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If you ink, your career will sink

Getting permanent tattoos is a risky move that should avoided, as it will affect a person’s future success in the employment world. Tattoos are a type of body art that can express a person’s originality and show their personality. However, seen in the eyes of employers, tattoos are viewed as unprofessional and can disqualify candidates in many career opportunities.

According to the Harris Poll, about one in five Americans have at least one tattoo, but the popularity of body art continues to increase. Primarily, young adults from ages 18 to 25, decide to get a tattoo.

Visible tattoos are seen as distractions or, in some cases, offensive to customers and patients. When questioned by Forbes writer Rachel Hennessey, senior vice president of external affairs at Apollo Groups, Mark Brenner, said, “Depending on if they are visible or offensive in nature, tattoos can have an impact on professionalism.” Many business owners force employees to hide one’s tattoo while at work. The UCLA Health System’s policy requires their employees to cover up tattoos using clothing, bandaids or makeup. Also, employers will be less likely to hire a prospective employee if he or she has visible tattoos, which are seen as unprofessional. Tattoos disrupt the presentation of a successful and well-prepared individual.

Why is the work environment so against body art? Tattoos are viewed as signs of rebellion, being unclean in presentation and judged as having a bad reputation. Top businesses and corporations strive to provide the best services, and with this comes clean and up-to-par appearances throughout the work environment.

There is a negative social assumption that people who have multiple tattoos are troublemakers. John Bingham, social affairs editor of The Telegraph interviewed Dr. Andrew Timming of St Andrew’s University School of Management, where Timming said, “Tattooed workers may be perceived by customers to be ‘abhorrent’, ‘repugnant’, ‘unsavoury’ and ‘untidy’.” The negative stereotypes surrounding tattoos steer businesses into banning tattoos in a professional environment.

Tattoos are one of the primary things noticed in a first impression. The message behind tattoos is a statement of who the individual is. For example, a large tattoo of a gang-affiliated symbol alludes to criminal activity. There are reasonable, small ink tattoos that do not cause distractions, but most corporations prefer no tattoos at all.

When deciding whether to commit to a tattoo, a few elements need to be considered. Will you be happy with your decision thirty years down the road? Is the statement you are making with the tattoo something you want others to see you as? And ultimately, are you going to be hindered professionally as you try to pursue a future career? After one slows down to ponder these questions, some change their insight and believe their future occupation in the business world is more important than a small drawing on the body.

It is entirely up to the business owners on whether or not they choose to allow tattoos in the workplace. However, the more successful professions are known to frown upon tattoos, as it can seem improper for the work environment.

About Sarah Eskildson

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