Why that Tattoo could cost you your Job

Why that Tattoo could cost you your Job

If there is a trend that university students are latching on to nowadays, it is getting a tattoo.

From hideous images of snakes and dragons, to names of loved ones and ‘tribal markings’; youth are piling into tattoo parlours to get themselves ‘inked’.

As I watch them grimace in pain, I ask myself why on earth a person would need a permanent tattoo of Lil Wayne on their neck. Is it necessary at all? Does it make you look cooler, hotter, or more attractive?

Before we go any further, let me walk you through the process.

A tattoo is a permanent, or sometimes temporary, design on someone’s skin. In case of a permanent tattoo, pigments of a particular design are inserted through pricks into the top layer of the skin.

The tattoo gun is a hand-held machine that works like a sewing machine- it pierces the skin repeatedly using one or more needles. With every piercing the needles insert droplets of ink.  For beginners the process can be quite an uncomfortable ordeal.

Many people think that getting tattoos is fairly harmless, but that fancy design could land you in hospital. The skin breaching process is not foolproof to potential allergic reactions, infections and long-term skin conditions.

Though medical conditions can be treated, the long term effect of tattoos gotten in youth can affect one’s career.

Catherine (not her real name) is a 35 year old woman in a public relations company, and like many young people today-she got tattoos and facial piercings in college.

During the first weeks of working for the firm in Nairobi, dressed conservatively and her tattoos remained hidden for some time.  When she got a little more comfortable in her workplace, she started wearing sleeveless dresses that allowed her arms to show.

Three days later Catherine was handed a ‘standards of dress’ guide, by her immediate boss who just happened to be an extremely conservative woman.

Though Catherine was good at her job, she could not withstand the perceived discrimination. Two weeks later she handed over a resignation letter. Efforts by the Human Resource manager to help solve the issue did not go well with her and she opted out completely.

Catherine is an example of many other people who may be going through tremendous challenges owing to their love for tattoos.

You could get ‘rebel’ or ‘a gangster’ tag, and depending on your employer’s work culture.

So, before you settle on having a tattoo think thoroughly about it. Do you want to have the same tattoo 15 years later?   For example if you decide to have a permanent tattoo of your girlfriend/boyfriend on your neck are you fully convinced that in the case of a break up your next date will be fine with the conspicuous tattoo?

Will the people who matter to you be absolutely comfortable with it?

There are a lot of questions that you need to answer before having a tattoo running from your head down to your neck. The buck stops with you.

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