Many years back, body piercing and tattoos were thought of as unprofessional and unacceptable. In some cases, there’s even that taboo that those with tattoos and body piercings are frowned upon, or looked down on.
But, in today’s time and day, there seems to be a little bit more acceptance. There’s little emphasis now on the physicality of a person, but more on the values that they have, such as your work ethics, your skills, and your character.
To get the verdict out, here’s a rundown as to whether or not body piercings and tattoos are acceptable in the workplace.
1. It’s Dependent On The Location Of Tattoo And The Role
Next time you go to a Brooklyn piercing studio for your piercing and your tattoo, choose a location that isn’t as visible when wearing office clothes. While in general, tattoos and body piercings are no longer frowned upon, there are still some jobs that are better off without any visible body piercings and tattoos.
For instance, you’re in the tourism industry working as a flight attendant. In that case, body piercings should not be in inappropriate areas, such as your nose, mouth, and/or tongue. In this case, your work will be directly affected by your piercings. This also applies to lawyers. Lawyers should not have piercings on their mouth or tongue, as this can be distracting in court. Plus, it can also affect your job of having to talk a lot during locations.
You may still have tattoos, for as long as they’re properly concealed. Thus, tattoos and body piercings can be permissible, for as long as they are in the right location and cannot affect your work.
2. It Depends On The Customer Preferences Of The Workplace
Company policies are highly dependent on the recommendations and suggestions of their customers. After all, it is their preferences that matter the most. Without them, and failing to please them, it can result in a negative image for the company.
If a business has been around for a long time now, they’re already aware of the culture and preferences of their loyal customers. In most cases, companies put out surveys for suggestions and recommendations as to what the possible customer preferences are for the team that’s facing them. This decision is also highly dependent on the kind of business that you have.
For example, if you’re dealing with serious customer matters, clients might be easily distracted by a woman in a corporate attire that has sleeve tattoos on both arms. Your employer will most likely not put you off the job because of your tattoos, but you might want to keep them hidden by your blazer while you’re in the corporate setting.
In this example, you’re in a very formal and serious setting, where even the smallest form of distraction can make or break the whole discussion. On the reverse, if you’re in an informal setting, such as working on a casual office, then visible tattoos might not be too much of a problem for a majority of the customers.
3. It Depends On The Policies Of Your Employer
In the book What Hiring Managers Really Think Of Your Tattoos, Jacquelyn Smith emphasized that surprisingly, one of the job industries with the highest percentage of tattoos, at a whopping 36%, is the military. Given the position that they hold, you would think that tattoos would be banned. But, that’s not the case.
In recent times, it’s dependent as well on the policies of your employer; up to what extent they’re willing to go for the allowance of tattoos.
This is essentially in line with the practice in the employment industry that freedom of expression is also given much more importance now. For instance, hospital administrators cannot immediately conclude that tattooed doctors cannot save lives and work professionally. If there’s any tattooed doctor that makes a mistake, then that’s undoubtedly due to a lack of skill or training, not because of the tattoo that has entirely no correlation with the job that he does.
To play it on the safe side, when applying for a job, you might want to mention any tattoos on your body to your hiring officer. Right there and then, at least you have the company policies ironed out.
Today’s workplace has changed. There seems to be a lot more freedom now, and also a lot of acceptance. After all, the physical attributes of an employee don’t determine how well or how bad they can work. Much of the weight still lies on the contribution that the employee can bring to your company, and not on how they look on the outside. An exception of course on the industries where physical attributes are important, such as flight attendants.
All the other work avenues have now learned to balance both how the employee looks on the outside, and how they’re on the inside as well.