Tattoo enthusiasts are often advised to get inked in places that they can easily cover with a shirt or a suit. But the times are changing and along with that, so are people's perspectives of tattoos.
Growing up, we've all heard about how tattoos can ruin certain things for you. People have always had this pre-conceived notion about how tattoos are a downfall for your professional career. In many cases, tattoo enthusiasts have been discouraged from getting visible tattoos that could bring down the chances of them landing a corporate job. They're often advised to get inked in places that they can easily cover with a shirt or a suit. But the times are changing and along with that, so are people's perspectives of tattoos.
Attitudes about tattoos have changed with the frequency in which people get inked these days. There isn't a clear enough report that tells us how many people in America have tattoos but is estimated that over 29 percent of people in the U.S have at least one tattoo. That number has increased over the passing years, and with that shift, there has also been a changed perspective towards tattoos. 38 percent of young adults aged between 18 to 29 also have at least one tattoo on their skin. The growing acceptance of tattoos only points to changed perspective, but that isn't entirely true.
Having a tattoo doesn't change the person's competence, but it does bring down their credibility for the job. A survey held by Workopolis found that out of the 300 employers that were surveyed, 35 percent said that hiring someone with visible tattoos would depend on how many tattoos that the person has. But another 28 percent told surveyors that they would hire the person based on how many tattoos they had and how many of them were visible.
Another survey that was conducted by Kopywritingkourse found that there is a disparity in the way tattoos are perceived in a social setting versus a more professional setting. The surveyors asked subjects to rank a picture of a person who was not tattooed. After collecting those results, surveyors should the subject pictures of the same person, but this time, with a whole bunch of tattoos photoshopped onto their skin. The results showed that the picture of the same person with tattoos ranked relatively lower than the non-tattooed picture.
Interestingly, the results also greatly varied when the survey showed subjects a picture of a woman with and without tattoos. Subjects were asked to rank two photos of women, one with tattoos and one without. The women with tattoos ranked lower than the picture of them without the photoshopped ink. But the women as a collective scored much higher than their male counterparts, which is an interesting study in itself.
The varying results point to one thing: tattoos are still considered situationally appropriate. Some employers did admit that hiring someone with tattoos was not a problem depending on what exactly their roles and responsibilities were. While employers are accepting of tattoos thanks to a shifting culture, many others feel rather differently about people sporting tattoos. Employees who deal with customers were found to be put under a lot more scrutiny than their non-tattooed or their hidden tattooed cohorts.
Workopolis's surveyors also asked their subject about the reason behind the hesitation to hire someone with tattoos. They confirmed that it all was based on how the kind of job that person is going to be employed to do. While a few did admit that they wouldn't hire someone with tattoos based on their own personal bias against tattoos, many others said that having inked skin wasn't a marker for hiring an employee, it really just boiled down to what kind of role they would be filling out.
Employers are on the lookout for the charm and charisma of a person more than how they present themselves. But many did say that visible tattoos are alright, as long as it isn't racist or sexual. There are jobs out there that can allow such freedom of expression, but it isn't always the case. So the question remains, do tattoos take a toll on your professional career? The truth is that it's all situational and if you have a pretty chilled out boss who lets your true self shine.