If you’re young, having a tattoo is kind of like smoking cigarettes or trying a really, really short haircut: maybe not all your friends have done it, but enough have that you never thought twice before doing it yourself.
Perhaps that’s because in the last several decades, tattoos have entered the mainstream. Around 14 percent of Americans had one in 2008, according to a Harris Interactive study cited in College Crunch. In fact, notes a Pew Research study cited in Forbes, the number of tattooed individuals between ages 26 to 40 is 40 percent.
The problem? That age group represents the same people who are now looking to take their careers to the next level. Unfortunately, though your reasons for getting Captain Hook tattooed on your neck might be lost in the mists of time, workplace handbooks forbidding such a statement are not.
Top 3 Ways People with Tattoos Are Discriminated Against
Here are three ways having a visible tattoo can affect your work life.
#1 Getting Hired
It is legal for employers to discriminate on the basis of appearance, explains Jay P. Whickson for the Houston Chronicle. Age, sex, race, ethnicity: no. Tattoos: yes. You’ll have trouble fighting anyone who turns you away based on a visible tattoo, especially if a ban on such body art is specified in the company’s established dress code.
#2 Receiving a Promotion
Even if you get hired, you may axe yourself from the upper echelons by failing to take appropriate measures to look and present yourself appropriately.
#3 General Comfort
If nothing else moves you, consider this: While everyone else wears short sleeves and dresses on the hottest day of the year, you may still have to cover head to toe in order to hide your inky no-no.
What Can Be Done?
Luckily, even if you didn’t make the right choice one splendid Cinco de Mayo years ago, you can still do something about it, like hiding or removing it. Whatever you decide, make sure past decisions don’t affect future prospects.
Think your tattoo will present no problem when it comes time to find a job? Think again? tattoo discrimination is still alive and kicking, and could just bite you in the butt. Tattoo discrimination is still alive and well, so don’t get bit by it!