Having to defend your facial hair in the workplace is not a pleasant task. Dating back decades, the view of beards as unprofessional or inappropriate within professional contexts is certainly not new.
The degree to which facial hair in your workplace is frowned upon may depend on your specific profession or even employer.
Some bosses can certainly be more lenient than others, but that’s not to say that your boss – if the workplace does enforce facial hair restrictions – is entirely unreachable.
If you are interested in negotiating with your boss about a no-beard policy in the workplace, here are some general tips you might want to consider.
Have Your Classy Beard Ready For Show
If you’re getting yourself ready to start negotiating with your boss about restrictions on facial hair, it’s wise to have your beard trimmed and tidy.
Having a trimmed beard will only add to the credibility of your proposed negotiations. A scraggly beard does not a convincing argument make when it comes to workplace appropriateness.
Check out these tips on how to trim your beard professionally according to your beard’s neckline if you’re unsure of where to start.
Additionally, there’s nothing wrong with becoming familiar with some professional beard shaping tips beforehand.
You’ll want a quality beard shaping tool to make your research a reality, but donning a well-groomed appearance is in itself key to prepping for a successful negotiation.
Be Ready to Defend Your Professional Beard Against The Stereotypes
While your boss would ideally be open to hearing any qualms you have about no-beard policies they may enforce, not every boss is always eager to listen – particularly if they have stock in any of the usual negative stereotypes about beards.
The best way to prepare yourself to defend the appropriateness of your professional beard, then, is to try to understand where the negative stereotypes come from.
An important step in creating a good argument in your favor includes taking into account perspectives from both sides, even if you vehemently disagree with the opposing one.
Be ready to debunk those stereotypes respectfully, without resorting to language that could put your job on the line. It’s alright to be assertive, but be respectful about it. Remember who you’re talking to.
Represent the Changing Times
In an era where numerous workplace conduct policies are apt to change, whether due to generational differences between those in management positions or otherwise, now is the perfect time to legitimize your own negotiations.
Become acquainted with the names of some other professional bearded men. Mention how times are changing, and as long as a person’s beard is maintained to be trim and tidy, it can be perfectly appropriate within the workplace.
If you need to stay under the radar with your beard, explore different beard styles that may suit you best – and therefore be easier to pass as professional – based on your face shape.
Round faces, for instance, are best flattered by beards that are longer towards the chin and shorter on the sides.
Ensuring your beard doesn’t get too wild will help keep you from earning suspicious side-eyes from those higher up.
Consider Offering a Trial Period
Offering your boss a trial period, where any changes in your productivity can be assessed, can also be helpful for negotiating purposes.
This way, you have nothing to lose, and you’ll be able to take this time to prove that having a beard in the workplace truly doesn’t pose any detriment to your value as an employee.
Wear Your Professional Beard as a Symbol of Pride
Be proud of your beard. Trim it, maintain it properly, but if you’re not convinced that your beard is up to the professional standards of a workplace – then your boss won’t be either.
Your negotiations can also serve as a notable example for others who may be struggling with certain workplace policies.
Your beard can be a symbol of successful communication between boss and employee.
Successful communication with your boss can also prove to them that you are respectful employee able to assert yourself appropriately to argue for what you believe in.