Tattoos in the Workplace

mark williams

By Mark Williams

I’ve been getting tattoos since I was in high school. I’ve always thought they were interesting. I would go to 7-11 and look at all the tattoo magazines and XXL and see what was going on in the world of ink until finally I committed and got one. This is going back nearly 10 years. Growing up I had always faced the stereotype of having tattoos and having to cover them up for certain jobs and certain people. I never agreed with having to cover up for anyone because in my view, it’s my body, and my body is my canvas. No one can tell me any different.

It wasn’t until obtaining employment with Future Shop that I really changed my view of tattoos in the work place. When the interview was concluding, I rolled up my sleeves and said, “if these are going to be an issue, we can call it how it is now and walk away from here on good terms.” They said, ‘no, we don’t discriminate around here.’

Being face to face in a sales role I am often posed with the question of ‘what do your tattoos mean’? If nothing else, my tattoos have turned out to be a great conversation starter; although from time to time I do hear customers utter to themselves ‘I can’t believe they hire people like that to work here.’

I don’t believe that physical appearance affects one’s professionalism in the work place.

Talent is more than just skin deep; I’m probably the most heavily tattooed employee in the entire company and they still saw value in making me the Sales Manager.

It’s not the tattoos that make the person. Remember that.


  1. great article.. a never ending controversy even in 2015. However i believe the issue is improving.. i see tattied arms sticking out of all kinds of ‘average job’ employees’ arms as well as hospital medical professionals, and business folks all the time which you didn’t see much of years ago. xo Chola