Sure, you have the right to express yourself but know that when you are looking for a job, a future employer wants to know not only that you can do the job but also that you are a good match for the organizational culture, translation … that you will fit in. You say, “I don’t want to fit in!” That is fine but recognize that you might be saying, “I don’t want this job.” Some positions in some organizations not only allow for creative expression but encourage it; those jobs are the exception and not the rule.

Every decision that we make about how we represent ourselves; smile, hairstyle, piercings, posture, tattoos, handshake and clothing, communicate something. What do you want your appearance to communicate; competence, intelligence, dependability, professionalism? You have every right to express yourself but do it with the awareness that not everyone is going to embrace your choice. Your decision to self-express may impede your ability to communicate your message without distraction, close a deal, get a job, achieve a promotion or to have someone take you seriously. Everything has a cost.

Read the inspiration for this post, But You Asked Me to Stare at Your Tattoos, written by Jeff Haden Speaker, Inc. Magazine Columnist and LinkedIn Influencer.