Getting inked has in the last decade or so entered the mainstream as a way of expressing personal preferences, affiliation for a sports team, emotional ties to a person or place or simply as a beautiful form of artistic self-expression. The presence of tattoos in a person’s private life is not usually a cause for any sort of social stigma – but in the business world, that stigma is still very much in evidence. Here is what the Trading Review community has to say about this topic.
In fact, a recent study which asked HR Managers in the United States which traits and physical characteristics they viewed most negatively when hiring put visible tattoos in third place – just behind bad breath and piercings – not good news for those who are fans of ink.
But as with many other characteristics – the ability of tattoos to limit career potential depends on a variety of factors. For instance, around 36% of those in the military have tattoos- but even this is restricted. No tattoos on the face or tats that may cause offense to other members of the force.
But tattoos continue to be popular. Once limited to those who were happy for a career as a barista working in the creative fields now anyone from a financial adviser to a grade school teacher may be inked.
The Pew Research Center in the United States – a very well respected company that analyses social trends (among very many other things) announced that around 40% of people in the U.S. in the age bracket 26 – 40 now have tattoos.
But the question still remains – will having visible tattoos limit the career trajectory of those who sport them when it comes to what could loosely be called more ‘mainstream occupations?’
The prevailing opinion seems that it is slightly more acceptable for men to have tattoos within the corporate environment than it is for a woman. That glass ceiling is still firmly in place when it comes to body ink. Woman are allowed a certain leeway in their private lives – but they are still expected to act and appear like ‘ladies’ within the corporate environment.
It seems that you will not be fired for having a tattoo – but you may also not be hired – and in a tough job market, this is a consideration that many young people are taking into account when it comes to the decision to get inked.
Tattoos make much less of a difference when it comes to more creative careers. Those who choose graphic design or ad agency work – or who work in the creative arts will less likely suffer from any sort of job discrimination.
There is also no current legislation in the United States that prevents any discrimination based on tattoos as far as career paths are concerned. A company is more or less free to set their own standards as far as hiring practices and career advancement is concerned.
The short answer is that having a tattoo (or several) can have an effect on persons chosen a career. Rather keep tattoos under wraps and unveil them during private social occasions.