Tattoos and Piercings in the Work Place 

Times are changing and tattoos and piercing are becoming more of an accessory than an unalterable decision. In the past you would expect a rock and roll star to have a tattoo, but not your child’s second grade teacher. Almost half of those between the age of 26 – 40 have tattoos, and 22% of them have at least one piercing.

Read the Handbook

Most people have not read through their entire company hand book, but have you thought to check and see what the policy is on tattoos and piercing? Some companies do not have a policy, but others have a very rigid policy. Companies like Geico Insurance, Starwood Hotels, and Denny’s will not even hire people with visible tattoos. However, Bank of America has no concern about hiring someone with a visible tattoo. There are some things to consider concerning this topic and your career: location of tattoo or piercing, your gender, your age, and ultimately how bad you want the job.

Location, Location, Location

The location of your tattoo or piercing is essential to this being an issue for your career or a complete nonissue. Those that are not visible are generally not an issue. If you have a tattoo on your back there would be no way for your boss to know about it. When going to an interview it would probably just be best to cover up any tattoos or take out any piercing. You would not want anything to get in the way of you getting the job.

The Disappointing Reality

It is generally accepted that it is more appropriate for men to have tattoos than women. Men are given more leniencies on rebellious behavior, this is just the reality. With this in mind women you need to be even more cautious when it comes to tattoos and multiple piercings.

A New Generation

The Millennial generation is getting more tattoos and piercing than ever before, in fact six times more. Nearly four-in-ten Millennials have a tattoo, and nearly one-in-four have a piercing in some place other than an earlobe. However, 70% say their tattoos are hidden beneath clothing. This generation is making this more the norm then not, they are also facing one of the hardest economic times in our history. We will see if they change future employers mind’s about this topic or inhibit their careers.

Bottom Line – How Bad Do You Want The Job?

All these things aside, multiple HR managers have said that given two candidates with comparable skills they will take the one that does not have tattoos or piercings. Companies are 37% less likely to promote someone with piercings and 31% less likely to promote someone with a visible tattoo. They are also 31% less likely to promote someone with wrinkly clothes. Now that you know this are you not going to take the time to iron your clothes? With that said if you know your tattoo has a chance of threatening you getting a job or a promotion then why wouldn’t you cover it up? If you do not have a tattoo or piercing be sure and consider these things in your decision.

Data Gathered From: Pew Research Center

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