A Guide to Tattoos in the Workplace

Being an individual that some would call “heavily” tattooed, I’m no stranger to tackling both interviews and the daily grind with my ink in mind.

And while society is becoming more accepting of body art, there is still a fair amount of judgement that gets thrown around, particularly in the workplace.

But that doesn’t mean you and your tatties can’t have a long and fulfilling career doing whatever it is that makes you happy, you just have to play it smart.

Here’s what to keep in mind.


Avoid the everlasting jobstoppers


Tatties are rad, but to use a phrase that sounds a little more adult than intended – you have to think before you ink.

A jobstopper is essentially a tattoo that you can’t easily cover up; hands, neck, face etc.

What job do you currently hold and what job do want to have? These are important questions to consider when deciding what and where you want to be tattooed.

If you need to wear a suit everyday, you can go nuts on almost your entire body and unless you want them to, no one at work will ever know about it.

And as much as you’d love to tattoo your hands and neck, it may limit your career possibilities in the future depending on the industry you’re in, so think long and hard before you go for it.

Also, if I can digress for a just a moment, don’t be the Muppet that just gets hand tattoos and nothing else. Why would you even do that?

Don’t do it.


Cover up… at first


Your tattoos don’t dictate how good you are at your job and you know that, but some will happily pass judgement before you’ve even said a word to them.

When you’re attending a job interview – it goes without saying – you should cover up and present yourself nicely.

When you get the job, suss the dress situation to see what is and is not acceptable. If there are other tattoo enthusiasts among you, you can feel fairly safe in letting your ink run free.

If you want my advice, cover up for the first couple of weeks regardless. This gives your employer a chance to get to know you and the quality of work that you do without any bias, intentional or not.

When the tatties do make an appearance, you’ll often find that people are surprised and will say things like “oh wow, I had no idea you had tattoos!” At the end of the day, you’ll find that the vast majority people don’t mind them at all.


Don’t let them hold you back


Don’t sell yourself short on opportunities just because you think your tattoos will be a hindrance.

Even some models and actors can make it as heavily tattooed people. Hell, if the dude with skull on his face can score a big-time modelling gig, you can do just about anything.

Ink has never stopped me from doing anything I’ve wanted to do and it never will. Cover it up when you need to, follow your passions and do what you want do.