Tattoos in the Workplace

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Tattoos In The Workplace
Sarah Jo Phillips
December 19, 2009
Kathleen D’Aprix
In some professions, having visible tattoos is completely taboo and in others it is not only accepted, but embraced. What it boils down to is the level of trust the job requires. Tattoos can mean nothing to an observer, or they could mean everything. Those in professional industry such as doctors, lawyers and teachers are expected to be professionals and dress in a certain manor. The most basic mistake new employees make is under dressing," says Randall Hansen, a professor of business at Stetson University in Deland, Fla. "If unsure, dress conservatively. The best way to avoid a problem is to understand the corporate culture," (Reeves). Dressing conservatively means to not display yourself outlandishly or draw too much attention. Tattoos are like a piece of clothing that cannot be taken off. A doctor or lawyer or investment banker deals with a lot of money and appearance says a lot about a person. A client or patient probably would not put too much trust or money in someone that looks like a biker. On that same token, in a body shop or at a factory displaying a tattoo is not such a no-no. In these manual labor professions, it is often hot, sweaty, physically taxing work and short sleeves are the norm in which case some tattoos will be visible most of the time.What about those high powered attorneys that do have tattoos? “It's a 'don't ask, don't tell' understanding," says Boston lawyer Dave Kimelberg, who works as general counsel for a venture capital firm. " Kimelberg sticks to tattoos he can easily conceal under clothing at work -- in his case, three-quarter "ink sleeves" that extend from each shoulder to the middle of his forearms but allow him to roll up his shirt sleeves on warm days,” (Goodman). This example is the most effective way to deal with the issue. Instead of making it a controversial subject, just keep them covered up. With the changing times,...
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