Saturday, June 8, 2013

To Tatt Or Not To Tatt … That Is The Question

This article by Cathy Sage, our HR recruiter guest contributor, may not have much relevance for the modular home factory side of our industry but it certainly has a huge impact on the retail side. With conservative Boomers ready to spend money on a new home, do you think they will have confidence buying a home from a sales person with spider webs running up their neck and faces tatted with tears and stars? Here is Cathy's latest article:

So what’s the answer?  This is somewhat of a controversial subject in the workplace.  Should you or should you not decorate your body as a human canvas? Of course this is a personal choice and it is your business, and your body. But in some circles, it may be wise to look at the bigger picture when it comes to painting a big red heart with “Mom” scripted across your bicep, face or neck. 

Most employers have a pretty good idea of whether or not they wish to meet you by your qualifications in your resume. What is a mystery, however, is how you will present yourself and be perceived by the prospective employer in person? How will you be representing their company with visible tattoos? Tattoos are a part of you, the product. If they are visible, they can be distracting and cost you your great impression.

 Statistics say that 14% of Americans are inked and it seems to be a growing trend. It is fair to say that some companies are more lenient with this trend than others. We now live in a world that is diligently attempting to be more socially and culturally diverse for the inclusion of others. This means some contemporary industries standards are lightening up a bit. Others? Perhaps, not so much.

The idea that some companies are relaxing these standards isn’t so surprising in the blue collar sector of the work force. What is surprising is how more tolerant industries such as corporate, and other conservative fields have become. This school of thought stresses that it is more important to look at how qualified a candidate is on paper, as opposed to how they look inked with the colors of  teal and purple across their chest. Some employers have commented that if all they saw were the tattoos and not the person beneath them, and their qualifications, they would have missed out on some pretty impressive talent in their place of business.

Others say it is no different than someone with an outrageous hair style, ostentatious clothing or over-powering perfume. Like anything else, if it is offensive and becomes a distraction in the work place, it is not perceived as professional or good for business.

Something else to note is a study by Career Builder in 2011. It revealed that 31% of employers surveyed reflected that employers would think twice about promoting an employee with a visible tattoo.

Discretion in your profession
Having a visible tattoo in 2013 in the work place isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. But discretion still remains the better part of valor. A suggestion would be, if you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it.  In the end, it’s still a free country. It is your business and your body. If you wish to be a human canvas, have at it. This is your personal choice. Of course, be advised that it may be prudent to consider the big picture for the sake of your career and those who may not be so tolerant. If you don’t put that big red heart with “Mom” scripted across your bicep, face or neck, trust me, Mom will still love you, and know that you love her, all the same.


Cathy L. Sage is President of Robert Sage Careers, LLC; an Executive Search Firm and Job Board Publisher that specializes in the Factory-Built Structures Industries. Cathy can be reached at 727/ 504-5350 or at cathy@robertsagecareers.com . For more information about the company and to visit the job board, access http:///www.robertsagecareers.com

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