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Becoming tall without high heels

Posted Dec 06 2009 2:53pm
When it comes to careers, short folks are getting shortchanged.

So says a recent study at the University of Florida, which concludes tall people earn an average $789 more per year for every inch above average height. Conducted by Tim Judge, a marketing professor with , the report will be published in the spring edition of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

From where I stand, 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches tall in my stocking feet, that sounds delightful. The average tall woman  is a shade less than 5 foot 4. So by my calculations, I should be $3,550.50 ahead every year, more if I wear high heels.

Being tall comes in handy, because you don't need a step ladder to change a light bulb and you can see over smaller people when watching a parade. The study says height is a leg up at work too, because folks tend to look up to people professionally when they also look up to them physically.

Judge and Daniel Cable, a business professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, analyzed four large-scale studies - three in the United States and one in Britain - which followed thousands of participants from childhood to adulthood, examining details of their work lives.

The researchers didn't consider such variables as intelligence, talent and work ethic. Instead they focused on objective measures, such as salary and sales volume, and subjective factors, such as performance evaluations.

They found that salespeople and managers who are tall fared exceptionally well. But even tall people who work in solo settings or from home tend to be more highly valued at raise time. And the findings were as strong for tall people in their 20s just beginning careers as it was for highly experienced tall workers in their 40s and beyond.

Their conclusion: Tall people are more confident, a trait that helps them to command respect.

On my best days, I have enough confidence for three people. Although some height increase would help. I know I could never take pills to get taller though! Now I know thats thanks to leggy parents and not the passion I've put into honing my skills.

Truth to tell, I find these findings more than a little disconcerting, even though I'm getting the long end of the stick. After all, some of my best friends are short people - and many of them, praise be, are successful.

The measure of a man should not be whether he stands taller than the national average of 5 feet 9 inches. More importantly, the notion that people are rewarded on the basis of their appearance  sends a scary message.

If you really want to get ahead in the workplace, perhaps you should immediately add two inches to your height. You also should refrain from growing old, gaining weight or losing your hair. Sounds tough!! but that is what life is like these days, at least height increase at some level is do-able.



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