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Tattoos and flying


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While in the military, I along with everyone else got tattoos.  I got a little carried away and have my right arm completely covered.  I'm getting ready to start my training, and a little bit worried to wear a short sleeve shirt and see if it changes anyones views on me.  Also I wonder if it will hurt me down the road when I am looking for a job.  Please let me know what you think.

 

Thanks.

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Hmmm!

 

Nate,  I wouldn't worry too much.  I know a very good pilot who has tattoos on his arm.  It hasn't seemed to hinder his career.  A good company will judge you on your knowledge and your flying ability...not what you look like.  Dress, think and fly smart and I think the tattoo will not be a problem.

 

Oh, the joys of being young...and stupid!  Let this be a lesson to everyone who might go out, get pissed and come back with a tattoo.

 

Joker

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The following is my opinion on the business world in general.  I don't have enough experience with this particular industry to speak intelligently about it.  Now that that little disclaimer is out of the way-

 

In my dad's generation, people with tattoos were definitely considered the dregs of society, if you will.  In fact, my almost 50-y.o. dad once referred to people with tattoos as "second-class citizens."

 

However, comma, pause for effect... As a 26 year old man I have more friends than not with tattoos, not just from the military but from back home as well.  A tattoo these days no longer has the social stigma that it once did, at least in my peer group.  It's seen more now as another form of personal expression.  I realize that most employers hiring someone my age are slightly-to-significantly older than me, and that they still hold their beliefs on this subject, usually contrary to mine.  In the case where your prospective employer/interviewer is a fair amount older than you, maybe 15 years or more, I think it would affect your chances of getting a job.  I also think, though, that we're going to begin to see a shift in this trend in the next 10 years or so as workers my age begin to fill middle-upper management positions.  At least that's what I'm banking on- but I still got my two tattoos (and any more I may get) in places where they would be covered up by a short-sleeve tshirt and average-length shorts.  

 

I know that this doesn't really answer natedogtown's question, but I think it's short-sighted these days to associate tattoos with unsavory personalities.  Now, if he came up to me in dirty clothes, smelling like he hadn't had a bath in a few days... that may be cause for concern:D

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If I were in your situation, I would wear a nice long sleeve dress shirt to all your interviews. During the interview, ask if they have anything against tattoos. If they say no and ask why you asked, just say you have tatoos on your arm which is why you wore your long sleeve shirt.

 

If I was hiring someone and they said that to me, it would show me that they care about there appearance and take measures to avoid a possible awkward situation. (assuming they hate tattoos.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like tattoos and have nothing against people with them, as I have plenty of friends with them. Just do something to show the person you're trying to impress that you will take measures to cover them up if they disapprove of them.

 

Just my take on things...

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Quote myself:

Oh, the joys of being young...and stupid!  Let this be a lesson to everyone who might go out, get pissed and come back with a tattoo.

 

Just before anyone misreads me here, what I meant by that was simply, "Put a little thought into it!  Ask yourself...will I regret this in 30 years"  I have nothing against tattoos myself!

 

Or do what I did which was 'wait 30 years' and then get one!

 

Joker

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i am twenty two and landed my first job just after my cfi ride. my employer never really noticed the barcode on my wrist which usually blends in with my watchband, he finally noticed and thought it was funny. he went on to show me the tattoo he had removed as he said ya i had a little to much to drink, i woke up and it was there. so i dont think that tattoos will make or break you, as long as they arent offensive. now i keep all my tattoos above the sleeve, one you can see if my shirt gets bunched up.
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  • 1 year later...

My two cents: Wow! What an incredibly narrow minded and ignorant comment to make! Why in the world exactly wouldn't you want to "associate" with people who have visible tattoos? I know this is a real old topic, but in searching for people's views and opinions on how my own visible tattoos would be looked upon in this industry I wasn't planning to comment... but this needed a comment and I hope we can refresh this topic!

 

First of all, tattoos are a personal choice and unless you're one of these "follow the trend" people who get silly tattoos to look a part, chances are the ink under your skin is symbolic of something. No offence to the people out there who get stuff done cause its pretty or whatever... like I said, personal choice! I don't know one person in fact, who has been marked for life who doesn't have an amazing or moving story behind why they've chosen to get tattooed.

 

I have my father's nick name for me tattooed on my side... when he died I was so torn up about it and I felt that this just symbolized the wonderful bond we had! It will never be removed and its a physical manifestation of whats in my heart.

 

On my left wrist I have the red star... this one gave me a moments pause simply because, well, its the red star! But when I researched it more I realised that everything it stood for in my mind was further validated by the real symbology behind it.

 

I would HATE to think that a future employer would be narrow minded enough to pass me up as a candidate for a job based solely on the fact that I have chosen to express myself with body art. Because once I am finished training, I know the type of pilot I will strive to be and it would be idiotic in my opinion, to look anyone over who has a love and passion for the aircraft and the industry on the whole!

