Today I was asked the question, "what inspires you to come up with blogs?"

The answer is simple: "things that happen in every day life often inspire me."

If the truth be told, the blogs have been few and far between of late because inspiration is being cluttered with real life work, legals and end of financial year in Australia.

Jackson, a talented young guy on a 3-month internship with Marketing Eye asked the question and then followed with, "what do you think of tattoos?"

I had to think - not much. I don't have one myself, but many people do. They don't offend me, nor do I think that it would affect my decision in hiring someone or giving them a promotion, but this is not the case with all organizations it seems.
Will your tattoo affect your chances of a workplace promotion?

In fact, it has been reported that people over 50 years of age are more likely to find tattoo's in the workplace distracting, than their 35 to 49 year old work colleagues. A study by Pew Research Centre notes that 70 percent of those 18 to 29 years old that have tattoos conceal their body ink under clothing.

Yet, some of the world's most admired people are sporting tattoos and no-one seems to blink an eye-lid. In fact, according to Huffington Post, "hard-bodied David Beckham as 32 tattoos covering his body" while Angelina Jolie boasts a dozen or more. For the younger one's, Justin Bieber has 14 tattoos to his name and business woman / actress Jessica Alba has a few too. The most interesting though is the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa has "Born to raise hell" inked on his body. Now that's a statement for the 51st Mayor of LA!

Does tattoo's effect your chances of promotion in the workplace?

Firstly, it depends on where you work. For instance, if you work in a creative field, chances are that no-one cares and perhaps you will be seen as having an edge. Having said that, there are plenty of workplaces that tattoos are no-no's in and for the conservative at heart, it can almost be too much to bare.

Also, there are some careers, particularly one's in front of the camera that may find it hard to hire someone with a tattoo in a visible place particularly near their faces, necks or covering their entire bodies unless the scene permits. 

My advice is to think about it. If you really want one, ensure that just in case you have a situation at work that may restrict your chances of someone taking you as serious as the person next to you, ensure you can cover it up. If you are a rockstar, go for gold! Have as many as you want, but always remember, any inking on your body is like outlandish hair do's and dressing - it may effect someone's opinion (wrongly, I might add) of you and may hinder what could have been. Know what your personal brand is and what you would like for other's to perceive it to be and make choices wisely.

Note: The above is Jackson's tattoo - proudly on display!
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

3 comments

  • Jack Prendergast
    Jack Prendergast
    01/07/13

    The relevance of tattoos and a persons presentation.

    Whilst I couldn’t agree more on the fact that we shouldn't be judged by the way we look.
    Our bodies are a temple of freedom and some choose to celebrate that.

    That said there is a stigma attached to body art, which lets be honest isn’t all positive.
    Even from a young age I remember education playing an important part in our social construction.
    You were discouraged to be an artist, let alone have art on your body. So many of us have grown up with the perception that tattoos are a bad omen.

    But lets not go in to the past too much. These days the issue is a real mixed bag for employers. For example I know some bars particularly in Sydney where having tattoos is a must because as well as the look and feel of the establishment, it sets a standard.
    On the other hand a friend of mine went for an interview with the airline ‘Virgin Atlantic’ for a very prestigious position as a hostess. After weeks of applications she was called back for the final phase of interviews. Turns out that tattoo on her ankle was her only thing that stopped her from progressing. So who is is the wrong, the girl with the tattoo or the company that will not wise up to the times?

    The point is it’s all relevant to the situation but every employer/company will have a standard to which it must follow. The question is how flexible are they willing to be regarding such and everyday and insignificant factor.

    For the record I don’t have any tattoos, but I never say never!

    Personally If I was interviewing someone for a position, It would take me seconds to gain an understanding of that person... and not by the way they looked, but by the words that came out of there mouth.

  • Jack Prendergast
    Jack Prendergast
    29/06/13

    An interesting point about the relevance of tattoos and a persons presentation.

    Whilst I couldn’t agree more on the fact that we shouldn't be judged by the way we look, our bodies are a temple of freedom and some choose to celebrate that.

    That said there is a stigma attached to body art, which lets be honest isn’t all positive.
    Even from a young age I remember education playing an important part in our social construction.
    You were discouraged to be an artist, let alone have art on your body. So many of us have grown up with the perception that tattoos are a bad omen.

    But lets not go in to the past too much. These days the issue is a real mixed bag for employers. For example I know some bars particularly in Sydney where having tattoos is a must because as well as the look and feel of the establishment, it sets a standard.

    On the other hand a friend of mine went for an interview with the airline ‘Virgin Atlantic’ for a very prestigious position as a hostess. After weeks of applications she was called back for the final phase of interviews. Turns out that tattoo on her ankle was her only thing that stopped her from progressing. So who is is the wrong, the girl with the tattoo or the company that will not wise up to the times?

    The point is it’s all relevant to the situation but every employer/company will have a standard to which it must follow. The question is how flexible are they willing to be regarding such and everyday and insignificant factor.

    Personally If I was interviewing someone for a position, It would take me seconds to gain an understanding of that person... and not by the way they looked, but by the words that came out of there mouth.

    For the record I don’t have any tattoos, but I never say never!

  • Sofia - Marketing Eye Marketing Manager, Sydney
    Sofia - Marketing Eye Marketing Manager, Sydney
    03/06/13

    Interesting read - and food for thought. For a nation that caters to the minority on so many platforms, I find it fascinating that we're still - TODAY - judges and jurors when it comes to tattoos. This isn't an aggressive or ultra-biased post, it's a post that hopefully maybe provokes a different perspective.
    My brother has a beautifully tailored sleeve and is a THEOLOGY STUDENT. My best friend has nowhere left on her body except for her face and chest to tattoo and is a highly reputable professional in the beauty and health education industry. I myself have tattoos and service clients from all industries, face-to-face, on a daily basis. The way we project on the outside does not always reflect our soaring abilities.
    In a world where communities are being demoralised by governments and wars are an every day reality, it's interesting to me that tattoos are an actual issue in our lives. First world problems?

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