Should a man have piercings

Piercing and tattoo in the job interview: is that possible?

Tattoos and piercings as well as body jewelry in general have long been socially acceptable. Everywhere in the street we meet people who are visibly pierced or tattooed. Whether tattoo on the upper arm or on the ankle, nose stud, lip ring or tongue piercing - the right to one's own style belongs to free democracy like expression of opinion without censorship. But that also applies to that Job Interview and the later job? Or to put it another way: How far do I have to and should I adapt to my future employer?

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Tattoos: attract attention, send messages

A recent study found that around every second American woman (47 percent) under 35 has a tattoo. For comparison: for those over 65, it is only four percent.

People have been tattooing themselves for more than 5000 years. The man from the ice of the Alps - Ötzi - still has visible tattoos on his mummified body.

Tattoos serve different purposes:

  • You mark, are personal expression.
  • You transport Embassies (from provocative to inspiring).
  • They serve the memory.
  • You should (supernatural) force to lend.
  • They signal (tribal)Affiliation.
  • You send erotic signals.
  • You should attractive do.

In particular, tattoos that are visible and can hardly be concealed usually fulfill several of these purposes in combination. You should be aware of it attract attention and speak to the viewer - like the sticker on a car or motto T-shirts. Sometimes they are even a form of passive aggression. But because the tattoos are supposed to attract attention, they also have Effects on the self-confidence of the wearer. Especially the wearers.

No question about getting a particularly eye-catching (possibly provocative) tattoo at all, you need one decent amount of self-confidence. At the same time, it acts on the same by telling the environment unequivocally: “Look, I am extraordinary, unique. I'm not afraid that you will look at me and my body. "

A study by the sociologist Jerome Koch from Texas Tech University has now come to the same conclusion. He found that mostly with college students multiple tattoos a significantly higher self-confidence and self-esteem than any other woman in the study.

Or as Koch himself writes:

I think that women in particular look at and experience their bodies much more consciously than men. Diets, cosmetics, plastic surgery and the ideal type images in the media all contribute to this. At the same time, tattoos symbolize an act of strength by turning temporary pain into art and expression of personality. In fact, we recognized in the observed women how they themselves became aware of their strength and remembered it emotionally again and again through the tattoo.

Is body jewelry okay at work?

Legally, the thing is pretty clear: Basically, are Tattoos and piercings are a private matter. First of all, they are subject to personal rights and can therefore be chosen individually and independently - just like the style of clothing.

However, this ends Worker's right to personal style wherever the employer has a justified interest in influencing this.

So about where he's one neat appearance of the employee justifiably wishes - for example when contacting customers. In this case, according to various judgments, the boss does not excessively interfere with the employee's personal rights.

Correspondingly, companies can also require affected employees to keep their hair clean and not greasy or that the male colleagues are either clean-shaven or have a well-groomed and not overgrown beard.

Can the employer prohibit tattoos and piercings?

But it can also mean that the employer can stipulate that tattoos and piercings - if this is still possible - not visibly worn Need to become. For example, if you have a tattoo on your forearm, you can be asked to wear long-sleeved shirts.

There are even professions that involve wearing body jewelry and piercings forbidden for safety reasons is:

  • Car mechanic For example, you are not allowed to wear chains, rings or piercings at work. Too dangerous - you could get stuck with it somewhere.
  • Same goes for Professional athlete, physical education teacher or certain sports in which piercings pose an additional risk of injury.

Also apply in medical and nursing professions Exception rules. Here it is above all the hygiene regulations that often prohibit workers from wearing rings.

Whether this also applies to facial jewelry has not been legally clarified. Earrings or nose studs do not necessarily have to come into contact with patients, but can - for example when changing beds or bathing - pose a risk of injury if the patient carelessly tries to hold on to something.

For employees, this also means, conversely, that as long as the clothing and body jewelry do not affect work performance or only have a very insignificant effect, do not endanger the employee and do not disturb customers, the employer cannot touch one of the skin. It only becomes problematic if you overdo it and also as a precious metal exchange or Art object could go through.

Tattoos and piercings in the job interview

But what does that mean for the interview?

Since there is no employment relationship at all at this point in time, the wearing of piercings or tattoos cannot be prohibited. The Personal rights remains unaffected here.

But if you are for example for a Apprenticeship or if you apply for a job and display your body jewelry in a clearly visible manner, you must assume that it will at least be noticed, perhaps even spoken to.

Banking and insurance

Especially in rather conservative professions and wherever there is a lot of customer contact, piercings and tattoos can be a problem. In banks and law firms or in retail, for example, they are still largely frowned upon. At least the noticeable ones. Hardly anyone will say anything against an earring.

But a lip or eyebrow stud or a distinct tribal on the neck can lead to bosses denying the Reject applicants - even if they would of course never justify that. Here everything depends on the clientele: If they are more serious and conservative, the employees are granted less individuality.

Creative industry and artistic professions

It is different with tattoos and piercings in creative professions out. Even the dress code in the job interview differs significantly from that in the banking and insurance industry.

Flesh tunnels or plugs are used by graphic designers, but also in the hairdressing trade - depending on the target group. Who as a freelancerin the media industry is active, has the luxury of being able to switch and control independently. To be on the safe side, your own appearance should be a bit more subtle, especially in the initial phase of acquiring new customers.

