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Author Topic: How to find a decent job...  (Read 737 times)

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Offline SinsOfEdenTopic starter

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How to find a decent job...
« on: January 05, 2011, 12:27:25 PM »
....while being pregnant and not willing to give up or hide visible piercings.

I am currently unemployed and pregnant (as many Elli-friends know). However, looking for a job is much more difficult for me - even more so now with the economy as it is - because I am not willing to give up or hide my piercings and my usually alternative appearances; which might sometimes include a mohawk for a decent period of time when I get the urge to have another one. They are as much a part of me as my skin, eyes, etc..

While most places wouldn't have an issue with my earrings, though one set are gauged to a 0, and usually no issue with my tongue ring - since it isn't really visible unless I yawn or purposely show it off - they would most certainly have issues with my labret and septum piercings. I've had two actual jobs to count for, yet I had to hide those two piercings with both.

And I'm quite tired of hiding parts of who I am just because of the close-mindedness of others.

What tops it off is the fact that I live in a city where piercings, tattoos, strange fashions, dreads, and oddly colored hair (among other not so 'normal' things) is not an unusual thing to see. Yet I, for the damn life of me, cannot find a decent job that will allow me to keep my piercings or won't make me hide them.

So does anyone here have any ideas or suggestions for me? Because I could really use them.    =\


Thanks.

      ~ G

Offline grdell

Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 01:27:26 PM »
Unfortunately, the one place that I KNOW would have hired you went out of business some time ago - Tower Records. I worked there for a couple of years, and I know for a fact that they were totally nonjudgemental. We had one girl working for us who had a blue mohawk and more facial piercings than I could reliably count.

Have you looked into positions that do not require you to deal with the public visually? Such as phone work or even internet work? I realize that it may still be a problem with employers' dress codes seeming harshly unrealistic under the circumstances. What about less conventional means of self-employment? Are you at all crafty? I know people who just make things and sell them on Etsy or eBay as a living. A lot of employment counselors will tell you to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to finding a job that you're going to want and love.

I'm sorry that I couldn't be more help, but I do wish you all the best in your job search. Good luck!

Offline Blitzy

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Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 01:36:43 PM »
Hot Topic is the only one that comes to mind like that. Or other clothing retailers, maybe.

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Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 02:12:15 PM »
Even when I worked at a call center, we had to keep up appearances.  This was because clients would occasionally be 'given the tour' of the facility.  Unfortunately, with the current job market, employers have a wider pool to draw from, and will usually hire the person who can look professional when the need arises.

Offline DiverseDesires

Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 02:38:51 PM »
yes - only a few call centres are very open to all appearances, even though no-one sees you - if you are prepared to commission work - sometimes all that counts for them is you bringing the money in - see the next point to find out which!

I would go to every employment agency in your area - and talk to them, they'll know who takes people - locally to me two packing firms do, a printers and laundry. Also if you don't mind working outdoors - security and event companies often need people for gate, collecting money, checking tickets etc.

A few smaller income streams can work really well - dog walking, babysitting etc, and ebay etc - they really add up.

Good luck hun

D D x x x

Offline Noelle

Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 05:19:46 PM »
Do note that I'm speaking to you as a person who is also fairly pierced and has revolving-door hair colors, so I know what the job search feels like with those things and I, myself, am finally coming out of a few months of unemployment.

It might sound a little harsh, but how much do you care about providing for your baby? How much do you care about getting stable income, do you care what kind of job it is or are you happy with anything you can get? You have options for hiding visible piercings -- septum piercings are among the easiest to hide with a simple retainer that you can flip up during the day. There are clear retainers for labret piercings, there is the option of taking it out during the workday, occasionally pushing it back through to ensure it's not closed, and then going about your day. You can even take them out for awhile to get income and then repierce them -- we're talking about semi-permanent body alterations that can be redone when you're in a better place. I guess I don't understand why you're so reluctant to at least hide them.

I can definitely sympathize with the wishes that they were more accepted in the workplace -- I've dealt with cleverly hiding all kinds of piercings and waiting til I had a more lax work environment to do things with my hair, and I know that it can be a hassle, but you need to assess your situation and ask yourself if you're really in a state to be able to be so choosy. To speak from my own experience, when I lost my job and had student debt start rolling in, I was ready to do anything short of sell organs to get income again. I dyed my hair from fire engine red back to my natural brunette and removed my piercings for interviews to ensure a better shot at getting the job.

Your best bet for jobs that accept piercings are mostly going to be minimum wage jobs most likely in fast food or yes, a place like Hot Topic or possibly even Spencer's. However, employers have the right to set their own guidelines on how they allow people to dress and the restrictions they can place on things like makeup -- I've had friends sent home before for wearing dark, punk-looking makeup to a job at a grocery store. Clubs looking for go-go dancers can mandate that you always show off tits and ass, a cubicle job can mandate you wear a suit and tie. This is no different -- It's not always about being close-minded, it's about being professional, and the professional world has no obligation to bend to meet the tastes of the non-mainstream. It's not always fair, but it is what it is, and it's kind of all you have to work with right now.

