08 March 2010 @ 07:18 pm
Piercings and professionalism  
Dear Hipsters!

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but since all you lovelies seem versed on etiquette I figured it'd be the right place to ask.

My local piercing/tattoo parlor gives free piercings on your birthday, so I was thinking about getting a monroe/madonna/whatever you call it. I'll post a picture for reference.

I'm turning 23 and graduating college in May. I have a vertical labret that I was planning on taking out once I graduated, I have a couple options for jobs lined up that seem pretty promising.

It seems to me though, that monroes and nose piercings seem more acceptable in professional environments, however, I'm not sure if that's completely true since.. you know.. I'm not really a professional yet. Lol.

My question is: if I got a monroe piercing and put really small jewelry in it, do you think that it would be acceptable in a professional working environment, the way nose piercings seem to be? Or is it just completely out of the question? When I've interviewed for jobs I've taken out the vertical labret and just put it back in later. I could do this for other job interviews with the monroe, but keep it in once I get the job.. after all, it is easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.. and it seems like I could get away with it if the piercing was extremely small and subtle, and I had no other facial piercings.

I'm not really sure. For context, I'm a journalism major and the two different jobs I might get are one as a campus community organizer/lead canvasser for USPIRG, and the other is an internship with the Public Affairs Office of the Army, so it's Federal, which I'm guessing has stricter dress code rules.. but considering I'd be a civilian, I wonder how strict.

The other side is, I'm not opposed to just getting the monroe and taking it out when either place hires me, either. I had a philtrum piercing for only a couple of months before taking it out, and have had my nose pierced like 4-5 times on both sides (which closed up due to horrible accidents like getting ripped out and blah) and since this piercing is free it's not a big deal.. BUT.. as far as keeping it, what do you think? What's been your experience?

Here is what a


This one is pretty subtle and small, too. Pic is not me. Lol.

Thank you!
 
 
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( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
Jollification for weeks on endartfuldodger on March 9th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)
I work in a professional setting and my tiny tiny nose ring was a big no-no. The only type of facial jewelry deemed professional by the business school I work for is single earrings.
Amandaamandavanessa on March 9th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
It depends totally on the employer and really, what kind of work you're in. I work in a professional setting and piercings and visible tattoos are OK.
Amandaamandavanessa on March 9th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
(I was also a journalism grad, I now work at a magazine)
(Deleted comment)
in the mouth of god all teeth are wisdom teeth.rawteeth on March 9th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Thanks! I wonder if I kept it out for the interview but put it in later, it would be okay. Probably not, if you're dealing with a lot of clientele, yeah?
(no subject) - realserendipity on March 9th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hostilemakeover on March 9th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rawteeth on March 9th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hostilemakeover on March 9th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - doctorjill on March 9th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hostilemakeover on March 9th, 2010 05:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - doctorjill on March 9th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - doctorjill on March 9th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lishbluejupiter on March 9th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
As a journalist, I can tell you that they hire all types - but they hire more professional-looking types than people with a style that might be considered out of the ordinary. While the piercing you're considering isn't horribly bad by ANY stretch, some people are going to be turned off by it.

So long as you're willing to remove your piercings, I don't see what the big deal is. I do believe small nose piercings are becoming more acceptable, but I'm not sure about this one yet. :)
in the mouth of god all teeth are wisdom teeth.rawteeth on March 9th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Yeah-- that's the big thing, about hiring all types! I guess my fear would be once they hired me, I still have to give interviews and meet with people all the time.. if it's for the PA Office for the ARMY (which is probably more uptight), they probably see me as a representative of the department, making it poor form to wear the piercing.. however, whenever I've done interviews for stories with other professionals and such, no one really seems to mind at all that I have the vertical labret.

decisions decisions! I wish it was just more acceptable already, hahaha.
(no subject) - marence on March 11th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ash_is_scarlett on March 9th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bluejupiter on March 9th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rawteeth on March 9th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
why's everything gotta be so intense with mecoendou on March 9th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
It really depends on the company/organization. I definitely would NOT wear it to an interview if you do get it, and make sure you double-check their policies before you ever wear it to work.
Storm's ramblingsstormkitty on March 9th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
I think it depends on the environment. I worked in TV for 6.5 years. While in my original position I never dealt with clients or visitors, I did get a promotion. At that point I was in front of clients at times. Now, I was in engineering and some of our guys had tattoos. My boss even had tattoos. But, his rule was they had to be hidden. When I got my tattoo I got it in a place that would always be covered (on my back between my shoulders at the base of my neck). I kept a cardigan at work to wear over any outfit that let it show. One of the guys got a tattoo on his lower arm. He figured forgiveness was easier than permission. My boss hit the roof. The guy had to wear long sleeves every day while working on a job over the summer. In Florida. In a non-air-conditioned building (they were installing equipment in new construction). Bossman was not pleased that the client might see the tattoo. Keep in mind we were a very laid back environment. We wore jeans most days to work.

