I wanted to get peoples thoughts on what you believe to be public perception(or maybe perception in your particular field) and what your own personal experience has been.
I have thought about this a lot lately. Basically it comes down to this for me - My career is more important to me than getting big. If there is any reason to believe that I'm at a point where being bigger would be in detriment to succeeding in other areas of life than I would be perfectly willing to stay put where I am.
I'm going to guess a standard response from many on this site and give a response - "don't sacrifice your goals to appease other peoples expectations " -Ok, It is not a "sacrifice" if I value the benefit I feel I'm getting from not being so large more so than the benefit from being big. If possible would I choose to have both ? - most definitely.
But I'm being pragmatic. In the real world people make judgements based on appearance, most especially first impressions, and these judgements, in my opinion, exert a strong influence on your success. Another common thing I hear is " You can still get where you want even being big, you can overcome!!" . To this I say yes, of course you still can get where you want, I'm not saying it's IMPOSSIBLE, simply more difficult. For me my career is more important than bodybuilding so it's only logical to sacrifice the latter for the former.
Now I want to get into specifics. At what point do you feel, if you do agree, that being large (muscularly obviously - I actually think big muscular people are discriminated against more than fat people to an extent) interferes with, lets say, climbing the typically corporate ladder? Or even in a situation where you are self employed but have to deal with people a lot- network, put together deals, gain trust, etc.
My personal opinion, for a man of lets say 6' is at around 200 lbs (lean). At this point in a shirt and pants things are still pretty hidden, you are wide and quite obviously built but its not so overwhelming as say at 220lbs and up.
Basically I want to know this - at what point can you meet someone, for the first time, and have them concentrate on YOU and not your body. That is, listening to what you are saying and not having the constant thought of "this guy is built" .
For the record I'm a business student looking to get into accounting/finance. I use to be 210 @ 5'11 ( about 2 years ago ) but have since come down to 185. I have found that in general peoples reaction to me is better at this size.