There is a general rule in the professional world that one should not have any visible tattoos displayed in the workplace.
It goes hand-in-hand with the ‘clean shaven’ look employers like to get from their workers.
While it is a widely accepted policy, this view seems a little outdated and a little too restrictive on a person’s right to free speech and expression in the modern world.
Now granted, when speaking of free expression, it is true that any employer also has the right to have his or her company projected in the way he or she wishes, so long as it doesn’t violate any state or federal laws in the process.
But in general, the tattoo policies that seem to be held by most businesses are maybe a bit too conservative for the year 2012.
Tattoos are not seen by most of society in the same way they stereotypically were in the past.
A person with a personal tattoo, perhaps even one with religious meanings, on their forearm or ankle can still properly represent a company professionally.
No one should be offended if someone with a tattoo on his or her arm showed up to a business meeting.
The person shouldn’t be looked at as a nuisance to society just because they have a little ink on their skin.
Tattoos make a person different, and companies should appreciate that they have individuals working for them, not a bunch of faceless workers.
Workers should be judged on the skill they bring to their position, not the way they look.
Granted, people should still be smart about what type of tattoo they choose to get if they plan on entering a professional workplace. Having more expression privileges by employees should be a compromise.
Face and neck tattoos might still be a little too drastic for most employers, while crude, obscene, and otherwise offensive images obviously should never have a place to be visible at work.
But something like an arm tattoo really shouldn’t be given as much grief as they are in this modern age.
Of course this is all an opinion on what should be the standards.
The fact remains that most employers will not want their professional-level employees sporting visible tattoos at the workplace.
For whatever the reason, it is the way it is, and the way it will likely stay for a long time.
So people, especially students, should keep that in mind when debating whether or not to get a tattoo, and where to get it if they decide to get one.
But the point remains that getting a tattoo shouldn’t disqualify you from a position.
It is time the negative viewpoint the business world has on any visible tattoo begins to fade.
A little ink on a person’s skin does not make them any less qualified for a position than the length of their hair does.
Companies should worry more about their employees’ work practices than what their employees look like. After all, it is the service the employee provides that is the true representation of the quality of the business.