So, I'd say don't do it.
shoebootie on March 9th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
If you want to be taken seriously, you should skip the facial piercings.
z111z111 on March 9th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
IAWTC.

It's a tough job market.

If you want a job in a hip, retail store, go for it. If you want a job doing most anything else, the piercing will not help and just might hurt.
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on March 9th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
As a worker for USPIRG you will have no problem. The Army, you'll definitely need to take it out. Everywhere else, you'll be on a continuum. However, you'll have more flexibility in your job assignments and mobility if you stick to either traditional piercings (definitely lobe, and you may be able to get away with lobe, conch, or tragus ear piercings or a nose stud) or put them somewhere your employer can't see them.
Erinscarletgestalt on March 9th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
I would skip it. It's too much of an unknown. It would not fly in any of the offices I've worked in.
Justifiable Fisticuffsnodoubtgrrlie on March 9th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
You can try getting it pierced at the smallest gauge (I'd say this would be more important than jewel size if you're looking to take it out and have it look at least kinda normal) and using a clear retainer in it. I've used a clear retainer in my nostril piercing before at a job. But I venture to say that it may look stranger in a monroe than in a nostril. Truthfully, you may be limiting your job prospects with one, and you've gotta weigh what's important to you. Also, be careful of free piercings...
in the mouth of god all teeth are wisdom teeth.rawteeth on March 9th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
It'd be from a piercer I trust :) but I catch your drift.
kacciikaccii on March 9th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
After reading all the comments, I would skip it. But I LOVE THAT PIERCING! and can see why you'd want one:)
Erinpinska on March 9th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
My office is conservative - no facial piercings (unless for religious reasons), no visible tattoos, trimmed facial hair, no open toed or open heeled shoes. I wouldn't just walk in one day with a facial piercing unless you know the company policies.
lapennlapenn on March 9th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
I've got a small nose piercing, and it's never been an issue. But I don't know about a marilyn -- that's just so much harder to overlook. Bosses have let me keep mine in (while making others take theirs out) only because it is small and unobtrusive.
No Less Than Geniusgrntserendipity on March 9th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I work for the state and was told my boss would get fired if he fired me for a piercing or whatever hair color I had.
squid_ink: ZOMGsquid_ink on March 9th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
yea but he may not hire you if you have a piercing

stupid, but reality
(no subject) - grntserendipity on March 9th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
piperkipiperki on March 9th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
The only person I've seen with a piercing like that at work was working the cash register at Whole Foods. In my office, it's a definite no. One of my co-workers has a tattoo at the nape of her neck and she always has to wear her hair down unless she has a turtleneck on. Guys with earrings take them out for work.

I worked in a more relaxed office before this (jeans OK) and out of the 1100 people in the building I never saw one with a facial piercing. I think they just took them out during the day.
Ashleyashosaurus on March 9th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
I work in a very professional large healthcare related nonprofit, and a lot of people have small nose studs. One of my coworkers has stretched earlobes. Now, these are office folks. I work in marketing and development, I think they might object to me having a "weird" piercing. I'm pretty sure they would be okay with a small monroe, madonna, or a tiny offset labret. I can't keep the names straight anymore, so if I named the same thing twice, sorry, lol.

I used to have a labret, eventually and took it out because of work - which was as a student assistant at my college (a few years ago).

Basically, it just depends on the employer, and at my current office, the director.
LTsceneasfuck on March 9th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
get the job first and then worry about the piercing.

i had a monroe piercing 4-5 years ago... my job (cellular phone rep) did not allow me to keep it or my nostril ring in. i couldn't wear a retainer bc it was still obvs i had a piercing. i had the monroe for about 9 months before i started the job... after about 2 months, it closed up during one of my 4 hour shifts.

some jobs will overlook a nostril piercing (my current one does), but other piercings are a no-no. nostril piercings are very very common now and more on par with ear piercings. a monroe is not the same as far as lot of businesses are concerned.
HEFNERSBUNNY is nowtotheleft on March 9th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
get the job first and then worry about the piercing.


This. Get it next year on your birthday.
what you do do is you stealsurprisesex on March 9th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Not professional.
kadevhakadevha on March 9th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
If you are even questioning whether it will be acceptable or not, don't get it. Every place is different. Heck, even regional offices are different. What is acceptable in Atlanta, GA may not be acceptable in Pittsburgh, PA.

