Cover Up: Office Dress Code Meets Body Art
College students are getting tattooed and pierced faster than rabbits populate. It’s true. Studying campuses over the past several years and you’ll see how more and more people are either getting some kind of ink or getting some part of the body pierced. It can be a lot of fun. It is a great way to express yourself and it can really help you stand out from a crowd. While some pieces of body art are better than others, sorry tramp stamp but your time has passed, you need to be conscious of how these bodily adornments look in the work place.
Entering the work force straight from college can bring with it a number of daunting changes. One of the biggest changes is having to look and act professional. It isn’t necessarily hard but while in college you could show off that full sleeve of tattoos with pride. Now, operating in a professional setting, you most likely have to camouflage that big piece of gnarly body art.
Wait a minute. Employers can tell you what you have to look like? Sadly, yes they can. It is well within their rights to enforce a dress code as they see fit. The only restriction on this code is that it doesn’t discriminate against age, race, religion sex and gender. Unless your full body tiger tattoo is part of your religion then you are going to have to cover up somehow.
It is a necessary evil to adjust your appearance to your employers’ specifications. But, if you want your job or you’re interested in keeping one, you’re going to have to comply. Don’t worry most of these request aren’t draconian. It’s just a matter of covering up and playing by their rules for the time you are at work. Nothing is stopping you from rolling up your sleeves and letting your hair down after hours.
This all begs the question of why companies have dress codes in the first place. The main reason is that employers don’t want individual lifestyles to intrude on company time. People are there to work, not to express themselves. It sounds harsh but it’s true. Work is work, not play time.
Nevertheless, a secondary reason is that employers want their workers personal lifestyles to remain apart from the customers they interact with. Not all positions require interacting with customers but a good majority does. Managers don’t want the biases of customers to be a judgment against their company and employees. The best way to get around this is to just have workers dress conservatively and be unassuming.
So, the next time you are thinking about getting some body art, consider getting it in a spot you can easily conceal. It’ll make it easier for you to deal with on a daily basis and allow you to fit into professional settings a lot better than someone decked head to toe in piercings and ink.
Any personal horror stories about trying to integrate your body art into a professional setting? Discuss in the comment section.