Will work for Ink
Oh the wonderful topic of tattoos in the workplace, said with a sarcastic sigh of course.
This seems like a tiresome topic because tattoos are entirely subjective. Generally speaking, if you are heavily tattooed and/or have visible tattoos your employment options will be limited. This is not meant to discourage it’s just better to know what’s to be expected. With 14% of Americans tattooed and counting it’s safe to say things are changing but it’s not the brightest idea to bank on times-a-changin’ by sporting black and gray sleeves in an interview instead of a black tie. Forbes has an interesting article that discusses what some people wear to work. As the French would say; “ça depend” meaning, “it depends.“ When it comes to tattoos it just depends on so many levels.
“We like to think that we don’t judge books by their cover, but the reality is we do." Stated in this intriguing article. The bottom line is you will be judged, if not for your tattoos then on your attire, or the way you speak, or how you present yourself. The list is endless. From a personal standpoint, tattoos are what I’d prefer to be judged on rather than anything else. If the external cannot be embraced, why open up the internal? It saves a lot of time. It would be so nice if when it came to work, judgments were based purely on qualifications but that’s not how it works. Superficiality slips in whether it is intentional or not. However, not all judgments are negative. If they were we’d never find those that are ‘just like us’ would we? Often times the way we’re judged works in our favor. For those in the creative field, like myself for example, as a writer I’m not restricted by policies on appearance, deadlines yes but how I look, no.
This remains an issue for those in the cooperate world or really any company environment with a 9-5 schedule. There are usually policies against visible tattoos keep in mind though that there are dress code policies as well, tattoos are just another aspect that falls under company regulations and it’s important to honor those codes. There are exceptions in the ‘rule world’ because blank canvas verses fully inked is not a giveaway to a person’s skill set. Such as the high school biology teacher, entirely qualified and fully sleeved who gets the job and keeps it by honoring the code of not showing ink at work. Or the doctor who hides his ‘other side’ beneath a white coat. Perhaps the greatest exception to being tattooed and employed is University of New Mexico professor Bruce Potts who has several tribal tattoos…on his face. Those are three awesome examples of people who made it happen in mainstream however, it’s always important to do what’s best for you-both now and later-so when it comes to tattoos no matter who you are or what you do, think it through.