The good news about your situation, however, that I don't believe that they can discriminate against you being pregnant. I'm almost entirely certain that's illegal nationwide, so they can't ask you about it or use it in determining whether or not to hire you.

Offline SinsOfEdenTopic starter

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Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 01:01:10 PM »
Unfortunately, the one place that I KNOW would have hired you went out of business some time ago - Tower Records. I worked there for a couple of years, and I know for a fact that they were totally nonjudgemental. We had one girl working for us who had a blue mohawk and more facial piercings than I could reliably count.

Have you looked into positions that do not require you to deal with the public visually? Such as phone work or even internet work? I realize that it may still be a problem with employers' dress codes seeming harshly unrealistic under the circumstances. What about less conventional means of self-employment? Are you at all crafty? I know people who just make things and sell them on Etsy or eBay as a living. A lot of employment counselors will tell you to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to finding a job that you're going to want and love.

I'm sorry that I couldn't be more help, but I do wish you all the best in your job search. Good luck!

I've thought about a lot of different things, and friends of mine have given me other ideas as well. But it seems that everything I look into that would give me a decent opportunity and won't make me sacrifice parts of who I am either requires a certain level of experience, certain skills that I do not have, or require me to have a certain education level. The highest I have is a full high school education. And not having my own personal means of transportation, thus having to rely on other people to take me where I need to go, sets me back as well.

But I'm not giving up, by any means. I need to do what I need to do; and not just for myself but also for my little one.

And thank you. I appreciate it.


Hot Topic is the only one that comes to mind like that. Or other clothing retailers, maybe.

Well, I've tried Hot Topic many, many times over the past five years. And either they just never call me back, they didn't want me because I had no real work experience, or their 'waiting list' was 25,000 miles long - which was very ridiculous. I even tried for Spencer's Gifts when I turned 18 - when a good friend of mine worked there - but when I went to see if they were hiring, he told me that they had JUST changed it to where you had to be 21 or older to work there. Which pissed me off. However, I could still try there again after my birthday in April, because I'll be 'legal' then. Even though I won't be able to drink still considering I'll still be pregnant.   X3


Even when I worked at a call center, we had to keep up appearances.  This was because clients would occasionally be 'given the tour' of the facility.  Unfortunately, with the current job market, employers have a wider pool to draw from, and will usually hire the person who can look professional when the need arises.

That's understandable. And I can look professional when I need to. I'm just sick of having to hide parts of myself just to make a living. I mean... I'm going to do what I have to do and I can live with having to hide my piercings and holding off on getting a mohawk back again; especially with the little one on the way. It just doesn't make it suck any less, because I'm proud of who I am and hate having to hide parts of myself. Although, my pride isn't going to stand in the way of me doing what needs to be done.


yes - only a few call centres are very open to all appearances, even though no-one sees you - if you are prepared to commission work - sometimes all that counts for them is you bringing the money in - see the next point to find out which!

I would go to every employment agency in your area - and talk to them, they'll know who takes people - locally to me two packing firms do, a printers and laundry. Also if you don't mind working outdoors - security and event companies often need people for gate, collecting money, checking tickets etc.

A few smaller income streams can work really well - dog walking, babysitting etc, and ebay etc - they really add up.

Good luck hun

D D x x x

Very true. I'm just really going to have to stick to looking really hard for this. And while I have no problem with that, it just gets very discouraging and depressing.

But thank you.


Do note that I'm speaking to you as a person who is also fairly pierced and has revolving-door hair colors, so I know what the job search feels like with those things and I, myself, am finally coming out of a few months of unemployment.

It might sound a little harsh, but how much do you care about providing for your baby? How much do you care about getting stable income, do you care what kind of job it is or are you happy with anything you can get? You have options for hiding visible piercings -- septum piercings are among the easiest to hide with a simple retainer that you can flip up during the day. There are clear retainers for labret piercings, there is the option of taking it out during the workday, occasionally pushing it back through to ensure it's not closed, and then going about your day. You can even take them out for awhile to get income and then repierce them -- we're talking about semi-permanent body alterations that can be redone when you're in a better place. I guess I don't understand why you're so reluctant to at least hide them.

I can definitely sympathize with the wishes that they were more accepted in the workplace -- I've dealt with cleverly hiding all kinds of piercings and waiting til I had a more lax work environment to do things with my hair, and I know that it can be a hassle, but you need to assess your situation and ask yourself if you're really in a state to be able to be so choosy. To speak from my own experience, when I lost my job and had student debt start rolling in, I was ready to do anything short of sell organs to get income again. I dyed my hair from fire engine red back to my natural brunette and removed my piercings for interviews to ensure a better shot at getting the job.

