We all want to get ahead in our career. No matter the industry you work in, you’ll hear a thousand different tips about how to rise through the ranks and develop as a professional; these can include the way you dress, your work ethic or how you spend your time outside of work.
But what if there a career booster so simple that no one even talks about it? There is, and it’s your smile.
Before you roll your eyes, take a moment to think about it. The truth is, there are a variety of reasons that smiling really can make a difference in your career.
Smiling leaves a better impression
It sounds obvious to say a smiling face is more appealing than a plain or grumpy one, but the concept has been carefully studied by researchers from Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh and many other institutions. What research shows is that those who smile are not just more likeable, but are also generally perceived to be more competent and trustworthy.
If we strip it back, smiling is really a way of showing other people that you are open to interaction and are not a threat to them. Doing so in the workplace makes you far more approachable to your boss and colleagues, who will be more likely to build a positive relationship with you in the workplace. Also, it gives the impression that you are genuinely happy in the workplace and care about the work that you do.
Smiling makes you feel good
Smiling is hard-wired into our brains, so it’s something we often do involuntarily. We don’t often think about the benefits it provides, but the process of smiling actually releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that make us feel happy and reduce stress.
But if smiling is something we do automatically, how does this knowledge help us at all? Interestingly, you can trick your body with a forced smile and receive the same boost of endorphins you would if it were a true impulse. As such, getting in the habit of smiling regularly floods your body with endorphins and gives you a far more positive, relaxed and approachable demeanour.
Smiling is contagious
You may not notice it, but we are conditioned to smile back at someone who smiles at us first. Unless we consciously keep a straight face, our instinct to participate in the positive interaction is extremely powerful.
By smiling at others, you can help spread positive feelings that they are more likely to associate with you. Those who smile constantly are often known for it to those around them, and they usually inspire happy thoughts when their colleagues think about them. In turn, people will seek out your company more often (whether consciously or unconsciously) so that they can enjoy the endorphin boost from your smiles.
If yellow or stained teeth is stopping you from showing off your smile, modern teeth whitening kits are a simple, cost-effective way to give you the confidence to smile more in the workplace.