Will My Beard Hurt My Job Prospects?

Most of the people close to me hate my beard. They say it will hurt my job prospects. That people don’t like beards.

I know there are jobs that require a person to be clean-shaven, but I am not so sure that people in general dislike beards.

I’ve found that most people are either indifferent to my Orthodox Judaism or respectful of it. Most of the people who hate it are secular Jews who hate traditional Judaism and adherence to traditional Jewish practices. But much of the goyim I know don’t have a problem with my beard and my yarmulke and my tzitzit and my adherence to Jewish law. They respect people who live for transcendent values. I think most employers will respect that too.

Would you rather employ someone who fears God? I would.

Gary emails:


It truly is a pity that you remain breathatkingly clueless about normative halacha and view Judaism through the distorted prism of cultic mores.

Nowhere in normative Judaism is there any suggestion that a beard is desireable, let alone required, and certainly not in a circumstance of employment in the diaspora working with others. Your responsibility is to make the best presentation on behalf of the employer paying your wages.

There is also the very significant issue of whether a public display of your fundamentalism would be misinterpreted as a chilul hashem given likely and inevitable occurrences at work.

Finally, I remind you that according to halacha you are likely in violation of the instruction to bachelors NOT to grow a beard absent the specific consent of the available women in the community. Your task is to make yourself presentable to their liking, not to display an ill conceived distortion of normative halacha.

D. emails: “Listen to me, Sunny Jim! You had best drop the fake piety and holier-than-the-rest-of-the-fair-dinkum-world act before I come out there and plant my boot squarely up your whinging bum! You’ve been play-acting at Judaism for years, and nobody’s falling for it. Need I remind you of the words I gave to that young journo several years ago? Paraphrasing, “Judaism for my ponce of a lad is a PSYCHOLOGICAL OUT from being thought of as a clone of his fair-dinkum DAD! Luke does NOT really behave according to the ethics of Judaism at all. It’s a fair-dinkum FRONT … even if my boy is too delusional to realize it’s a front.” I rightfully should crack you in the face with the nine-iron I use for toad bursting, dry-shave you with a rusty razor and leave you for the fair-dinkum magpies, boy. Thank goodness your brother Paul isn’t such a goldbricking, layabout fraud. At least that much is a comfort to me and your stepmum in our twilight years.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
This entry was posted in Orthodoxy, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.