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Summary: Whether we like to admit it or not, age plays a role in our careers. Employers can’t help but notice your age during a job interview or when considering you for a promotion. Looking younger gives you an edge in the workplace, and this is why many are turning to injectable fillers to gain that edge.

As a man, keeping myself looking my best has always seemed pretty straightforward. I eat reasonably, exercise when I can, and get regular haircuts. I even wear sunscreen pretty frequently to keep my skin looking good. But shortly after being laid off from my mid-level sales job last fall, I realized that it was going to take more than a haircut to encourage employers to give me a second look.

Let me back up. After the layoff, I took a couple of weeks to get myself together and spend some much-needed time with my family before diving into the job search. Poring over online listings and polishing up my resume isn’t exactly where I predicted I’d be at 45, but, as I’m still discovering, sometimes life can be unpredictable.

After going to a couple of interviews and not getting anywhere, frustration started to creep in. I used the Internet to read tips for interviewing well, bought a new suit (and even had it tailored!), and had both my wife and a friend look over my cover letters and resume. I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Finally, after interview No. 7, I was helping my wife make dinner when she jokingly suggested that I get BOTOX®. We laughed it off initially, but she had unwittingly planted a seed.

Perhaps my age was the very thing that kept me from moving forward in jobs for which I seemed perfectly qualified. I realized I had nothing to lose and called my dermatologist, whom I hadn’t seen since I’d had a mole removed a few years prior. Much to the delight of my wife, I booked a consultation.

When my appointment rolled around, I had no idea what to expect. Instead of the doctor, I met with a nurse injector who examined my face and asked me about my current skincare habits. We talked for a little while about my medical history and allergies, and she explained to me that BOTOX Cosmetic is intended to lessen the appearance of so-called “dynamic wrinkles.”

These types of wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, form as the result of repetitive movements from making facial expressions. BOTOX works by relaxing the muscles that cause these movements, thereby reducing the look of the wrinkles themselves. At the end of our appointment, she recommended both BOTOX for my crow’s feet and a different kind of product called JUVÉDERM®, a dermal filler, for some lines around my mouth. Unlike BOTOX, fillers work by physically filling in wrinkles, regardless of what causes them.

The nurse encouraged me to research the products and make my appointment when I was ready. That night, I did some reading and liked what I read — FDA approvals, biocompatible ingredients, and great-looking results. I called the office the very next morning, and they booked me for later that week.

The actual appointment might have been the easiest part of this entire process. It was certainly the briefest. After sterilizing my face with a towelette, the same nurse I saw for my consultation expertly injected the areas of my face that we had discussed. (In case you’re wondering about pain, there really wasn’t any — just a few pinches. The information I found online, including the website of Washington, D.C. plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Ruff, all say the procedure is relatively painless. It’s like getting a shot.) The entire process took only a few minutes, and I drove myself home afterward, feeling only a bit of soreness.

Over the next few days, I couldn’t stop glancing in every mirror I walked past, which was totally new for me. The lines around my mouth diminished significantly, and I looked somehow both just like myself and different at the same time — younger, sure, and definitely more refreshed. The improvement was difficult to articulate, but it was certainly noticeable. The BOTOX results around my eyes took a bit longer to develop, but after about a week, I was amazed by how much brighter and more alert I looked.

At my next interview, I felt like I carried myself differently. I had the swagger of a younger man and the wisdom and experience of a seasoned professional. The age hadn’t completely melted away from my face, but I was definitely looking better. A week later, I got an offer. I finally felt like I was back in the game.

I’m open to the idea that it was all just a coincidence. It’s perfectly possible that the injectables had nothing to do with it. But in addition to making me look different, they made me feel different, too. It’s this subtle self-assurance that I haven’t felt in a long time, and it’s definitely something I’ll need when I walk into my new office for the first time on Day 1 of the new gig.

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