Are tattoos or hot-pink hair still taboo in the workplace?

new one Study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Got a lot of ink lately.

Title “Do employee tattoos leave an impression on customer reactions to products and organizations?” Its first author is Dr. Enrica Rugs, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Houston’s CT Bauer College of Business.

“We found that tattoos appearing on employees did not negatively harm customer behavior or shopping behavior in some white-collar jobs,” Rugs said. “Although customers had both negative and positive stereotypes about tattooed employees, these stereotypes did not negatively affect their attitudes and behavior towards tattooed employees. In fact, for customers who did not have tattoos. Employees who perceived tattoos as artistic and creative were more likely to positively evaluate tattooed employees and their organization.

If you’re someone with copious tattoos and/or a lot of piercings, or have a penchant for extreme fashion and hair (hot-pink dye jobs, anyone?), here’s what you need to know.

Scenes are a variable’

You no longer need to cover up your tarts.

“There was a time when tattoos were stigmatized more as a negative status symbol than we see today,” Rugs said. “Today, we see many more people across job types and industries, especially white-collar jobs, who have tattoos that may be visible at some point at work. When combined with the increase in tattoos more widely So I think people are more accepting of tattoos in the workplace environment.”

the data agrees

according to research linkedin50% of working Americans say there are parts of their personal lives and/or personality that they have stopped trying to hide or minimize at work since the pandemic began, with 16% of this group specifically Said this about his tattoos.

The professional networking platform also found that 63% of working Americans believe that, since the pandemic, managers and coworkers have begun to accept different methods of dressing, hairstyles, piercings, etc.

Rugs cautioned that there is still some negative bias from employers about appearing nonconformist, and noting that nearly half of working Americans report that a manager or colleague has said they behaved that way. were doing what was “non-professional”. Of this group, 13% say it was based on hair, skin or tattoos, so we still have a way to go.

Still, it seems that mainstream acceptance is increasing.
In late 2021, Jessica Hanzi Leonard of Cleveland was taking a professional shot at a new position and asked her manager if he was okay with her. Photo of him without his jacket showing off his hand tattoo for personal use on LinkedIn, but insisted that she would wear her jacket for the portraits for her company’s website. “Let’s roll with tattoos in both! Loud with pride!” said its managing partner.

“I had become accustomed to wearing long sleeves in the summer heat, tugging on my suit coat sleeves at every meeting, pulling my hair around my ear to see if someone had a small tattoo behind my ear. Getting any leg or ankle tattoos for fear of never being able to wear a skirt again in a business setting to avoid not getting glimpsed,” Leonard wrote of the experience. “Then sometimes, you are those leaders. Not only do they allow you to look every day, but they also expect it. Leaders who have recognized whether I’m in a jacket or not, I’m the same person, that business professional. , , A woman leader who will definitely be taken seriously.”

Don’t sweat in a job interview

The advice for rugs is similar to the advice for people with tattoos or lots of piercings. She would give to most people: “Highlight your knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences that show you are the right person for the job. These are factors that matter to employers,” she said.

However, it is a good idea to do some background research to understand the culture of the organization. “If you see signs that people aren’t accepting you because of your appearance, it could signal broader issues that you want to stay away from,” she said.

Carlotta Zimmerman, career coach of 14 years Located in the East Village, said that, above all, you must be confident in your appearance.

“The important thing about ‘extreme fashion’ is the confidence to pull it off,” she said. “If you’re going to an interview with purple hair and tattoos of Scrabble pieces down your shoulder, your clothes should also be fashion-forward. Own your look! Demonstrate that not only do you have a hairstyle that’s a must-have for you, you’re going to have to wear it.” The pink ombre is shaved to one side with bangs, but underneath that great hair lies a great mind, ambition, social skills, and commitment to company.

Zimmerman, who holds a Juris Doctor, remembers when she was on the career coaching panel at the New York State Bar Association.

“I had short hair and blue bangs at the time,” she said. “No one commented on my look, and in fact, I walked in with a handful of clients. The more you own your look, the more people in your office will say, ‘Yeah, Alissa Peterman. Great job with the account, ‘No, ‘Who? Oh, that purple-haired?’ ,

Some companies have strict policies

You’re not going to meet with open arms everywhere, whether it’s a law firm with white shoes or Disney World.

If you have your sights set on a company with a tattoo policy, Zimmerman says you’ll have to shut down your social media or “grow out your hair, hide your tattoos, and get your piercings removed.”

If you do, think for a second, Zimmerman explained. “Aren’t you removing some very special parts of yourself? Your tattoos and hair color and piercings probably represent something special to you. It might be time for you to really think about your career goals and identity.” match. . . or not.”

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