 

I plan to get more work done... a pretty big one on my back next month actually... and if I choose to get anymore that are visible, then I say thats my perogative! Natedogtown, two years after your original post and I'm not sure how your being tattooed has affected you since, here's something to consider... would you really want to work for a company who wouldn't hire you for such an assinine reason? What if you happen to be an amazing pilot and someone who will be an essential part of their team? I'd feel pretty damn stupid if I passed up someone with amazing potential just because of a tattoo!

 

<font color='#000F22'>Just my two cents, but..............

 

Visable tattoos work very well to act as a filter to keep the people you wouldn't want to associate with away.</font>

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My two cents: Wow! What an incredibly narrow minded and ignorant comment to make! Why in the world exactly wouldn't you want to "associate" with people who have visible tattoos? I know this is a real old topic, but in searching for people's views and opinions on how my own visible tattoos would be looked upon in this industry I wasn't planning to comment... but this needed a comment and I hope we can refresh this topic!

 

He said that having a visible tattoo is a good filter for the person with the tattoo, not the other way around. Although I'm not sure it's that much better the other way around.

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My two cents: Wow! What an incredibly narrow minded and ignorant comment to make!

 

 

Actually, I would say the same of you. I have several large, very visible tattoos and they work very well to keep narrow minded people away. I have had several people comment that they formed an opinion of me based on my appearance and changed it after they got to know me. I stand by my statement. When it comes to tattoos, there are people with tattoos and tattoed people. I am a tattooed person. I can't hide mine with a watch or a t-shirt. If you judge me by my appearance, I am happy to not get to know you.

 

Having said that, I recognize that it may be a hindrance in getting certain jobs. That is a fact. It doesn't bother me, as I don't apply for those jobs. If you don't realize that appearance is a criteria for getting a job, you have a lot of growing up to do.Your future employer will judge you on how you look, and has freedom to do so, as a tattoo is a choice. When I worked in a tattoo shop it always amazed me when someone would come in, shocked, and say something to the effect of "My boss said to take this ring out of my face or I can't work there." Really? Wow, thats shocking. I always encouraged people to be able to pay their rent first and foremost. There are options, of course, but there are consequences as well. I remember a time when I was in a shop in San Fransisco in vacation getting some work done and my former roommate, who is heavily tattooed, asked the guy he met with the thick black Moko and tribal neck tattoos what he did for work. The guy's reply: "I'm a grammar school teacher. They encourage diversity out here." What works in NYC or SF may not cut it in Idaho. Two more cents........

Edited by C of G
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C of G got it right. Trying to get your first good job will be where it matters.

 

It's your right to decorate/modify your body however you wish but a potential employer has the right to decide if you will represent his/her company in a way that helps them make money. If you're applying for a utility job or GOM, I don't see a sleeve as being much of an issue. If you're trying to fly tours at the GC, it might be a different story.

 

I'm a high-school teacher and a couple of small tattoos on the arm or leg wouldn't hurt me one way or the other. If I had neck, hands, face or sleeve tattoos, I think I'd be unemployed or stuck teaching at the alternative school.

 

P.S. I live in the bible belt so that might influence my response.

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I agree with those who said just wear a long sleeve shirt to the interview. That way, by the time they notice your tattoos they should already have a positive opinion of you based on more important things.

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As an old Command Sergeant-Major in the 82d Airborne Div, who had jumped into Normandy on D-Day, used to say, "Just as soon as I get old enough, I'm going to grow a mustache and get me a tattoo."

 

Some employers will be prejudiced against tattoos, just as they are against women, black people, Jews, and anyone else. Some may like them. I would wear a long-sleeve shirt to interviews, and never mention tattoos. I would also never mention my religion or any other personal information. None of that is the employer's business, and he can't legally ask about it, so I would never bring it up in the first place.

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Some employers will be prejudiced against tattoos, just as they are against women, black people, Jews, and anyone else. Some may like them. I would wear a long-sleeve shirt to interviews, and never mention tattoos. I would also never mention my religion or any other personal information. None of that is the employer's business, and he can't legally ask about it, so I would never bring it up in the first place.

 

X2! I will be wearing a long sleeve shirt when I interview and tattoos will not even be brought up. I don't even see my tatt's anymore, and most people once they know you don't either. Unless the central focus of things you speak about are tatt's, then you have different issues altogether so........ :lol: ;)

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Normal tats are accepted most every where except corporate offices.

I got guys that work for me with the usual Navy and Marine Corp type Tats-

on their forearms, biceps, etc.

One of them has got a great naked lady on one side of his chest-

Another has got what looks like a tire track up his back--

They're tough guys in a tough line of work and actually their tats fit their

personalities pretty close.

Nothing wrong with simple normal tats and most employers are not going to

have a problem with them.

With that said-

If you show up at my place with multiple visible piercings and gang / trible

tats on your neck and face not only are you not going to fly my bird your not

sweeping the floor either.

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Thanks, Matt. I wish I lived closer to Ohio. I've been looking at the programs you're doing now and they sound great. You're really filling a gap that is sorely overdue. Plus, I'd be able to take you up on the next cold one. Maybe Heli-Expo next year? Having your tattoo planned that far ahead sounds like you know what you want and who you want to do it. Great ideas. Good luck.

