Smoking: Shortens your life span; lengthens your job search
Smoking can be a difficult habit to break, especially for those who turn to cigarettes in times of great stress—particularly the stress of a job search. But unless you’ve got access to a time machine for a job interview in 1962, you should stop smoking—at least during the job search. (CrossRoads does not recommend smoking and suggests safe methods to quit smoking—permanently.)
Don’t count on anti-discrimination laws to help; many states prohibit discrimination against job seeking smokers, but discrimination in these cases is difficult to prove. The following are common reasons smoking could prevent success on your search:
Reason 1: The smell
Smoking erodes the olfactory senses to the point that you just don’t notice the smell the way a non-smoker would. When you’re not sure if you smell bad (but think you might), that uncertainty can also add to the anxiety of the interview.
When the scent of stale cigarettes battles cologne, there is no winner.
Clean clothes and perfume do little to help when the smell of smoke has invaded all corners of your home—including your closet. Clothes are never really clean when they smell like smoke. Covering it up with a different smell doesn’t work.
Interviews (Job Interviews and Research Interviews) are counter-productive if the person you meet has a bad impression of you. Many people are sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke, and making their eyes and nose irritated is likely to leave a poor impression.
Reason 2: The Stigma
Smoking is generally thought to be a low-class addiction. Significant information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and this Gallup Poll shows that as one’s education and social class increases, their tendency to smoke decreases.
Generally, it’s not good for a prospective employer’s decision makers to think of you (consciously or unconsciously) as low-class or uneducated. Competition for good positions is unusually high, and a prospective employer can just as easily find a non-smoker for the position.
Reason 3: Lost Productivity
Absenteeism is more frequent among smokers than non-smokers. When given the choice, an employer is more likely to select a healthier employee who will potentially have fewer absences.
Jobs in high-security buildings can make walking to and from a designated smoking area a far greater disruption of work than other activities. Restrooms, drinking fountains, and other facilities are easier to reach during the workday since these are normal activities that are not discouraged. If a building does have a designated smoking area, it’s typically hard to find and difficult for the workers to reach during the workday as some companies prefer to use these subtle methods to discourage smokers and to keep the company image disassociated from smoking.
Reason 4: Smokers are Expensive.
Health care costs for smokers are higher than non-smokers or those who have become ex-smokers in excess of two years. Managers are always on the lookout for new ways to cut costs. Hiring someone who—by choice—has become a liability is a less attractive option.
For help with your job search, contact CrossRoads to schedule an appointment at 317-842-8881.
(Here at CrossRoads, we recommend that if you smoke, you should stop as quickly and safely as possible. Advice on how to quit smoking can be found here. We also advise that if you don’t smoke, don’t start!)