The Real Reason Millennials Can't Find Work: They Stink!

Ah Millennials. They are almost as much fun to talk about as working women and people of non-causasian descent.

Apparently, some of the kids are having trouble finding jobs. Mostly this doesn't apply to the fascinating field of accounting as there are plenty of jobs to go around and nubile warm bodies are always needed to fetch coffee, make copies, and audit cash. But as any unmotivated 3.0 GPA without a single student leadership resume item will tell you, competition is still stiff for the "prestigious" positions.

We all read these stories about Gen Y and how "technologically-inclined" they are, meaning they'd rather Gchat you than walk up to your cube no less than three steps from theirs. But are they so tech-inclined that they are forgetting the basics like cleaning behind their ears?

In the Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility report, released Monday, surveyors asked 1,000 adults about the importance of various items in their daily lives. Among millennials, 93 percent said a smartphone was "very" or "somewhat" important, making it the most important item for that age group. Fewer—87 percent—said deodorant was of daily importance, and 91 percent, a toothbrush.

Seriously, why is this even a question? Honestly, if I were trapped on a deserted island (assuming there's WiFi), I'd take my phone over deodorant as well. If I had to rank the important things in my life, I'd probably put deodorant below my devices as well but that doesn't mean I'm walking around with swampy pits.

"Research on first impressions shows people look at not just how you comport yourself, but how you present yourself," said Susan RoAne, author of "How to Work a Room." Advice on job interviews often emphasizes presentable clothes and a trim haircut, but fresh breath and a clean scent are must-haves, too. (She also tells attendees of her networking presentations to skip odorous foods like onions and garlic before important interactions.)

"If people can smell you before they see you, you aren't getting the job," said RoAne. Slip into bad hygiene habits after getting hired, and you're not likely to get promoted, or last in a position that involves face-to-face contact with executives or clients.

I have to ask the obvious question here: is this really such a pervasive issue that we need job coaches to give us advice about it? Not everyone is great at interviews but I would like to believe most working human beings have the common sense to at least shower and put on clean clothes before one. No?

Oddly, we have never explicitly addressed how to deal with a colleague's body odor, however our friends across the pond at the Queen's AccountingWEB did a few years back. Do we need to have this talk? Someone open the floor, just talking about this makes me feel like I need a shower...

 

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