudite business statement. If you have a youthful face, and are often asked how your work experience is going, consider growing a beard. It will add age and distinction. And finally, if you have If you just forgot to shave, you have not grown a beard. Do not wander so carelessly into such a major life decision.

So with all that in mind, just these parting words: I moustache that you hair on the side of caution, as beards are hard to handle-bar the savings on razors and shaving foam. If you can’t decide-burns, don’t let that get your goatee – beards are a hairy issue. [That’s enough of that – Ed.]

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