Tattoos in the Workplace: Are They Acceptable Yet?
By Lindsey Jenkins Posted 10-11-2019

You were 18 years old and that brand new skull-and-crossbones forearm tattoo looked great. Fast-forward ten years, you've received a degree and you're looking for a respectable, good-paying job. Will that skull-and-crossbones tattoo be the bane of your job search? Well, it all depends.

 

The good news is, in today's world, the workplace has become a little more lenient when it comes to appearances as long as your performance is up to par. With so many creative, artistic-based work environments like design, and digital media, as well as the military, construction, and mechanical fields, tattoos may not prevent a job offer. Tattoos are a form of self-expression and some employers may even appreciate your taste in body modification. Though, if you are going into the medical field, education, government, law or business, it's best to keep your tats under wraps and show them off after work.

 

Fortunately, some managers concentrate more on work ethic and productivity and not necessarily your choice of body modification but many still claim that visible tattoos can hurt your chances of getting a job. It's always best to play it safe and cover all visible tattoos during the interview process and even for the first few weeks of work, except if you're trying to get a job as a tattoo artist; in that case, you're a walking resumé!

 

There are no laws prohibiting discrimination against applicants with tattoos, but as soon as you start working for the company, the story changes. Bosses might consider the tattoos to be distracting to other employees and as a negative representation of the company. Cover what you can with clothing and any tattoos that can't be hidden under long-sleeves or pants, there is makeup specially formulated for tattoo cover-up.

 

Maybe you haven't gotten a tattoo yet because you are worried about it hurting your employment chances later. Just be weary of the placement and content of your tattoo. A small flower tattoo on your back is not going to hurt your chances as much as a swastika on your forehead, obviously.

 

Thankfully, there are a few options when it comes to full tattoo removal but they can be costly, painful and expensive. The most common way to remove a tattoo is by laser. The laser blasts apart the color pigment in the skin, allowing them to disperse. It can take several sessions depending on the size and color of the tattoo and can cost around $100 a session.

 

All in all, a tattoo (or even a few) is not enough to kill your employment aspirations but you must be careful with where your tattoos are and what they represent. Tattoos are permanent representations of our attitudes, thoughts and dreams and they shouldn't and don't have to be the reason that you don't get the job of your dreams.

 

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