Stop and think about someone you work with. Imagine that co-worker is told everyday to hide something of importance to them.

They are asked to conceal these images and words that help express their innermost feelings in the workplace.

However, the permanent investments placed on their skin remain  a potential concern for their employers. But why? Let’s look at this from another point of view. Have you ever taken a good look at someone and made an immediate negative judgment about their character just from the tattoos on their body?

Have you then stopped and thought that this person could actually be the opposite of your assumptions?

Tattoos hold a different message for everyone.

Photo Illustration by Brian Cantore / Photo Editor

Photo Illustration by Brian Cantore / Photo Editor

Many tattoos have a specific purpose – such as posing as a memorial for someone or something, or as a way of the individual expressing themselves. Whatever the circumstances, one thing doesn’t change – the tattoo itself.

Tattoos can even be an exciting part of college, resulting after a lot of planning to get your special design just the way you want, or after no prior thought or recollection of getting the tattoo at all.

So, can having a tattoo be deadly to your job search after graduation?

I don’t believe that a company should be reluctant to hire you because of the tattoos you have.

However, a certain demographic of customers may feel uncomfortable with your expressive ink in the workplace. For example, take a doctor.

Would you feel comfortable having a doctor with multiple visible tattoos consult your health concerns?

I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. However, someone younger visiting the doctor might be scared by visible tattoos displaced on their pediatrician.

This is why I feel that tattoos being allowed in the workplace have to vary from job-to-job.

Those who work behind the scenes, either at a desk, or doing janitorial duties should be allowed to have exposed tattoos.

However, individuals who work with people face-to-face may have to be careful about where their tattoos are located and what they depict. But, does having a tattoo (or many of them, for that matter) make any difference in how they are able to carry out a given duty?

Absolutely not. Ink permanently etched into someone’s skin will not make anyone a better employee, nor will it make them a worse employee.


Jennica Martin can be contacted at

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