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Is it fine to start wearing braces as an associate?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 15, 2018

My teeth aren't horrible, just dealing with an overbite. I just wanted to know if it is advisable to do so or will there be negative repercussions. Thanks!

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updated his answer on Nov 15, 2018
Experienced strategy consultant, now running own consulting business
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Sorry, I sometimes only can shake my head at the questions here.

OF COURSE you can wear braces. It won't make you any worse of a consultant, will it?

Yes, some people may chuckle about it and yes, it will not make you look older, but there should be no negative repercussions. If so, sue their asses.

(I am assuming you are from a country with a Western culture. Maybe in some African countries or somewhere far off in Polynesia, braces are a symbol of the devil. Who knows? Just like tattoos in Japan are interpreted as "Yakuza", even if it just says "I love Mom"...)


replied on Nov 15, 2018
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Of course, it will be fine and you should do it. I would actually encourage you to do it ASAP. While of course no one will directly penalise you for wearing them, it can hurt your credibility in front of (senior) clients, as it will make you seem younger. So Ideally you will finish wearing them before you are a Manager/Project Leader, where you will start engaging directly with very senior leadership.

Vlad replied on Nov 15, 2018
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Please sue them if it's not:)


replied on Nov 15, 2018
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Long term, you want to do it anyway. Until then, you will be self conscious and possibly/probably make strange faces to avoid smiling for example. Five years from now, will you wish you still had the overbite or that you had gotten your smile fixed 5 years ago (today)? Do it, do it now. There's no upside in waiting.

PS: Consulting... is just a job. Your teeth will outlast the job, and perhaps even the company. Do what's right for you.

replied on Nov 15, 2018
Ex McKinsey EM with 5 years of recruiting experience/ received all 3 MBB offers/Real MBB cases
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I did when I was an associate!