Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Body Art in the Workplace

As social workers, we're taught (and our Code of Ethics mandates) that we are to focus on the person, to overlook one's skin tone, gender, socioeconomic status, relationship history, drug use, and behaviors and to use strengths perspectives and goal orientation to assist our clients in reaching their goals, regardless of our personal opinions of their choices.

Do we do this with our coworkers, subordinates, and superiors?

I was just reading this article http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,223178,00.html about Body Art and Tattoos in the Workplace an discovered that "about half of people in their 20s have either a tattoo or a body piercing other than traditional earrings, according to a study published in June in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology." In the article, which was written in 2006, an interview subject suggests that we're "about 10 years away" from living in a world where bosses don't bat an eye at body modifications. Considering the publication date, this means we're only about 5 years away. Does this seem realistic to you?

What does that mean for social work? When you think honestly, would you hold a boss in different esteem if s/he had visible piercings or tattoos? Would you choose to hire someone who had them? Do YOU have them? If you do, are they intentionally covered during working hours? Should they be?

So many questions... I can't wait to read your thoughts!

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