There was a strange time, say, back in the fifties or sixties, that a person with a tattoo would somehow be linked to a life of crime. That seems almost ludicrous considering fifty years down the line almost everybody and their great aunt had one. But, for a long period of time, tattoos were not only visually offensive, but also chained to a collective group of people who supposedly favoured the tainted road. Now, whether that is true or not we'll never really know. But, the likelihood of every tattooed grandparent living dangerously in their heyday? Now that's laughable, to say the least.
Funnily enough, tattoos became more socially accepted during the 1970's in Western fashion. And, since then, more and more people of all ages have been taking the leap of faith and branding their bodies with anything their hearts desire. Whether it being the name of a loved one on a bicep or a pepperoni pizza slice on their forehead; the human population are finally braving the craze and going with the flow. However, as far as office environments go – well, that's another story entirely.
See, tattoos have always been rather taboo amongst many CEO's and line-managers. Maybe it's because certain tattoos still cause specific people to feel uncomfortable or anxious around them. That's often acceptable, of course. But, as of 2019, it's pretty much the norm to own random layers of ink on your body. Like me, for example. If I had enough money to my name I'd gladly tattoo the next thing that comes into my head on my body. It doesn't make me a thug or a wannabe sociopath. It makes me human, just like anybody else. Maybe a slightly idiotic human – but a human nonetheless.
Managers and corporate fat cats evidently have a problem which needs to be addressed. And that problem is simply making assumptions over an employees credentials based on appearance. That not only goes for tattoos, but for piercings and hairstyles, too. These minor things are often placed on a secretive list of cons during job interviews and performance reviews. Annoyingly, we aren't overly sure why. After all, it's not like having a tattoo affects our mentality and abilities to carry out our duties. Sadly, however, many offices still don't understand this.
"It's unprofessional" they say as they straighten up their ties. "You can't let a client see you like that!" they scoff. Yeah, sure, you may think that, and in some cases it might be true. However, that being said, how often has a tattoo offended anybody? I mean, what are the honest chances of a client walking through the door and spitting in disgust over a picture on your body? Yeah – not bloody likely, is it? But do managers read from the same page? Of course not. They never even open the book to begin with.
Tattoos, in a workplace, should be covered up if needed. But, in all honesty, they shouldn't really have to be. It's 2019. It's fine to have them plastered all over your body now. And, unless you've literally had F*** smeared on your forehead then there's no real reason to cover them up at all. It's not like it personally affects your productivity. If anything, it makes you feel more comfortable and welcomed in an office space when left open. That, in itself, can often lead to greater performance and a much higher enthusiasm for goals and line-managers. Whether this will ever be understood by the higher powers remains to be seen. But, speaking on behalf of over a billion tattooed office workers, I think we can all relate to the problem. And, believe it or not – we aren't all thugs, truth be told.
It's difficult to say whether or not 2020 will be the beginning of something new. Perhaps companies will see past the apparel and focus more on the talent of the individual. And, those minor features that once cost somebody a potential job, well, let's hope they're finally seen for what they're capable of and not how they appear.
As the old saying goes, 'never judge a book by its cover'. And, as for you recruiters, perhaps it's time to open the book and take a look what's inside. You might just be surprised at what you find between the lines of judgement.
#DayThree #VocalChallenge2020 #Blush
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