Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

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33 Replies - 13567 Views - Last Post: 28 January 2011 - 09:00 PM

#1 Dean_Grobler  Icon User is offline

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Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 18 January 2011 - 09:45 PM

I'm thinking of growing my hair long but I'm faced with the question "Would it be hard for a guy with long hair to get a job in the programming field?". Some part of me think that it won't really be a problem as 99% of the IT departments/companies have a casual dress-code anyways.

When I say long I'm talking like not even shoulder length, a little shorter that that (just FYI).
If I could get some answers from senior guys in the industry or someone that has faced a similar scenario it would really be appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

This post has been edited by Dean_Grobler: 18 January 2011 - 09:47 PM


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#2 NeoTifa  Icon User is online

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 18 January 2011 - 09:49 PM

No, we have a few guys with long flowing locks. I love guys with long hair. Unfortunately, all the ones at my job are either creepy or old.
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#3 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 18 January 2011 - 09:50 PM

I got my 1st two jobs in IT with shoulder length, multi bleached hair. Not to say it was easy, I knew better... but I also knew my shit & was willing to work for less than the other guys.
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#4 Dean_Grobler  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:47 AM

That's a relief :bigsmile:
Normally long hair would be associated with "un-professionalism" but that's obviously all bull****. If you can do the job then you get the job, attitude and looks isn't a substitute for incompetence...
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#5 DivideByZero  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:18 AM

Best question I've ever seen asked on this forum :D

This post has been edited by DivideByZero: 19 January 2011 - 04:44 AM

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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:51 AM

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My hair is past shoulder length and my beard is full. I've been hired in this state a few times.

It's almost a programmer cliché, really. I walk into meetings with the suits and get greeted with "you must be the programmer." IT is one of the few fields where hirsutely scruffy will make people think "guru" before they think "homeless." :P

Posted Image

Some businesses will still frown on it, however. I prefer to get hired by places that are comfortable with my usual state and understand that I won't wear a tie. But, if I were hungry for a job, I'd consider staying with the suit drone look. It really depends on the whole package.
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#7 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:02 AM

View PostDean_Grobler, on 19 January 2011 - 01:47 AM, said:

That's a relief :bigsmile:
Normally long hair would be associated with "un-professionalism" but that's obviously all bull****. If you can do the job then you get the job, attitude and looks isn't a substitute for incompetence...

Competence is very important, but don't fool yourself. You will find people/groups that will have a negative impression of you if your appearance is "unkempt." You may hear things like, "Well, we just didn't feel like there was a culture fit." It's a shame, but it's reality. Lucky for you ageism (anti-old) seems much more prevalent these days, and there are plenty of young, performance-oriented teams around, so you should be fine...until you get old. ;)
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#8 Dean_Grobler  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:58 AM

It also brings up another question I have, a little off topic.
How would one dress for an interview for a programmer job? I'm sure lots depends on the company as you'd dress different for a bank (suit up) than for some Web Design company (just smart casual?).

Having long hair then and dressing up in a suit would surely make you look like a real chop...

What advice is there?
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#9 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:15 AM

For the first question, I think you'd be ok with long hair, but I would definitely consider tying or slicking it back for an interview.

Second question: I don't think it's possible to overdress for an interview, but it's certainly possible to underdress. When in doubt, try to err on the side of caution, and think about where you're applying. I applied to a small, laid back company last year in slacks and a short sleeved collared shirt and I got the job, then when I applied for my current job at a much bigger company with a HR department I wore a suit and tie and I got that job too. You can always ditch a jacket and tie if you want to, and I think at the very least, dressing up for an interview can give the impression of enthusiasm. You only get one shot at that first impression.

This post has been edited by hookiethe1: 19 January 2011 - 06:16 AM

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#10 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:43 AM

You can't go wrong wearing a suit and tie to an interview. No one will ever mark you down for being over dressed. Anything less casual is risky. Even if the day traders wear sweats and flip flops ( I have seen this ), go with the suit.

You can have long hair and look neat(ish). I always have a pony tail at work. If it's a scheduled meeting with another department, I might even trim the beard.
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#11 bflosabre91  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:54 AM

yeah, it never hurts to overdress for occasions that you are unsure about. i wouldnt say a full on suit and tie would be required, but i would at least do a nice shirt and tie for any interview. if its banking or something where they are known to where suits, you should probably dress at least to what they are. even if its some chum place where you know they are jeans and tshirt people, then a shirt and tie wont kill you to wear for an hour or two.
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#12 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 11:52 AM

I'll put it this way: being well-groomed can't hurt you.

When I got laid off from my last job, I grew a beard and let my hair grow long all that. But when I got a serious interview, I bought a sharp suit, shaved, and got a haircut. You can always grow it back after you get the job (which I do with the beard every winter).

Of course, it's entirely up to you if you want to keep your beard and hair for the interview. Make absolutely certain it's at least groomed. Clean and brush your hair; trim and comb your beard.

But the best way to look "clean cut" is to actually be clean cut. Think of it this way: it's just hair. You grow more all the time, even after you die. What's going without a bit of it for a few weeks/months going to hurt?

This post has been edited by insertAlias: 19 January 2011 - 11:53 AM

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#13 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:19 PM

I've had purple hair, long hair, no hair, scruffy hair, nice hair... and all other sorts. At the moment I have a mohawk. Not once have I ever been bothered by any of it.


Now sometimes my haircut screams, don't let this one talk to the clients. But in the same respect, I don't want to talk to the clients, and I don't want to pass on the impression that I will. I won't... I cuss, I scream, I bite, and I might be rabid. It's the message I hope gets conveyed... I'm here to write your code, not fondle your top customers... I'd first piss on their couch and sleep with their wife before I "show them around".

Now you might say that you don't get a job that way. Bullshit, I do get jobs that way. I get jobs that don't require me to do things I don't want to do damn it! A job interview isn't just them interviewing you, you're interviewing them as well! I've walked out of quite a few interviews explaining that this possible employer was not right for me.



Probably not the best advise, take it however you want.
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#14 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:36 PM

It's only good advice if you're in a situation where you can afford to be picky about who you work for. If you need a job, get a damn hair cut. If you want to send a message to your potential employers and don't care if nine out of ten pass on you...be yourself.
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#15 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Would it be hard getting a job with long hair?

Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:50 PM

Though I am curious if the same commentary (from mostly US flagged people) holds up in South Africa (op's flag of choice). Wait.. OP - are you going for the Justin Bieber look?
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