Your best bet for jobs that accept piercings are mostly going to be minimum wage jobs most likely in fast food or yes, a place like Hot Topic or possibly even Spencer's. However, employers have the right to set their own guidelines on how they allow people to dress and the restrictions they can place on things like makeup -- I've had friends sent home before for wearing dark, punk-looking makeup to a job at a grocery store. Clubs looking for go-go dancers can mandate that you always show off tits and ass, a cubicle job can mandate you wear a suit and tie. This is no different -- It's not always about being close-minded, it's about being professional, and the professional world has no obligation to bend to meet the tastes of the non-mainstream. It's not always fair, but it is what it is, and it's kind of all you have to work with right now.

The good news about your situation, however, that I don't believe that they can discriminate against you being pregnant. I'm almost entirely certain that's illegal nationwide, so they can't ask you about it or use it in determining whether or not to hire you.

While I do need a job, because I can't be unemployed forever once again, I am doing this specifically for my baby. I want to be able to provide for myself and my little one. Even more so because I am a single soon-to-be mom and my own mother can't provide for me forever, much less add on a little me to all of that. So I really do care about providing and I know that I need to do what I need to do, even if that requires me to sacrifice things. I want a good job and a stable income. I'm just holding out hope that I can still find that and have it without having to hide parts of myself.

And I know that I have options for my piercings. I've had to do those things for my last two jobs. I am just sick of having to do it; but I know that if I have to keep doing it, then I will. And I've said over and over again why I am so reluctant of having to hide them. It was even in my first post. Even then, I can see how not everyone could understand. But I've gone through enough of my life having to hide things about myself - from friends, family, or even people I have been in a relationship with. I enjoy being able to be myself and showing who I am. I am proud of who I am. So it really irks me to have to hide things that are essentially me.

But like I've said... If I have to continue to do that so that I will be able to provide for myself and my little one...then I will do it. I just won't enjoy it because of the previously mentioned reasons.

I'm just looking for other options that I know are out there. It's just another thing that is easier said than done.

Offline Noelle

Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 01:39:35 PM »
I suppose my misunderstanding comes from this in particular, which prompted me to assume as I did --

Quote
I am not willing to give up or hide my piercings and my usually alternative appearances

But your latest post has clarified your intentions, so thank you.


Like I said, I can sympathize. It's irritating that you can't be judged on your merits and work ethic alone and that they have to include unusual appearance as a strike against you as well. There are still a lot of stigmas about people who are pierced/have tattoos/dye or wear their hair in an unconventional way -- I guess it depends on the field you get into. I've been fortunate in that art jobs don't typically care about those things (probably because the nature of the job is obviously creativity :P), so my current job no longer requires me to go through the hassle to blend in.

I suppose they consider it like any other work requirement in terms of personal care -- they probably won't hire people who have poor hygiene or just generally don't appear to care for themselves. If you're the face of their company, they're going to want to see a certain representative of their values. It's not just you going through this either, I'd wager a big majority of the working people out there hate having to dress up or look a certain way at their job. I know I wasn't always comfortable having to dress a little more provocatively at my job as a bartender; it yielded more tips, but also a lot more harassment and unwelcome comments.

I would try looking for places that either don't require a lot of face-time with customers (call centers, collections agencies, etc.), or go to places that are more accepting of your appearance -- a hair salon might be a good place to go if they're looking for someone at the front desk. Also, I'd suggest looking on Craigslist in your area if you can -- you can often find short-term paid gigs (under the section of the same name), usually there are people looking for someone to clean their house, sometimes drive their kids to and from school (though again, they may be hesitant since you're pierced and such), common tasks like that that mostly just require that you have a good work ethic and aren't a serial killer (which I assume you are not) :P A hotel night audit might even be a decent try, but you'd also be dealing with unusual hours. If you live in a non-smoking state (as in, banned in bars),  you could possibly bartend for awhile until your doctor advises you to stop.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 01:46:10 PM by Noelle »

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Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 01:45:08 PM »
I can't speak for everyone else, but I'm agreeing that it sucks.  Since grdell brought up phone/Internet work, I thought it would be important that you were aware of call centers (unfortunately, in my opinion) having a dress code.  Now, one thing you might look into is something like medical billing or transcription (medical or otherwise).  You'd have to work in the office and be professional for a while until you got settled in, but that's the sort of thing that can eventually translate into 'work at home' employment.

Offline Serephino

Re: How to find a decent job...
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 09:59:01 PM »
Having to hide those things does suck, I agree, but it's life.  Employers want their employees want to look professional.  Even McDonalds has a dress code, at least the one my boyfriend works at does.  Women are allowed to wear earrings, and I think one ring.  If they wear nail polish, it has to be a light pinkish color.  Men aren't allowed any jewelry; the only exception being wedding rings. 

I honestly don't know why it makes a difference.  I guess they figure anything other than 'normal' would scare away customers.  It probably would scare away closed-minded people like those parents with large sticks up their asses.  It's all about looking good, which is completely unfair.  The only places I've seen where employees can wear piercings is Hot Topic, Spencers, and our local Burger King.