Employee ExperienceLearning and Development

Tattoos at Work: Are They Still an Issue?

3 Mins read

Tattoos at work are something that each employer is likely to have their own ideas on. This also means they have policies to cover whether or not they accept ink, since it has always been an area of some debate.

Some will allow tattoos, some will want you to cover them up. Some will only have an issue if the contents of your tattoos are offensive in some way.

Will Your Tattoos Affect Future Job Opportunities?

If anything, the world is moving towards acceptance of tattoos, especially since they are so common among the population now. There are high-profile figures who have tattoos and some of the attitudes that people used to have are changing.

Every workplace and boss has to think about what they are going to allow tattoos.


Advantages of Allowing Tattoos in the Workplace

There are many advantages to allowing ink in the workplace, including:

  • Opening up the job pool and ensuring that people with tattoos can still apply for your job. This means more access to skills.
  • Showing your employees that you don’t judge them based on appearances.
  • Showing others you’re an inclusive workplace.

Disadvantages of Allowing Tattoos in the Workplace

It’s not all great, there are some downsides to tattoos in the workplace. The below points tend to come from people’s conceptions of tattoos.

  • Some people assume that all tattoos have some connection to gangs.
  • A lot of people assume that tattoos are unprofessional and that those who have them must be. 
  • It can impact the way customers see your brand.

These are all down to the way people think about tattoos, and there’s no protection for those who have tattoos, so employers can choose that they don’t want to work with you just because of your tattoos.

Will They Hire You If You Have Visible Tattoos?

There are definitely jobs that will hire you with visible tattoos. Plenty of industries don’t necessarily care and there are chances for you to find work.

Of course, laser tattoo removal plays a part too. It is possible to get rid of the tattoo if you regret it and suddenly decide that you want to get a job that will require you not to have ink.

Consider These Before Doing a Tattoo

If you want to get a job in a certain industry and you know that it will be frowned upon, the chances are that you should think again. Whether you already have a tattoo, then you may even want to consider removal. 

Provided you’re going to get inked and you are wondering where on your body you should, somewhere that you can easily cover up while you’re working is often a good starting point if you think it will cause a problem. A lot of employers have the policy to say you can’t have a visible tattoo, but those that are covered are not a problem at all.


Tattoo Friendly Jobs and Industries

There are plenty of industries that don’t mind if you have tattoos and the number of industries is growing. Of course, visible tattoos and non-visible tattoos are different things. If you have a tattoo somewhere that will always be covered then there is really no way that anyone would even know it was there.

A lot of the entertainment industries are friendly to people who have tattoos and work in certain types of events.

Driving careers such as delivery driving may well be options for people who have ink that is visible, and a lot of retail jobs encourage this kind of self-expression too.

Tattoos and Workplace Discrimination

There is no current law to protect people who have tattoos. As long as an employer has a consistent policy and enforces it then they can do what they want when it comes to the workplace and tattoos. If it is not enforced in a reliable way then there is a chance that it could be discriminatory. For example, if someone is kept at a workplace who has visible tattoos, but another person is sacked because of them.

Further Reading:

Motivational Whiteboard Quotes: Benefits, How They Work, Top Ideas
Managing Complex Change
Company Culture at Netflix
Company Culture at Google

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