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Body Mod Blog: Tattoos and the Job Market

As college students, we are trained be prepared to enter the dog eat dog job market upon graduation. We are trained in academics, real world application, and taught to evolve from wayward juvenile to functioning adult. Yet there are so many aspects of the real world that cannot be learned in a job or an internship. One of which is the stigma of tattoos (and piercings) and a career.

The primary fear that my family had once I got a tattoo was how I was going to cover it up for a job. They worried that an employer would find me irresponsible and reckless because I chose to decorate my body with art. In some career fields, my parent’s worries would be completely warranted. Tattoo and piercing discrimination is still extremely prominent in many industries around the world, especially if someone were to try and become a teacher or doctor. Hiring employers argue that we live in an extremely competitive job market, which of course is true. But when you disregard someone’s body of work for their body of art, that’s where ethics come into play. What are college students with ink to do?

As someone who is passionate about tattoos and body art, I would personally never work in a place that did not support my choices of body art. Yet for many, this may not be an option. The key to working around the restrictions of a job and still having tattoos is all about placement. You can still be heavily tattooed, yet with careful placement you can still look ‘professional’ in the eyes of an employer. This means avoiding big chest pieces (mostly for females), neckpieces, facial tattoos, and tattoos on the hands. Every company has different tastes and preferences so it is important to fit your attire for their code of dress. If you work in corporate, button downs are already the norm and will cover up most of a sleeve. Pants and stockings are essentials for jobs and internships anyways, so you really don’t need to worry too much about that.  All and all unless you plan on being a swimsuit model, you can get as many tattoos that please you if you place them properly.

Studying Abroad in Firenze, Italy. Current Vice President and Blog Mentor of Her Campus Hofstra. Contributing Writer and Intern at Inked Magazine. A writer of all things body modification, beards, veganism, and feminism related.
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