Public service

Who in turn Become a policeman can even be officially rejected because of his tattoos or piercings. On the website of the North Rhine-Westphalia Police, applicants are expressly requested for the selection process to indicate which tattoos, piercings or other body jewelry they are wearing. It also says about the police profession:

Police officers must always maintain neutrality in their function and, as an individual in public, always represent the entire police as an institution. That is why body jewelry as a sign of individuality is still generally not desired by the NRW police.

Nevertheless, a job in the law enforcement service is possible under certain circumstances with existing body jewelry. The decisive factors for this are the location, type and scope. Body jewelry are in particular: tattoos, piercings, scarifications, implants and the like. A distinction is made between the visible and the invisible areas of the body, the standard being the summer uniform (short-sleeved service shirt) of the police of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

New ruling on tattoos by the police

It happens again and again that candidates are sorted out in the application process for the police because they have a tattoo. So far, the police were allowed to make their own decisions. The following criteria were decisive for this:

  • The body decoration must not have any markings (e.g. symbols, flags, slogans) anti-constitutional organizations be or be confused with them.
  • He must not right or left radical or in general extremist nature be.
  • He must not sexist or misogynist, degrading and / or discriminatory, glorifying violence or the Violating human dignity be.

The training for the police is a matter of the state, so the descriptions vary from state to state. It is clear, however, if, due to the tattoos and piercings, “there are justified doubts about the character suitability of the wearer
of the carrier for employment in the law enforcement service are justified ”, then this leads to exclusion.

The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Berlin-Brandenburg has now decided that the Berlin police leadership may not refuse at its own discretion because of a tattoo, provided that purely aesthetic considerations play a role.

The point is that legally anchored separation of powers and the changing perception of tattoos among the population. Because the police leadership had assumed that the population would automatically perceive a tattooed officer as a deterrent.

The court, on the other hand, argued:

Whether the tattoos worn by the applicant as body jewelry with their own aesthetics and choice of motifs are also socially accepted by police officers or may be viewed as grounds for exclusion, however - as stated - requires the constitutionally required guiding decision by the legislature. (File number OVG 4 p. 52.18)

In the specific case, the candidate had large area tattoos with the Mexican motif “La Catrina” (a female skull) on the arms, which would also have been visible in the summer uniform. How it is assessed varies.

In another case, judges gave a tattoo to the one large lion head shows green light. The representation of the half-naked goddess Diana however, it was classified as sexist (file number 58 Ga 4429/18).

Between authenticity and adaptation

Now, an interview is usually no longer about the professional suitability of an applicant. Whether the qualifications are right can be seen in the CV and cover letter. Rather, the interview is a kind of Litmus test whether the candidate also fits into the company's culture and is willing to some extent to fit into the existing organization.

In short: it's about that Applicant's personality get to know each other and find out whether both sides are a good match. However, that harbors one dilemma:

  • The applicant should be like this authentic be as possible, not dress up, pretend or act. Only then will both of you know whether the collaboration can work.
  • To his so-called Fit To document subtly, the applicant should adapt his clothing and language to the respective style of the industry and the company during the interview. This increases his chances of being hired enormously.

Be Authentic or Customize? That is exactly the question!

And unfortunately there is no general answer to that, it remains a question of your own balance. Applicants must therefore ask themselves individually:

  • Are my piercings or tattoos just jewelry or part and an essential expression of my personality for me?
  • Can I still be authentic in the job interview - without any visible jewelry?
  • What is more important to me: body jewelry or my career?
  • Can I do without my piercings during working hours?
  • Can the tattoos be hidden on the job without major restrictions?

And last but not least, every applicant has to ask themselves whether it is not smarter to have the discussion about their own body jewelry on one later point in time to postpone if you have already proven your ability and willingness to perform to the new employer and a joint one Foundation of trust created is.

Strategically, it can therefore make more sense to use his Hide tattoos for job interview and temporarily remove any visible piercings.

Ultimately, it is always up to the boss's tolerance (and a few laws) whether such body jewelry has a positive or negative effect on the course of the interview. However, since there are a number of other factors, it is often more successful to measure the number of potential variables to zoom out.

Are piercings a reason for termination?

The social acceptance of tattoos and piercings is changing. And what changes for society as a whole also has an impact on the application process and work. In fact, perception has changed since the 1990s.

Until then, tattoos and piercings were mostly found among seafarers, addicts and criminals, but now they are across the board all classes of the population to be found, as a study by Bochum University (PDF) shows.

As stated above, divorce depending on the industry nevertheless the ghosts - partly out of fear that customers might have certain reservations, partly for hygienic reasons. Anyone who appeared on the application photo and in the interview without a piercing and received a job should deal with the employment contract:

Is explicitly referred to there It is forbidden to wear body jewelry or to have tattoos pointed out? In any case, both should be irrelevant for invisible, covered areas. What the employer can demand: That body jewelry has to be removed / undressed if it poses a safety or hygiene risk.

Employees can also be asked to get tattoos masking or covering. Unless they are clearly racist or otherwise discriminatory or criminal, warnings or dismissals are unlikely.

The situation is different if you violate company guidelines by signing up for a permanent position visible tattoo get stung. A warning and ultimately a termination can follow here if you can be shown to have acted against the order.

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