Even if you don’t like it, the fact is your name can influence how seriously you are taken in your career. If you have a different or tricky name to pronounce you may have to work twice as hard to get the same results. It seems that many people have a difficult time excelling in the workforce and your name could be the reason you are not moving up in your company.
The University of Chicago recently did a study that established job applicants with names that sounded African-American didn’t get the same amount of reflection in the hiring process. Researchers were able to find this out by submitting 5,000 phony résumés, and the résumés with names like Tyrone and Tamika were less likely to be called back for interviews than Anglo-sounding names. They also found that training had little impact in the process.
One example of this is Shuki Khalili. He worked for a company for a number of years but felt his name was holding him back. So he resigned, began his own company and quickly realized that phone sales were a bust so he tried using an American name ‘Andrew Warner’ and his sales increased drastically. By altering his name he was able to get in touch with and engage in discussions with more clients. So he now goes by Andrew Warner and runs a thriving entrepreneurial resource site.
Khalili are not alone. Throughout the U.S. Latinos, Asians and African Americans have found greater success when they have changed their names. Many have changed their names from Marko to Mark and so on in order to find greater success in their jobs. Regrettably there is some prejudice remaining in America but the main reason customers don’t want to work with these people is the concern of a language barrier.
Workplace discrimination can be a problem and it can keep some people from advancing. But changing your name shouldn’t be the only solution. By catering and bending to fit these standards you are just making things worse. You shouldn’t have to change your name and consequently part of your individuality to get hired or receive a promotion.
Even people that are Anglo but have unusual or what are termed “weird names” face the same problem. Many miss out on promotions since they don’t have a common name or people are embarrassed saying it. So many have changed or shortened their name to sound more Anglo in order to get the promotion and the higher wages.
A name can easily excel or halt your career. So all those parents that want a distinctive name just keep in mind you are branding your child for the rest of their life. By choosing a strange or foreign sounding name people will wonder if English was spoken in the home and question their capability to get along with Americans. So find names that indicate your ethnicity but are also somewhat mainstream. Or choose a middle name that is Anglo-sounding so that your child has the choice of going by that name.
Whichever way parents choose to go, remember that a name really does determine the success an individual will have in their career. Anglo-sounding names allow individuals to move further up the corporate ladder. Albeit this isn’t right, unfortunately that’s how things are right now. There are several cases in front of the courts right now in which companies are facing charges of discrimination. With any luck everything will be solved and workers won’t have to conform in order to get a job or be promoted.
About the Author Info
Diane Johnson graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah and enjoys writing about current events, politics, online classes, online education, and the office.