How Your Name Could Determine Your Career Success

Libby Kane

What’s in a name?

Possibly, your career success.

A study published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that easy-to-pronounce names are more positively regarded by others than those that are difficult to pronounce.

They’ve named this “the name-pronounciation effect.”

The fact in itself is interesting, but compared with the fact that people with these same names tend to have higher-ranking professional positions, it’s particularly noteworthy. Granted, the field studied was a law firm, but there’s no reason to believe that its results wouldn’t apply to another profession.

How Much Do Our Names Really Matter?

The authors of the study cite other work showing that more easily pronounceable words, names of stocks and names of drugs create a similarly positive impression–people view them more positively because of their simplicity. But when it comes to stocks and drugs and words, our inclination toward them isn’t such a big deal. We have control over the stocks we pick (and someone, somewhere has control over their names), over the medicines we take and over the words we choose.

We don’t have control over our names.

Do we really think that a Smith will necessarily do better professionally than a Tahmincioglu? Nah. Your professional success depends on things like your interview prowess, your professional conduct and your commitment to the job. It’s interesting to speculate, but don’t leave your fate in the hands of your name.

via Career Diva

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  • WomanWithTurkishSurname-Yeah!

    Smith or Tahmincioglu… depends on whether you can only speak one language I guess?  Tahmincioglu looks completely normal to me :)  As would my surname to Mr or Ms Tahmincioglu :)

  • ParticularWoman

    I think the only impact is the level of sticking power your name has. My last name is somewhat difficult to pronounce and it takes a few meetings or connecting online to ensure they remember my last name.

  • Mimi

    I think that this is true. Even though we don’t have direct control over our names and most of us won’t go through the red tape and possible family hatred of legally changing them, we can still pull a few strings. I spent my secondary school years going by my 1st name with more than a few annoying situations when someone has to ask how to say it. For college, I’m going to use my middle name. It’s a lot easier and most everyone has encountered it before. I believe it’ll help me be more professional, thus more successful.