I got my first tattoo at the mature age of 18. I was at a tattoo festival in Dallas and I got it for free. Sounds sketchy because it was sketchy. I remember the thoughts going through my mind, “It needs to be small, easy to hide, and something I won’t regret”. A few minutes later I had my new permanent ocean waves on my left hip.
I laugh at it now, but regardless I still love it. It is literally a part of me and also it reminds me of such a fun time in life. Since then I have gone on to get five other tattoos. Every time I have gotten one I think about my employer and take into consideration that if I have something that cannot be covered, would it inhibit my ability to get hired or is it something easy to cover if my employer wants that. With having four tattoos on my arms, this is something that I have to take into consideration whether I like it or not.
According the the Dress Code and Grooming Policies an employer is allowed to require employees to cover tattoos as long as they are not doing it in a discriminatory matter. for example, allowing women to have them but not men. In an article by Lindsay Wigo it states that 40% of Millennials have tattoos and since Millennials are now the most employed generation according to a census reported by Richard Fry, just passing up Generation X, we are now the majority and just under half of the most employed generation is tattooed.
Yes, tattoos are becoming increasingly common and accepted among employers, which is great, but we still have employers who like their employees to keep them covered which is their right.
Every time I have ever interviewed I always make sure to keep my arm art covered, because no matter how much we don’t like it, someone could judge your character by what is on your body. We can’t control what others think, how they were raised, or how they perceive us. I like to give my employer a chance to get to know me first. I like to show them that I work hard and professionally. When I feel like they know me, I ask them if it is alright if my tattoos show. They may say no, and as their employee I have to abide by that. But I think it gives time to build a foundation of trust and respect with my oversight.
So, if you are a millennial, do you have tattoos? Do you show them at work? And what do you think about your employers telling you to cover them?
If you’re an employer, how do you handle employees with tattoos and what is your stance on this?
All answers are welcome and friendly conversation is encouraged.