I don’t mind tattoos - some can be pretty cool. However, I know of people who have received negative comments from bosses due to their visible tats. And I do know a lady who is tattooed from neck to knees (and I am not exaggerating) who works at a place that does not allow visible tats. She wears high necked blouses, turtlenecks, full sleeves, and either longish skirts or pants all the time. I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt today, and she can’t ever wear one of those at her job. She also has to rotate her nose piercing so that it isn’t visible. (Its a partial loop that hangs from the middle of her nose, so she just rotates it up into her nose and you can’t see it.)
So it is totally possible to enjoy your bodily self-expression with tats and hold down a respectable job. Its just really freaking hot in the summer!
Well, I have a few tattoos/piercings and I own a business. I give preference to applicants with ink and or piercings. My current group of employees (who are all excellent workers and have been with me a while) are all inked. In fact, I gave gift certificates to a local tattoo/piercing emporium as a bonus last summer. Of course, YMMV.
I missed the edit window, but wanted to apologize for saying “respectable” job. There are a shit-ton of respectable jobs that allow visible tats. I did not mean to come across as a jackass, but succeeded spectacularly. Sorry about that!
Should have said “it is totally possible to enjoy your bodily self-expression while holding down an office job”.
I’m 53. I would challenge you to look at my ink and tell me which are 30 years old and which were done last year. Quality work ages well, especially if cared for (sunscreen!!). Shitty work starts out looking bad and gets worse fast.
I would suggest sliding it up your arm a bit so it’s easily covered, even if you need to roll up your sleves in the off chance that you wind up in an office position rather than the creative position that you hoped for.
Three months later he lost his job. Within another 6 weeks he was penniless and begging in the streets. His town was then hit by a tornado and a hurricane in the same week. Within 2 more weeks the iron core at the center of the earth inexplicably stopped spinning, but before the earth lost it’s protective magnetic field and burned up in a fiery ball, it was hit with a comet ending all life.
But that was just one guys experience, not saying this will happen to you.
Agreed on this one. It really depends on how the work looked back when it was first done, and how much care the person took to make sure that it continued to look good. The guy who gets military insignia on his forearm while in the service, then does nothing to take care of it for 30 years is going to have a really awful blob, but the guy who gets it placed higher up where it’s less likely to have constant exposure to the sun and makes sure to use sunscreen when it’s exposed for long periods of time is going to have a piece that will look closer to the original quality of the work.
As I’ve said earlier, location of tattoos can often restrict your freedom with clothing, and forearm tattoos mean you can’t ever roll up your shirt sleeves. Give it some serious thought, and maybe have it stenciled out in marker or henna to make sure it won’t interfere with comfort and professional dress before you get it done.
I work in insurance, which tends toward the more conservative office culture and there a a number of people with visible tattoos. Including at least one supervisor with full sleeves and a department manager. It hasn’t been an issue.
Things seem to have changed a bit over the last couple decades. In my first office job guys couldn’t even wear a stud earring.
Yeah, this is a great idea. I got a whole pack of those artificial stick-on tattoos and wore them on my arm for a couple of weeks, different sizes, in the exact place I wanted my tattoo. I wanted to be perfectly sure.
I was just flying by to endorse this. I’m a Creative Director and whilst I work with no end of trendy young things who could come to work with a bolt through their necks and nobody would care, there comes a point when seniority means client liaison, and clients can be very stuffy.
Or to put it from the client’s own perspective, my girlfriend used to be a Marketing Director for a very smartly dressed property firm (think men in $1000 suits) and she used to complain loudly to me when some scruffy art director (in jeans, gasp) turned up at her office to do a presentation and she had to parade them through the building under the glare of her disapproving client partners to whom she had to justify her marketing spend. She said it was just plain embarrassing for her. Creative job doesn’t often mean creative, open-minded clients.
Although things have changed in this respect a lot over the last ten to twenty years, it should be blatantly obvious on the face of it that visible tattoos could cost you in terms of employment opportunities. It shouldn’t be that way but it is a fact that it is that way. You might think that you’re going to be in a creative field but the majority of people who think that wind up doing something else.
I work for a very well respected international engineering company and no one in our facility is going to give a shit unless maybe you’re one of the sales twats who has to meet with some of our more conservative clients. There are plenty of engineering firms in town where it would kill your chances though, especially in this job market. It doesn’t matter how good you are. There are plenty of other good people who either don’t have tattoos or have them where they aren’t typically visible.
So go for it. Most people won’t care. A few will though and it could cost you.
Yeah, tattoos have been around forever but the type of tattoo and the demographic that gets them has changed quite a bit over the last couple of decades. If my yoga classmates are any indication, huge all over body tattoos are hardly a rare thing anymore. As time goes on, I suspect it will be less and less of an issue but the time where it isn’t an issue at all hasn’t happened yet.
The demographics and acceptability have definitely changed or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I have no idea if the prevalence of tattoos is going to go up or down in the future, but the change is more like “it’s gone mainstream” than “it’s a fad.” I think it’s more likely that non-crazy tattoos are just going to be less and less of a big deal.
I work in a professional services firm, and there is no way that anyone with a visible tattoo would ever get hired here. Of course this is the sort of environment where 10 years ago people looked down on you if your shirt was some color other than white or blue (and some of those people still work here).
But even though I work in a very conservative environment, I just can’t imagine that a visible tattoo is ever a good idea. No one will ever hire you because you have one, but plenty of people will do the opposite. Maybe if you work as a tattoo artist…
I don’t think you’re following here. People have been getting tattoos for hundreds of years (I’m pretty sure it’s thousands, but it’s not important). That’s centuries continually. So a comparison to something that went out of fashion generations ago doesn’t work. That’s a trend. Something that is a mainstay for a very long time is just part of human culture. It’s true that tattoos have become pretty mainstream in Western culture the last couple of decades. They could get more popular, less, or stay more or less where they are. You could say they’re trending one way or another, although I find the word “trending” kind of annoying. Regardless, tattoos arne’t a fad. And that being said, these arguments never change anybody’s mind in any case.