Reviews | Tattoos Should Not Impact Applicants’ Job Chances | Opinion
Tattoos are not the end of the world, and if you have a problem with them I suggest you go back to the 19th century.
I grew up in a household where my mom only had one tattoo and only got it when she was 8 years old. Last year she got one more, bringing her total to two. My dad doesn’t have a single tattoo and never will. I, on the other hand, am another story.
I called my mom about a week ago to tell her that just three years after college I got my 24th tattoo. My mother was not angry or surprised to hear that. Instead, she asked me for inspiration for my new ink.
I currently have two half sleeves. I easily spent over a thousand dollars in tattoo shops, but I wouldn’t change a thing. While my body modifications make me unique, they don’t make me less of a candidate for a job than someone who’s never seen the inside of a tattoo parlor.
Nowadays tattoos are common. Roughly 40% of people between 18 and 34 years old have tattoos. Because they are so popular, tattoos have to become socially acceptable in the minds of older generations. However, when I sit in the armchair of a tattoo parlor, I can’t help but wonder if I will be able to find a job in a year or two. I shouldn’t have to worry about this.
I remember arriving at a long sleeve interview because I didn’t want their first impression of me to be about my tattoos. After the manager and I had the interview and she told me about when I could start, I sat there in fear. I was worried that by the time I showed up for work in short sleeves, I would become unemployed again. So I had to ask the dreaded question: are tattoos allowed?
The intolerance of tattoos is not the fault of employers – well, not entirely. For generations people have associated body art with acts of criminal behavior, when in reality, 10 to 19% of people in prison have tattoos.
Normally I get more compliments than insults when it comes to my tattoos. So, I guess my body art has the potential to be enjoyed even though some workplaces won’t.
For me, tattoos tell a story, my story. The tattoos on my body are not there for the show or to fill an empty space. I chose each of my tattoos and their locations for a reason. I think twice about what I put on my body and how it will affect my future. It’s not a last minute decision on a Thursday afternoon, although I thought about it.
To be fair, I understand the general concern about offering a job to someone with tears on their face or a half-naked woman on their arm. Even as a person with over 20 tattoos, I have questioned the character of people based on their choice of tattoo, even though I know everyone is entitled to their own body art.
We are nearing the end of 2021 and the tattoos are here to stay. I won’t stop getting a tattoo for years to come, and there’s no reason I can’t find a job because of my floral forearm. When we apply for jobs, we submit a resume. Employers should care more about the work an employee can do, not the art they choose to share on their skin.