Afros and tattoos are how I interview…

Interviewing can be tough, especially when you have tattoos and afros. Well… not just a tattoo or two, but a full sleeve, one that goes down to your wrist. Not just an afro, but a big bunch of out of control curls. Society has told is that our standards are not standards that are accepted at work, and it is time to take a stand and not allow those European standards to define us. 

The question has been what do I do with my hair during my 25 interviews in 3 months. If you didn’t read the story here it is 25 interviews in 3 months… Say what???. I decided that if I was going to interview it was going to be as myself with my hair the way I normally wear it. We all go through the questions before a Skype or on campus interview. Do I straighten it? Do I wear it in a bun? Do I leave it out of control? Do I wig it? What do I do during the interview that can change my future?
If you goggle professional hair it will be straight and blonde. If you google unprofessional hair it is black people and curls. Unprofessionalism and anything but straight hair go hand in hand, which is so unfortunate.
I decided to leave it big and nature because that is how it will look when I walk into the office Monday morning. I made the decision that I didn’t want to hide what my hair looks like because if I hide my hair I hide my personality.
As women with curls, our hair has to be at the forefront of our mind at all times and that stinks. It shouldn’t be. We should be thinking about how we killed the interview, not are my curls going to take me out of the running for the job. To me there is nothing worse than straightening hair that hasn’t been straightened in a long time, the weather is humid, and I look like I just got electrocuted while interviewing for my dream job.  That just isn’t a good option, especially when our curls look so fabulous!!!

The next question was what to do about my full sleeve tattoo. Do I cover it, do I show it? When do I reveal it? On the Skype interview, on the phone, or in person? Do I even reveal it then or wait until I have accepted the job and am on campus.  What do I do? Well just like my hair I decided to show it. I showed in on Skype interviews, I showed it when I went on campus because I wore a suit and a short sleeve shirt. I made sure that it was seen because it is what you will see when I am in the office. I don’t want either of us to be surprised, me that I can’t have it, and you that I have it and it is not allowed.
The reason I made sure it was shown because it is important to me and it is a part of my personality. You can see who I am and what I like through the artwork on my body. I have the flowers of the women in my life tattooed on me. That is important to me. I also truly believe that if we want students to be open about who they are, know they can get a job once they graduate even though they have a tattoo then shouldn’t we show the role models that look like them? They need to see professionals that do their job well and have tattoos, curls, colored hair, and etc. Some places are hypocrites because they want their students to be free and liberal but not their staff/faculty. These students learning about themselves need to see roles models as well.
If you are thinking about interviewing and showing your curls and tattoos kudos to you! Here are some things to think about when interviewing:

  • What type of job am I interviewing for? Liberal school, conservative school, highly religious school, liberal business, conservative business.
  • Am I willing to cover my tattoos if they ask?
  • Are they accepting if I want to get more tattoos?

Good luck interviewing!
Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it please consider buying me a cup of coffee, and perhaps if we are in the same area we can have it together!

#interview #afro #tattoo #fullsleeve #wearitnatural #interviewing

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