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Will a Tattoo Affect My Career

The only reason some people are on the fence about getting a first tattoo is the concern about how it may  impact their career prospects. Granted, this concern has been downgraded significantly over the last decade, with a recent study finding that nearly 50% of the Millennial generation has a tattoo. Still, before you take the step and get inked you need some assurance that doing so will not hamper your income potential. Well guess what? It may actually help.

How a Tattoo May Help Build Your Personal Brand

1. New Studies Show It Can Help Your Career

A large scale study conducted by the University of Miami Business School found that not only were wages/salaries of tattooed employees indistinguishable from that of employees without tattoos, they found that in many instances tattooed job seekers are even more likely to get a job.

This is rooted in the reasoning that people who get tattoos tend to exhibit creativity, individuality, and a clear ability to make significant decisions, traits that are imperative to success in today’s more spirited marketplace. By discriminating against tattooed prospects, businesses now know they may be missing out on some serious talent, which is not acceptable in a competitive environment. Again, given that nearly half of Millennials have tattoos, does a business really want to cut off half of the current and future workforce? Certainly not.

Paragraphs regarding tattoo restrictions in workplace handbooks are being deleted faster than Trump-to-Putin email history. Rules are either removed completely or now come with an addendum regarding placement (more on this below).

2. Industries Where Tattoos May Improve Personal and Brand Marketing

Tattoos can help promote personal brands, and we’re not just talking about tattoo artists and NBA players here. For example, in the major metropolises of Greater Vancouver and Toronto (each home to Adrenaline Studios) you will find bus stop ads featuring once buttoned-up Realtors with their sleeves rolled up to unveil sleeve tattoos as a means to show that they are an “agent of the people”. Even Maclean’s magazine ran a feature which referenced this specific example:

“(Borkowski) entered the industry 15 years ago, and made a point of showcasing his numerous tattoos in order to stand out in a sea of other agents. He figures he’ll have to play up that renegade image even more these days to compete.” (The Crazy World of Realtors in a Red-Hot Market, Maclean’s Magazine)

Standing out in a market full of “white noise” is indeed the key and more and more entrepreneurs and businesses are understanding this. Walk into the offices of a variety of small, medium, and enterprise firms from the following industries and you’ll find visible tattoos on staff and executives alike:

  • Graphic art
  • Web development and other tech-centric business
  • Fashion (retail, design, etc.)
  • Hospitality (events, travel, tourism, etc.)
  • Arts and theater
  • Interior design and decor
  • Contemporary real estate
  • Construction
  • Health and fitness
  • Automotive
  • Media (broadcasting, publishing, etc.)
  • Catering

Heck, the above referenced Harris Poll study also found that 58% of respondents would be comfortable seeing a presidential candidate with a visible tattoo. The walls are coming down folks. If you’re looking to stand out from the rest, a well-thought out tattoo can be a positive difference maker.

3. Placement Still Matters to Some

So the case in favor of a tattoo in today’s corporate environment is now more favorable that ever before. Should you go out an get a tattoo on the nape of your neck without worrying about tying your hair in a bun (man-bun included)? Not necessarily.

One of the key considerations for tattoo placement remains to be employment and career prospects. Obviously it won’t matter if your tattoo is covered through all four seasons (assuming you don’t work in a bikini or board shorts) but for when it comes to getting a sleeve or neck tattoo you may have to give it some thought because for some industries, including child care and education and finance, visibility still matters to many decision makers. You may want to hold off on getting tattooed on your hands, upper arms, or neck until you’re the one running the show.

Otherwise, for those working in the industries addressed in item #2 above, you’re not only in the clear you may actually improve your brand with ink. And at the very least you will no longer have to worry about employers or clients seeing your tattoo out there on the golf course because chances are they have one too.

Get started on defining your personal brand today, by contacting an Adrenaline studios near you.