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Consultants with tattoos - have there ever been reactions within your firm or at clients? Any advice you would share for working in professional services that you didn’t consider at the time?

likefunny
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I have a lot of tattoos. In particular two full sleeve tattoos that are nearly always on show as I wear short sleeve shirts or roll my sleeves up. I’ve never had an issue with them and find that with most clients they are a great source of conversation.
I suppose it’s like many other things. If you’re good at your job and you know what you’re doing, no one pays much attention to what you look like. If you’re not, the way you look is an easy target to try and explain away poor performance.
Focus on being your most authentic self and do good work. If you do this people will respect you whatever you look like.

likeupliftinghelpful

I have many tattoos and I was successful in keeping them hidden from coworkers and clients for a long time. I finally got comfortable with a team and wore short sleeves to a team dinner. The next day I received complaints from the SM on the project, who stated that "his trust in me had waivered since he saw my tattoos". Aside from the ignorance in the statement made by the SM, the important thing to note is that it is your workplace at the end of the day, and no matter how close you are with a team or client, there will still be individuals with outdated perspectives on the matter.

likehelpful

@BCG4, tattoo’d people aren’t a protected class... discriminate away

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Tattoos down my arm, not quite a full sleeve but close. A man bun/ponytail depending on the day, and a full probably 8 inch beard.

No one seems to care. Just got top rating and promotion this year.

My partners actually like that the whole team isn’t straight out of a consulting recruitment poster.

likeupliftingfunny

Hell yes A11. I left Portland for DC and there’s such a dearth of dope tattooed coworkers at the D ;(

There is a female ED at EY who has unbelievable Beatles related tattoos and is not afraid to put them on full display at her very conservative client / and she’s a badass and i think it gives her even more street cred.

Also her arms are ripped.

likeuplifting

All my clients have always complimented them. Doesn’t hurt that I’m 6’6” and muscular. It fits me

likefunny

You have: 1,643,500 matches from Match.com

Yes, but my client also wore ties and still had a dress code document for all employees at onboarding. This was 2 years ago. We had one BA with a neck tattoo that couldn't be covered unless she wore a turtleneck. She also had waxed silver hair which I thought was cool, but the CFO did not.

We were in Texas, turtlenecks weren't an option, and she refused to work for such a client so we had to let her go from the project. The client CFO specifically called her out to our Partner. I'm now genuinely curious what happened to her since then. Time to look her up on DPN...

likefunny

Keep us updated! She sounds like a boss ass bitch NGL

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Full sleeve. I wear polos in the office, long sleeve/suit on site. Had one manager say something snotty, brushed it off. Everyone else doesn’t even question it. Got drunk after hours on two separate occasions and got two of my tattoos with two different coworkers, both levels above me.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

I have a few tattoos on my arm. I always cover myself if the client seems conservative (old white men in PE). However when it's a young tech client I'll be in polos and have never cared.

Honestly I've started to not care at all. I've never wanted to be a partner or anything though so that may differ.

likesmart

Full sleeve here as well down to my wrist. I've received compliments from clients when it has peeked out.

Internally, I don't care at all. Will wear short sleeves and let it snow.

At clients, I wear long sleeve button downs, and tend to not roll them up unless out to lunch/dinner or after hours. Not necessarily afraid of showing them, more to just maintain professionalism in my attire.

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😻

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I was considering a face tat, sounds like its not a terrible idea after reading this thread

funnylike

No one minds my nipple piercings. At least they never mention it.

likefunny

I just wear whatever at this point. People are going to see them no matter what.

Not me personally but have heard partners express disapproval for tattoos and nose rings.

likesmart

@BCG 3 non-binary

Rib tattoo, so it’s hidden at all times when I’m in the office or at the client. I love tattoos but understand there’s still a bias and will continue to get them, but only in areas that cannot be seen. When I tell a coworker I have tattoos they’re always surprised and say I don’t look like someone that would have them. Not really sure what that means, but feel like there’s a “stereotype”

likesmart

Yeah the stereotyping thing can be annoying for sure

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Within reason, I dont care about your ink, your hair, or your piercings. Can you do the job? Can you do it well? As long as it's not obscene (e.g. a naked person or swastika) why should anyone care? We need to judge people for who they and employ them for what they can do. Not the color of their hair or the ink they choose for their skin.

My daughter doesnt have ink, but has bright blue hair. We collectively neednto get over all of this.

likeuplifting

Love this thread

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I've got four large ones, two on my back and two on my biceps. Can't see the back ones, and only the bottom inch or so of the bicep ones are visible when I wear short sleeves. No issues for the past decade+!

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Edit to add--for the last couple of years before I left for industry a few years ago, I'd long since made it to the F-it stage and wore polos all summer on the client site. Never heard a peep from clients or my leadership, and almost all of them were full suit and tie folks.

At my healthcare industry org, I've kept the polos going in the summer and never had a problem here, either.

I've had some clients ask to see them, and have always gotten compliments and heard good things from the folks I've shown them to. Helps that they aren't trashy!

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Have pretty much a full sleeve. I always wear long shirts at the office to cover it up.

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I have two full sleeves, have had them since college, and made a conscious decision at the time to keep them covered in my professional career to avoid any pre-judgements. Have been doing this my entire career now (10+ years), but not sure now if attitudes have changed or if it is now more habit than anything that keeps me covering them up still. Also, the tattoos are for me, no one else, so i don't feel an obligation to show them off either.

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Yep. “Dude, did a blind guy do your tat? Wow. You need a cover job bad.” 😂😂😂 Had an Army buddy do mine like 23 years ago. It’s faded and I’m not proud of it. 🤷‍♂️

funny

There’s a partner at EY that rocks a full sleeve whenever possible. He was also a partner at other firms too so he must be doing something right

likesmart

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