If you really want a piercing, why not an ear piercing? If you have longish hair, you can easily cover your ears. Maybe an industrial, tragus, something along those lines? Even if they catch a glimpse of it, those are a bit easier for some people to handle. Heh.
Jen Bunnialoneat4am on March 9th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
This. I worked at Wawa (kind of like an upscale 7-11) and had to cover up my tattoo on my wrist. When I worked at McDonald's all facial piercings had to be removed, I even had to remove my tongue piercing and no one even knew I had it until 2 years into the job. These places are far from professional so the way I look at it, if its not allowed there I wouldn't consider it a good idea for any professional place of employment.
(no subject) - doctorjill on March 9th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
turpentine kisscupcake_razor on March 9th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
if you don't make it a big deal, they probably won't either.

but if you are uncertain, my trick is to look as 'normal' as possible until i get hired, then i can let the semi-permanent hair color wash out, stick the jewelry back in, and prove that even the 'weirdos' can be good workers.
killtheelitekilltheelite on March 9th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
I got hired in a large office with half-inch plugs in my lobes. I straightened my hair and wore it around my face so I could hide them during the interview, but I also felt good about having them in during the interview. hehe.

I've now worked at this place for 2.5 years and I love the looks I get when I meet new people in the office, haha. I now go to interviews with them and my hair back and I have gotten another huge promotion since then. It is sweet.

Ok, anyway that being said I work in an office with a LOT of people. Very big professional company. Only the sales reps I've seen have anything crazy going on, and that is basically a guy with a ponytail he wears on the top of his head and another guy with long hair and a scraggly handlebar moustache and very tight clothes. The sales reps get more freedom than the rest of the department though because, well, it really just matters if they can land those sales.

Even sales though...
Guys with tattoos wear long-sleeve button-up shirts. No crazy hair colors. No like, mohawks or anything. No piercings other than ears. The only tattoos I ever see out in the open are a few small ankle tattoos that some women have that you see when they wear skirts.
I know of ONE girl on my floor that has an eyebrow piercing. I am always kind of surprised by it, and I don't know what her story is. She might be very specialized in something, she might have gotten it after she was hired, I'm not sure. I am the only person I have seen with stretched lobes also.
Honestly though, the reason I think I get away with it is because I'm an attractive young girl who always dresses professionally other than that and I am a kickass worker. I'm more "cute and a little different" in management's eyes, I think. It wouldn't necessarily work for everyone. Kind of have to get the feel for it where you are working, read the dresscode, don't go to an interview with it in.

Good luck.


Miss Mischiefalitria on March 9th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
I've worked for two different public school districts with slightly gauged ears and a nose ring and it's never been an issue. I got hired for my current job with my piercing in and no one even blinked. I'm not even the only person at the school with a facial piercing and I often see people in professional jobs around here with visible tattoos and piercings. If it had been an issue, I was willing to take it out, but it was never mentioned.
I know of people who work on JBLM (Ft. Lewis/McChord) with facial piercings, but they're civilian employees.

That being said, I think the urban west coast is far more liberal about piercings/tattoos/hair color. I've got tattoos and a piercing and I've had bright red hair and burgundy hair and no one has ever said anything negative about my appearance at work. People here just seem to sort of take it for granted. I was even sure I'd need to re-dye my hair when school started and when I showed up to prep for the year I got tons of compliments, so I kept it bright red. When I finally dyed it a natural color because my hair was getting a bit fried from the bleach I had a bunch of students (and a few parents) tell me they missed the bright red!
nullcomitto on March 9th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
that type of piercing is so new, it just screams "trendy emo kid." i don't think that the army would be okay with you having it, and unfortunately any small placeholder you could put in the piercing hole would just look like you have a blemish. i wouldn't risk it, honestly. impressions matter in a professional environment and you don't want people to look at you as someone who isn't professional in your line of work.
_sin_aesthetik_sin_aesthetik on March 9th, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
It's really not "new" at all, monroes/madonnas just happened to get trendy again. This placement has been around for years, it's not like someone just came up with it and now all the scene kids have it.
(no subject) - comitto on March 9th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mrsjenlambert on March 9th, 2010 04:27 am (UTC)
First off, I have seen many girls that have just one facial piercing and look completely put together and professional. Not all people with a facial piercing are considered to look totally crazy and to weird to hire. Like the girl in the above picture. One facial piercing can look pretty decent and innocent. First glance I would totally have thought she had a beauty mark. If you keep the jewelry small and you keep your overall appearance neat and professional..a single facial piercing totally looks fine in my book.
This is just MY personal opinion on the look of facial piercings in the work place.

But it just depends on the place that you end up working. It could be totally fine. With a piercing that is so visible on your face, I would wait off until the interview or find a way to make it less visible (retainer). Then once you get hired ask about it.

If you are able to wear it at your new job then I say ROCK IT. Don't listen to anyone that thinks it unprofessional. There are PLENTY of people that have one dainty facial piercing and they pull off a totally professional look. Believe me, if you have nice makeup on/hair styled and nice clothes on...and you hold yourself in a professional manner..having a dainty piercing isn't going to make you look "unprofessional".
Mishadorkcore on March 9th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
While I wouldn't personally care, I don't think it will widely be considered professional. If you're dying to take advantage of that special, get something else done that is under clothes or ears and hold off on the monroe until you're hired somewhere and if they allow piercings buy it for yourself as a celebration.
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