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Tattoos in the Workplace: 13 Things to Consider

Tattoos have become a common form of self-expression and art for many people. They can hold deep personal significance or simply be aesthetically pleasing. However, when it comes to the workplace, the presence of tattoos can raise questions and concerns. Here, we’ll explore 13 important things to consider when it comes to tattoos in the workplace.

1. Company Policies Vary

Understand Company Rules: Every workplace has its own policies regarding tattoos. Some companies have strict “no visible tattoo” policies, while others are more lenient. Before getting a tattoo or if you already have one, familiarise yourself with your company’s stance.

2. Dress Code Matters

Know Your Dress Code: Your workplace’s dress code plays a crucial role. In some industries, like hospitality or customer service, employees may be required to cover their tattoos. If your workplace has such policies, be prepared to comply.

3. Location of Tattoos

Consider Tattoo Placement: The visibility of your tattoo can be a determining factor. Tattoos on your face, neck, or hands are more likely to raise concerns compared to those on areas that can be easily covered by clothing.

4. Type of Industry

Industry Plays a Role: The nature of your job can impact how your tattoos are perceived. In creative fields like design or music, tattoos are often welcomed as a form of self-expression. In more traditional industries, attitudes may differ.

5. Co-worker Reactions

Co-worker reactions play a significant role in how comfortable you feel with your tattoos in the workplace.

Your tattoos might spark different reactions among your co-workers. Some may find them intriguing or appreciate the artwork, while others may be more conservative and harbor reservations about visible tattoos. It’s crucial to be attuned to these varying perspectives.

If you notice any discomfort or negative reactions from your co-workers, it’s essential to address them professionally and constructively. Engage in open and respectful communication to understand their concerns and clarify your choice of having tattoos. This dialogue can help bridge the gap and create a more inclusive workplace environment.

6. Customer Interactions

Customer-Facing Roles: If you have a job that involves interacting with customers or clients, consider how your tattoos might affect these interactions. Some businesses prefer a more conservative appearance when customer-facing.

7. Covering Up

Covering Tattoos: If necessary, look into options for covering your tattoos at work. Long-sleeved shirts, pants, or makeup can help hide tattoos that your workplace requires to be concealed.

8. Legal Protection

Know Your Rights: It’s essential to understand your legal rights regarding tattoos at work. In many regions, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their appearance unless there’s a legitimate business reason.

9. Discrimination

Fight Discrimination: If you face discrimination due to your tattoos, address the issue with your HR department or relevant authorities. No one should be unfairly treated at work because of their tattoos.

  • Document Incidents: If you encounter discrimination at work related to your tattoos, it’s crucial to document each incident. Keep a record of dates, times, locations, and individuals involved. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence if you need to address the issue formally.
  • Consult HR: Reach out to your HR department to report any discriminatory behavior. They are there to ensure a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees. Share your documented experiences with them and express your concerns.
  • Company Policies: Familiarize yourself with your company’s anti-discrimination policies and codes of conduct. These policies often include guidelines for addressing workplace discrimination, and HR can guide you through the proper procedures.
  • Seek Support: Talk to colleagues who might have faced similar challenges or seek support from employee resource groups or forums within your workplace. Sharing experiences and advice can help you navigate the situation effectively.

10. Tattoos and Career Advancement

Career Goals: Consider how your tattoos may impact your career advancement. While tattoos are becoming more accepted, some companies might still have reservations about promoting employees with visible tattoos to certain positions.

11. Professionalism

Maintain Professionalism: Maintaining professionalism is crucial in any workplace, tattoos or not. It means not just doing your job well but also having a positive attitude and getting along with your colleagues. It’s about being a team player and contributing to a positive work environment. When you show professionalism, your tattoos are less likely to be an issue because your work and conduct speak for themselves.

12. Pre-employment Questions

During job interviews, you might get asked about your tattoos. Just be honest and professional in your response and focus on talking about your skills and qualifications. You can also mention that your tattoos have never affected your job performance or professionalism in the past. This way, you show that you’re well-prepared and confident, highlighting both your suitability for the position and your ability to handle this topic professionally.

13. Personal Choice

Your Choice: Ultimately, whether you choose to get a tattoo is a personal decision. If having a tattoo is essential to you, consider how it aligns with your career goals and find a workplace that respects your choice.

In conclusion, tattoos in the workplace can be a complex issue. It’s essential to understand your company’s policies, dress code, and industry norms. Be aware of how your tattoos may affect co-workers and customer interactions. Additionally, knowing your legal rights and being prepared to address discrimination is crucial. Lastly, remember that professionalism and your career goals should remain a top priority in any workplace, tattoo-friendly or not. Your choice to have a tattoo is personal, and you should find a workplace that respects your individuality while aligning with your career aspirations.

Tattoos in the Workplace: 13 Things to Consider
Date: 25 November 2023
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Useful materials about job search in your mail
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