Piercings and tattoos in the physics community

  • #26
lisab
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Perhaps, but I see a hidden bias in there that piercings and tattoos are inherently bad, lumped in the same category as slobbishness.

There are virtually no circumstances in which slobbishness is a neutral or positive sign of a person. That is not true of tattoos or piercings. They are only bad if the job calls for an appearance that is on the side of conservative.

I agree.

And the requirements on appearance are always changing. I look at twenty-somethings these days and see maybe 50% have tattoos and/or piercings. That means in ten years, there's a good chance the interviewer will have tattoos and/or piercings. In that case, an interviewee's ink and/or posts might help to make a good impression.
 
  • #27
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There's a professor in our dept that recently got tenure that has ear piercings. He's a great researcher.

I don't know whether it would subconsciously affect your odds of getting hired, but most physics professionals would make a conscious attempt to ignore it. There will be some added pressure to show you're a smart, proven physicist. BUT, if you can manage to do that, you'll come out on top looking even cooler (that is, not only smart but presumed independent, interesting, and sociable). Of course, you don't need a tattoo to be fun and interesting. BUT, if you CAN'T show you're as good as any of the others, you might fit into a stereotype that you're not the "physics type". Also, i agree with lisab, tattoos and piercings are common among mid-20s people (though I don't have one .. thinking about it.)

P.S. Don't advise getting physics tattoo (no equations!). Get something more artsy.
 
  • #28
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I agree.

And the requirements on appearance are always changing. I look at twenty-somethings these days and see maybe 50% have tattoos and/or piercings. That means in ten years, there's a good chance the interviewer will have tattoos and/or piercings. In that case, an interviewee's ink and/or posts might help to make a good impression.

And then eventually those of us who don't have tattoos will be the ones having a hard time finding a job...
 
  • #29
StatGuy2000
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I have a tattoo, but which is not visible as long as I am fully clothed. I personally do not have anything against tattoos or piercings on individuals, but I can certainly see how it may be judged to be inappropriate in a professional setting, hence I agree with suggestions of getting them where they are easily covered up (if the OP wishes to get them at all).

And to the OP, my tattoo is science/math related! ;) (in fact, the lady at the tattoo shop told me that this was the first time she had ever received a request for a science tattoo! *LOL*)
 
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  • #30
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I think if you excel in your field, and have a reputation or make a good impression to others that you know what you're doing, then a tattoo is not an important factor.

However, if you are incompetent or people are already skeptical of your abilities, then a tattoo might hurt people's perception of you.

At my old job, the dress code was business casual, and I'm pretty sure exposed tattoos at a job interview there would be a big factor in choosing not to hire. An HR lady even came to my desk after 2 years of being there, and made a comment about my hair starting to get too long and asked why I haven't gotten a hair cut. It wasn't even long enough to put into some kind of pony tail.

I think tattoos aren't that big of a deal at most places, as long as you're respectful to people and are competent.
 
  • #31
DaveC426913
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However, if you are incompetent ... then a tattoo might hurt people's perception of you.
I think they've got bigger fish to fry than tattoos!
 
  • #32
Dr Transport
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Couple of tatoos, no piercings. None of them can be seen when I have a long sleeve shirt on, if I have a short sleeve shirt on and the sleeve rides up, they can be seen. Only one in my office to have one, but the group I work in right now, I am the only PhD. The management knew I was a vet when they interviewed me, so it never was an issue.
 
  • #33
DaveC426913
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