There was a time when the rights to tattooed skin were reserved for traveling sailors and outlaw bikers. But the world has changed. Walk into any place of business today, and chances are, you’ll see somebody who is something less than rebellious sporting some kind of tattoo. While tattoos have become more acceptable in today’s society, they’re still not 100% career-proof.
Here are three tips for professionals who are thinking about getting tattooed.
See How Things Play Out…
If you’re currently job hunting or just started a new role, give it some time before you undergo some “needle therapy.” Chances are, you’re not currently employed by your “forever company.” You might be working in an entirely different setting a few years from now. However, tattoos are forever. So, before you rush out to spend your first paycheck at the tattoo parlor, stop and think about where you might end up professionally. Visible tattoos aren’t appropriate in every professional environment. Don’t blow a future opportunity on an impulse decision.
Location, Location, Location.
Recruiting isn’t the only example in which “placements” are critical. If you can’t wait to get some fresh ink, be smart about the placement of the tattoo. While the stigma of having tattoos has largely vanished, there are still a ton of employers and hiring authorities who will judge you based on your tattoos. Avoid “job-stoppers” located on the face, neck, and hands. If you insist on tattooing your wrists or forearms, a long-sleeved shirt can easily hide your ink — just be prepared to sweat during the summer months if you do need to cover them.
To limit health risks, always use a reputable, professional tattoo artist. Beyond the safety reasons, you should do your homework and research the quality of work your would-be artist delivers. If you’re fortunate enough to have a dress code which allows short-sleeve shirts in the office, make sure you’re proud of your tattoos. Yes, your tattoos are for you — not anybody else, but don’t give coworkers a reason to judge you. Employers seem to be more willing to accept tattoos in the workplace if the tattoos are beautiful works of art — not poorly executed, permanent doodles. Also, be smart about the subject matter. Never get anything tattooed on your body that others might find offensive, vulgar, or inappropriate.
We’re not saying that young professionals shouldn’t get tattooed – just be smart about it! Everybody has their opinion regarding tattoos, but ultimately, it’s your call. Hopefully, these tips will help you make an informed decision before you decorate your body with permanent art.