What’s Up Your Sleeve?

Visible tattoos hurt job prospects. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact – one that is constantly reevaluated by research groups and psychology students year after year. In 2015, a 2700 person survey found that 76% of people felt tattoos hurt a job applicant’s chances of landing a position and 42% of those same people felt visible tattoos were inappropriate in the workplace.

Yet over 40% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo. Tattoos have been on the rise in popularity for quite a few years now, even though the attitude towards visible tattoos in the workplace still hasn’t changed.

The reason we bring this up is because sleeve tattoos are the most common tattoo forms people worry about getting because of how it may impact their potential job prospects later in life. Most other forms of tattoos are easily covered up without having to sacrifice comfortability, but the thought of perpetually wearing long-sleeved attire even during sweltering summer weather often turns people away from getting the sleeve tattoos they so desire.

Do Sleeve Tattoos Actually Harm Your Job Prospects?

The answer is a little more involved than a simple yes or no. The truth is that it entirely depends on the field you’re planning to build a career in.

As long as you’re not expected to appear on camera, people with creative careers can wear and sport whatever tattoos they want. Their work and credibility is almost entirely derived from their portfolio and previous accomplishments. Creative individuals are often expected to be eccentric to some degree, giving them a bit more freedom than more rigid work environments.

Office jobs are a bit different. There’s a level of professionalism expect in just about every job position that takes place in an office building. These are the jobs you have to worry most about when you start thinking about getting a visible tattoo. However, many office professions require employees to wear suit-and-tie attire whenever they’re at work regardless of their general appearance and/or the weather. If you’re going to uncomfortable and your arms are going to be covered anyway, then you might as well get the sleeve tattoos you’ve always wanted.

Lastly, it’s important to note that the social climate and general attitude towards tattoos is changing rapidly. It’s tough to get a job with or without tattoos nowadays. Being part of the former could actually cause you to stand out from the crowd and be remembered, which certainly doesn’t hurt your prospective hiring chances.

In the end, if you work hard and stay persistent, you’ll find the job you’re looking for regardless of whether or not you have sleeve tattoos. So follow the example shown below and get the sleeve tattoo you want today. It’s better to be yourself and let the chips fall where they may than to be someone you’re not.




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Danis Nguyen @danis_ink


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Ben Griffiths @bengriffiths_tattooer


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Potter Seunghyun Jo @seunghyunjotattoos


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Ivan Cvetkovic Tattoo @ivan_cvetkovic_tattoo


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