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Ashen Offline
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Scars and job/work - February 20th 2018, 04:04 AM

Sorry if this is in the wrong place - wasn't sure if self-harm category or education and career category.

I have a lot of scars on my forearms - the inside of my left arm is almost all scars but there are also some on my right arm and on the outsides of my arms.

I'm like a year from graduating college (knock on wood) and am thinking about internships and grad school and jobs after I get my degree. My mom's never explicitly said it, but she's kinda made it clear that she thinks I need to cover up my scars (especially around family but also with the couple job interviews I've had) and that they'll hurt my chances in the work world (right term?).
Is she right? Should I always wear long sleeves (like down to my wrist long and not even 3/4 sleeves) at interviews and work after getting a job? Or will I be able to wear shorter sleeves?

I have no issues wearing short sleeves and sleeveless shirts (I am not ashamed of the scars though i guess i should be?) even to the jobs I have now. I work at the University library and at a bookstore and I've never had any problems (I know, student jobs) and no one has ever said anything to me about the cuts/bandaids or scars (not teachers, co-workers, or classmates, or anyone).

But is my mom right? Are the scars a bigger deal than I think they are? Should I be covering them up?

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Re: Scars and job/work - February 20th 2018, 04:30 AM


Firstly, I want to say that you shouldn't be ashamed of your scars. You shouldn't have to cover them when you are around family or friend's or out in public. Your scars do not define you and you should be proud of yourself if you are able to go around people without covering them as there are a lot of people who struggle to do that!

As for your question, it is complicated because there are plenty of employers that won't care if you have self harm scars. The issue is that there are a lot of people who are ignorant about self harm and mental illness and some of those people could be interviewing you. From talking to people that have done work with workplace discrimination for a lot of companies the interview is where it is easiest to get away with discrimination. So, if you go into an interview and the person is not understanding about self harm they could end up not hiring you. Essentially all they have to do is prove that there was a better candidate and there are a lot of ways they can go about doing so.

So, during the interview process it would probably be best to take precautions and wear long sleeves. Once you get the job and work for a while you might be able to get to know your supervisor and determine if they would be likely to make life hard if they found out you have the scars.

Employers aren't supposed to discriminate against people but there are a ton of loopholes and each state has different rules pertaining to discrimination.

Your mom is incorrect when she says that you need to cover them at all times etc but she is not incorrect when she says that it could impact you in interviews. That is why a lot of people I have talked to who used to self harm will wear long sleeves (blazer or a nice long sleeve shirt) during interviews. It's more of a precaution to try and prevent any potential discrimination.

I hope that this helped in some way and if you need anything please feel free to message.

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