Since tattoos have become more mainstream in popular culture, students should realize getting inked may not necessarily harm their chances for gainful employment after graduation.
An Oct. 3 University Star column dissuaded students from getting tattoos as it could limit job opportunities. The column encouraged students to wait until they have stable careers before getting inked.
As someone who has had two visible tattoos on my forearms for around seven years, I can understand why some students are wary of getting them. Being judged negatively because of a tattoo is not fun, but here is the thing—everyone gets judged for something. People are judged every day based on their skin color, name, sexuality and a variety of other characteristics. If I am going to be judged by people anyway, then I at least can have some control over what I am being judged for.
Nowadays, visible tattoos do not necessarily garner negative attention. Tattoos are more mainstream and accepted now than ever. Athletes and celebrities are just some of the public figures who are getting tattoos today. I would not even be surprised to find out some of the professors here at Texas State have tattoos hidden under their work attire. The days where only greasers and troublemakers got tattoos are long over. If that stereotype were still true, maybe more ladies would think I was a “bad” boy. Sadly, it does not work out that way. I get questions and compliments on my tattoos, but no ladies throwing themselves at me. The bad boy or bad girl stereotype is as dead as disco.
As students get closer to getting their degrees, there is pressure to have a solid resume to practically ooze professionalism. That said, I do not think getting a tattoo hurts students’ chances at landing an awesome post-graduation job. If a graduate has a great resume and positive can-do attitude, I do not think tattoos will detract from their employability.
Some students may be worried interviewers will see their tattoo and immediately write them off. There is a simple solution—cover that stuff up. It is a job interview, after all. Showing off inked skin may be fine when hanging at The Square and drinking a cold one, but not in an interview. Students should always wear business attire for job interviews no matter what. Students need only look the part and let their credentials do the talking.
Getting a tattoo can be a positive, life-changing event. It can convey a person’s religious or philosophical beliefs, or even symbolize a memorial for someone who passed away. A student should not wait until they are 30 or in a “stable” career to get one if they are ready now. Judgment may come, but that is a part of life. Going for something important like a tattoo can be worth it, believe me on that one.
Tattoos are not the scary, troublemaker signifiers they once were. If students are qualified and professional, having a piece of skin with ink will not be an issue. College students are capable of making mature, thought-out decisions and getting a tattoo can easily be one of them.