I remember when I was a kid, my parents told me I should never get a Tattoo. They told me that I wouldn’t be able to get a job.
There always have been and always will be stigmas that come with people who look different from others.
I remember thinking then, even as a youngster, how ridiculous that notion was. And I was right. Over the last twenty years, things have changed. In fact, a large percentage of adult Americans have at least one tattoo.
Appearances matter when it comes to first impressions, which is usually going to be in the form of a job interview. But when you work from home or as a freelancer, no one cares. Here are some examples from wfh office associates that many of you can relate to, even in 2018.
Matt the Editor
I came up in kitchens. While you would think that kitchens are full of immigrants and scum bags (you’re mostly right), I grew up in a small town. As I started to get Tattoos, the other people I worked at started to look at me with disgust.
They thought my ink was unsightly, unchristian, and possibly even related to the occult or white supremacy. They thought this because the only people they personally knew with tattoos were those types of people. This is the kind of thing people deal with in a small, close-knit community. And by close-knit, I mean in small towns, everyone makes a habit of getting into the business of others.
Eventually, I got out of that town and I rarely go back. Since moving on, no one has ever said a word to me about my tattoos, unless they have questions about where I got mine or my general experience, which I think is fine and quite a large improvement over what I experienced in my teens and twenties.
I had a short, rebellious phase. I got my ears pierced when I went to college. I was a young man in a large city.
No one really treated me any differently. This was in the mid-2000s in Seattle. Everyone had piercings at that point. The only people I noticed being treated any differently were the people who had their ears gauged. I remember my roommate in college had half-inch hollow plugs in his ears, the kind with a hole and you could see through them.
When we went to grocery stores or went shopping at the mall, security would always follow him around, assuming he was on drugs or a thief. I remember thinking it was weird but he kind of had it coming for looking different. It’s funny how we change our thinking about things as we get older. I no longer have my ears pierced but I truly believe that no one’s appearance should matter when it comes to what they do for a living. It’s all about performance and quality.
This is why I love freelancing so much. We’re, at least for the most part, faceless. No one is looking at us. The only thing my clients care about are the words I turn in and the only thing I care about is my payment.
My grandmother flipped out when I got my tattoo. It’s on my lower back. I had just turned 18 and I may have been a bit tipsy.
She said that I was “asking for it”. Men would think I was easy and I was a target for sexual assault. And the police and my friends and family wouldn’t believe me if something like that happened because that’s just how people think about people who have tattoos.
I thought that was absurd and I still do. Last I checked, predators don’t need much of a reason to assault a female. They don’t care about tattoos, piercings, or lack thereof. I have an amazing boyfriend. He doesn’t care about my sleeve or the silly tattoo I got when I was a kid. He loves me for me.
I’m a full-time freelancer and no one has ever had anything to say about my tattoos. Before I went into freelancing, I had one issue. I was waiting tables at a chain restaurant known for its hookup culture. The guys were always cat-calling me whenever I bent over because my tattoo would show. I didn’t go to management about it. I’m an adult. One day I got fed up and let them have it then and there. Never had an issue after that.
I don’t have any piercings or tattoos. I never have and never will. It’s just not my thing. But I’ve had to deal with a lot of crap over the years when it comes to how I look.
My hair is thick and is hard to manage. It just goes everywhere. It does whatever it wants to do.
I also don’t like wearing neckties or tucking in my shirt. I’m just not comfortable.
My first job out of college, I had to wear a suit, uncomfortable shoes, and keep my hair looking nice. It cost me a small fortune in hair product and I was absolutely miserable. That’s when I decided to find a career where my appearance didn’t matter. When it comes to traditional work and working from home, you can compare here. It took a few years for me to find freelancing, but I’m never going back to the suit and hair gel life.
It’s so much easier to perform well when you’re comfortable.
Do you really want to work for a person or company that cares more about how you look than how well you perform?
If you like not dressing to impress, try freelancing. If you’re tired of people judging you for your tattoos or piercings, then work from home.
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