How tattoos are perceived in professional world

By Amanda Cundari
November 26, 2012


Tattoos are so common nowadays that it’s almost strange to not have one.  However, as common as they are, is it safe to say you will still get a job with a tattoo?

“I cannot isolate my tattoos as being the cause of missed job opportunities” said Dr. Michael Wehrman, a sociology and criminology professor at Cabrini College.  “However, it never had any negative ramifications here at Cabrini.”

Tattoos are literally all over the place.  Whether you go to your local food market or turn on your television you will find celebrities ranging from Angelina Jo Lee to Megan Fox sporting tattoos.  It would almost be strange if professional athletes in sports such as basketball, football and baseball, to ultimate fighters didn’t have tattoos.

“It all depends on where you are at in the professional world,” Wehrman said.  “If you look at Wall Street being slightly unshaven would be seen as a violation of social norms. If the stringy still exist it is because that company can afford to reinforce such social norms.”

Tattoos seem to have such a bad reputation because even though they are so common they still remain a display of deviance.

“Any body modification whether it be tattoos or piercings still display deviance even though the danger is remarkably less,” Wehrman said.  “Without being overt the stigma of ear piercings alone in the past for males meant you were willing to be openly gay in public.”

Body modifications seem to have negative connotations within the professional world given their history.  They were a presentation of going against social norms and acting at risk.  The professional world assumes a future or non-future employee is a rebel if they have a tattoo or body modification.

Therefore it all depends on where you see yourself within the professional world.  Ask yourself, is it worth job opportunities?

Wherman’s advice to students before getting a tattoo:

–        Know and study your artist

–        Look at your artists portfolio

–        Have an engagement period of at least 30 days

–        Ask yourself after 30 days if you are still as firmly committed and as excited about the design and if the answer is yes then you will probably be ok with it

–        Do not be spontaneous when it comes to tattoos

–        Make sure the shop is clean


Amanda Cundari

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