What’s in a name? Apparently, more than you’d expect. Perhaps it’ll help you land that next job or rise to the top of your company.
Well, sort of.
Of the more than 100 million users on LinkedIn.com, the most common names of Western male and female CEOs are Peter and Deborah. The names Jack, Bruce, Sally and Debra are also common leader names in North America, according to a recent analysis by the professional social media website.
After looking at users’ professional data, the LinkedIn team found the most popular CEO names (for males at least) consisted of shorter versions of names called hypocorisms. For example, instead of someone going by “Robert,” he may prefer to be called “Bob” instead. This may result from the tendency for men to be more likely than women to project an open and easy-going personality with their names, the summary stated.
Women, in contrast, usually maintain the full version of their names. It could be that women are less likely to shorten their names because they might perceive it as hurting their chances of being taken seriously, the analysis says.
Is there any truth to the idea that your name affects your career, or is it merely statistical coincidence?
Although people can show confidence or displeasure with their names, it’s not clear if they’re perfect predictors of professional success. One study revealed that job applicants were discriminated against based on their names, with white-sounding monikers receiving 50 percent more phone calls for interviews than their black-sounding counterparts. At this point, there’s not much research explaining why some names perform better in the workplace — or even if there’s a reason for it at all.
What might be more likely: a spike in babies named Peter and Deborah.
Photo by karsten.planz/Flickr.com