About a year ago I decided that I was going to get a tattoo and a few weeks ago I actually went and got it (it took a lot of mental preparation).

I got the word “courage” on my chest next to my heart and yes, it hurt. I plan on getting two more, but after I got it and started to tell other people about it, I began to realize how many of my friends had piercings and tattoos.

Tongue Piercing

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What about other students?

While I have my tattoo in a place where only my doctor and God can see, a lot of the students I go to school with have outlandish tattoos in obvious and visible places.

These are the same people that want professional careers.

Tattoos are a great form of art, but honestly, few employers would jump at the chance to hire someone with a body full of tattoos and holes…especially those that are visible to customers or clients.

A friend of mine who also works as an RA in one of our campus dorms has nine piercings:

“I got my ears pierced when I was a baby, then my cartilage when I was 17-years-old. My other piercings like my tongue, belly button and lip I got while I was in college.” The grand total? About nine piercings. “I like the idea of decorating my body, it’s artistic in its own way and it fits my personality.”

One of my guy friends has three completely visible tattoos:

“I got my first tattoo when I was 16. At the time I just really wanted a tattoo that would mean something, so I got praying hands on my left arm.”

He majors in Biology and plans to go far with it after graduation, but will his tattoos get in the way?

“I know I’m not going to be able to get a professional job without covering my tattoos, but I’ll make it happen,” he says.

Are tattoos and piercings appropriate for the workplace?

Tattoos are a great way of self expression and I absolutely love mine, but when it comes to professionalism and body art; you might want to either think about the placement of your tattoo or think about whether or not you should get one at all.

Whatever your profession, tattoos lessen your credibility as a professional and it’s not hard to see why.

Think of it this way: it’s going to be hard to seriously teach a class one day with “Sexy Bitch” tattooed across your arm, so if you want a tattoo, be tasteful and make it easy to hide.

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