 

 

 

Cheers.................. Chris

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Anyone that honestly believes a tattoo (or many) hinders job performance is a moron (I mean that toward a recruiter or interviewer standpoint, NOT the individuals that have commented here). A company cannot honestly refuse to hire you because you have tattoos. Not to say they wouldn’t latch on to some flaw you may have and use that as a reason to not hire you! Tattoos are a completely different animal than they were 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Tattoos today vary from simple designs to amazing pieces of artwork inked by true artists. You got it because you were drunk, in love, liked it or the design means something special to you, don’t be ashamed of that. I fully agree with wearing a long sleeve shirt to an interview or even a suit depending on the company, etc. The first impression is very lasting, if you put forth the effort to look the business they at least know you’re making an effort and I wouldn’t mention tattoos once. If the company brought it into play I would tell them without hesitation, you never know, your interviewer could have a whole body suit of tats!! There are area’s of aviation that require short sleeve shirts, tourism is one (in certain months and areas), I’m sure corporate is another. I worked for a tour company a number of years ago and asked the director of ops about pilots with tattoos, his reply “I don’t care, but if it’s offensive he’ll need to wear a long sleeve shirt”. That pretty much says it all right there. If need be your tats can be covered up, unless you decided to get one just like Mike Tyson because he is your hero or something!!

 

I am a Site Manager at present; I work for a major corporation in the helicopter maintenance world. I have seen many pilots around here covered in full sleeves; just as many mechanics. I have 12 on my arms, chest and back, although my right arm is about to be a sleeve. They start at my wrists and go up from there. It’s a good conversation starter between the people that work with me. My Dad is a Vietnam pilot, he doesn’t like them, I can tell, but he got over it real quick because he also knows I have the people skills to make friends with the new people I meet. He also knows present and past job performance can tell you lots of information on a person. If they should dislike tattoos…it’s a personal preference, it doesn’t, nor would I let it affect what people think of me. I wear long sleeve shirts to work each day, not because I am ashamed of getting tattoos but because I think (in my own mind anyway) that I look good in a nice shirt!

I wouldn’t worry about it, if one company decided not to hire you on the sole reason of your ink, there’s always another company willing to. Your skills as a pilot and your skills on a personal level should far out way something that can easily be covered up by wearing long sleeves. At least that’s my opinion………………..Chris

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They're tough guys in a tough line of work and actually their tats fit their

personalities pretty close.

Nothing wrong with simple normal tats
trible tats on your neck

 

Quick question; think of it like an interview....

 

"Mr. GFT. Would you call yourself a predjudiced sort of person?" "Oh, and what is a 'normal tat'?

Because if you're good at cleaning floors, you can clean mine. If you are prejudiced enough to say there's a difference between the ex-marine's tattoo and the maori warrior's tattoo, then you can go somewhere else.

 

JMHO,

 

Joker

 

GFT, I'm sorry, but I don't think I'd actually like to come to your place to work after reading your post. Thanks.

 

I have a great many friends down in NZ who have tribal piercings - yes, their tribe is maori, just like your Marines' tribe is US Marine Corp. Are they any less a people then your marines?

 

Who are you to decide what a 'normal' tattoo is?

 

It's not your obvious dislike about tattoos that I have issue with, we're all entitled to our own opinion. But you so easily write off people with peircings and tattoos to being some lower form of human being - see your comment about cleaning floors!

 

If you can be outspoken about that, what other predjudices do you hold...coloured? jews? how about gays?

 

I personally believe that sort of predjudiced thinking is a sign of naiivety. Get out, travel the world and open your mind!

 

Here's an idea, next time you meet someone, try to disregard what he's wearing, colour of skin or how many tattoos he has. Greet and meet him just the same as you would like to be greeted yourself. You may be surprised what you find.

 

Joker

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Hey Joker-

Wound a bit tight today, aren't you.

You probably shouldn't take yourself or any of this so seriously.

There was some humor intended in my post-

 

gft

 

P.S. - took a poll here today-

everyone employed here has a tat of some type-

even the dog-

However, we have no "gays" working here.

(at least none that would admit it)

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Wound a bit tight....yes, probably.

 

Shouldn't take this so seriously? Why not? Its a pertninet question. Maybe it's the beginning to answering the question of why is there an increasing xenophobic attitude growing in what were once considered more forgiving and multicultural nations. I talk of US, Australia, UK, etc..etc.. People are changing in those countries and it's worrisome.

 

Humour in your post....sorry couln't detect it. Remind me which part?

 

Anyway, that being said, I admit I held nothing back in my last post deliberately to spice-things up a little...to see what nerves I could push on this subject. Maybe to get people (not just yourself) to ask themselves that question, 'Am I predjudiced?' Hell, we all are. We all are coloured by our first impressions. Me too. It's how we deal with it that makes us different.

 

So what I'm saying, is don't worry GFT. I don't really have grudge against you! I'm merely using your post as a vehicle for discussion!

 

Here's a statement to think about...In me, tattoos and peircings stir the same emotions as crucifixes around the next and bibles in hand.

 

Joker

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