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Some recent research from the UK indicates that overuse of the cleavage can be a career killer in the workplace – My professional view on this subject has been  “do what is appropriate” for the situation. Showing too much skin in the workplace has nearly ALWAYS been a dicey decision – no matter if you are a man or a woman. During the course of the hundreds of workshops and seminars we have presented around the world, this subject has come up nearly every time. There have been times that I have been confronted by participants that do not want to hear the reality of what too much is – comments include: “as long as I do my job well, why does it matter that I show a bit of flesh?” or “It’s my life, therefore I should have the freedom to do whatever I choose!” In theory we may agree with these sentiments, however, in practise we know people will talk behind your back and covertly “sabotage” you, even if they overtly support you – this is the real world!

The career perils of innapropriate levels
of cleavage in the workplace

Therefore, my advice was and still is: adhere to the practise of “less is more.”

In the workplace your personal brand image and its perception will make the “razors edge” difference in opening the doors of influence to you and like all other aspects of presentation, being “street smart” enough to know what really is in your own best interest (and by default, your team’s and organisation’s) is savvy business. There is ample time to display your physical assets at more appropriate occasions. Knowing when to suspend individual righteousness is one of the keys to success and taking the smarter approach is to “stack the odds in your favour” and play with the intention to win-

The career perils of cleavage

Would this look be appropriate for a male in the professional workplace?

I would love to hear of your experiences in the workplace. What do you think?