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Tattoos and Nose Piercings and Job Candidates


Robby

The culture is changing. People who have tattoos and piercings aren’t part of an outside, fringe group of society. And that means these forms of body modification are entering the workforce.

First, some statistics on the practice of adding ink to your skin. A poll from Harris Interactive explains:

Currently one in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo (21%) which is up from the 16% and 14% who reported having a tattoo when this question was asked in 2003 and 2008, respectively.

Looking at some other forms of body art or expression, currently 49% of U.S. adults have pierced ears, which is consistent with the 50% who reported having pierced ears in 2008. Although ear piercing is fairly common, other piercings are not: only 7% say they have a piercing elsewhere on their body and 4% report having a facial piercing not on the ear.

Woman with Piercing at Work
© Flickr User me and the sysop

This change in the culture is starting to show up in business. In 2014, Starbucks moved to allow visible tattoos and also facial piercings (although face and throat tattoos are still not accepted.)

And it’s not just hip coffeeshop employees that get to express themselves through ink and hardware. A Forbes article quotes a Bank of America spokesperson on tattoos:

“We have no formal policy about tattoos because we value our differences and recognize that diversity and inclusion are good for our business and make our company stronger.”

Like many forms of self-expression and personal identity, there’s always a question about balancing who you are versus who others want you to be. There are certainly some professions where it might be more challenging to be accepted if you have blue hair or multiple nose piercings. But then again, do you want to work for a company or among a team that would reject you based on your appearance?

There are no easy answers when it comes to tattoos and piercings in the workplace, except for one: the more you learn to be accepting of others, the more likely you are to be able to find success in an increasingly diverse world. So if you’re thinking about making a change to your appearance, think as well about the people who will accept you for who you are.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, August 18 2015 » Corporate Culture, Success Consciousness

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