Opinion: Tattoos Should Not Make You Wave a Career Goodbye

Many young people are visiting their tattoo shop in town and adorning themselves with a piece of ink. In fact, according to Harris Interactive, twenty percent of Americans have a tattoo. That’s a lot of people either in the job world or taking steps to enter the job world. If companies had to fire one in five employees because of tattoos, they would be in trouble on many levels…so why are tattoos still so frowned upon?

Maybe the negative stigmas come from the history of using tattoos to mark criminals. Or maybe tattoos are so widely hated because of what the Bible has to say. After all, we are a very religious country. Whatever the reasons are, it’s a scary thought that I won’t be able to support myself because of what I have in my skin.

I don’t think having tattoos should be something employers judge me on. I want them to look at my abilities and talents and my skills. I work hard to strengthen my resume and I don’t want to be turned away because of my personal life. Thankfully, in this age, tattoos aren’t the end of my career dreams. This CBS article says that employers are worrying less about tattoos, and Karen Hudson compiled a list of tattoo-friendly companies.

Unfortunately, while tattoo acceptance is growing, not everyone is embracing the idea of hiring an inked employee. A study was done by Dr. Andrew Timming and Huffington Post reported that employers are concerned mainly for what their customers might think of tattooed employees. Employers have “….concern that visibly tattooed workers may be perceived by customers to be ‘abhorrent’, ‘repugnant’, ‘unsavoury’ and ‘untidy’.”

As a member of the tattooed community, I hope that in the near future employers will care less about tattoos and care more about the abilities of their employees. I was always told, as I’m sure many of us were, that it’s the content of our character that counts, not our physical appearance. So why are tattoos the exception?

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