The Impact of Names on Personal Branding and Professional Success

When attempting to make a name for yourself, whether as an entrepreneur or simply someone hard at work, it’s natural to do everything in your power to differentiate yourself. However, it’s worth considering whether or not the factors out of your control overpower what you can control. In particular, people often wonder whether or not the name they were given at birth will make a major difference in their professional career. Learn the ins and outs of how a name can impact a person’s life along with whether or not those impacts truly matter.

The Importance of a Name

There are a variety of reasons that a person’s name matters in their life, even if they don’t realise it. For perspective, it was found in studies that a person’s whose name is easy-to-pronounce tends to be more well-liked than a counterpart with a name that is difficult-to-pronounce. Follow up studies also found that a person’s name can impact anything from the career they choice, salary they earn, years they live, and even more.

5 Ways a Name Can Impact Success

As mentioned, there are a variety of ways in which a name can impact a person’s personal or professional success. In particular, though, there are five key factors regarding a name which can have an effect on how a person is perceived or the path they are likely to pursue:

How Commonly Seen a Name Is

In the majority of studies conducted, it was found that people with names that are more commonly seen were also more likely to be hired for a role. This means that those people with rarer or unique names were not hired as often, even if they had the same credentials as their counterparts with common names.

Whether or Not a Middle Initial is Included

Believe it or not, whether a person includes their middle initial with their first and last name actually plays a role in how a person is perceived. Those who list their middle initial with their name are generally seen as more sophisticated or intelligent, regardless of if they actually are. For perspective, someone names Maria Rodriguez may not be viewed as being as intelligent as another person who introduces themselves as Maria T Rodriguez.

The Perceived Elegancy of a Name

The elegancy of a name, as determined by the person hearing the name, can also play a role in the outcome of a person’s job search, career progression, or general life. It was found in studies that those people with names that sounded noble had a higher chance at landing a high-ranking position eventually in their career, more so than those without.

Whether a Person Uses Their First and Last Name

Interestingly enough, it was found that women at the top of the corporate ladder resoundingly used both their first and last name in professional settings. The results of the study found that this was to project professionalism and gravitas in the face of societally ingrained stereotypes.

How Easy a Name is to Pronounce

Finally, as mentioned earlier, the ease of pronunciation for a name will play a major role in how a person is perceived and the potential success they may have. It’s an indisputable fact that those with an easy name are more likely to be hired in certain roles and even accepted to certain institutions.

Does a Name Truly Matter?

With all of the above outlined, the question of whether or not a name truly matters still remains. In short, no, a name will not make or break your career or the potential success you may have. All of the above are pure statistics from a macro-level, but when things are broken down on the micro-level, success is truly what a person makes of it, rather than what is statistically likely.

The Bottom Line

While there is scientific evidence to suggest that having a certain name will predisposition you for certain career tracks or certain chances at success, it is never completely true. At the end of the day, the hard work and effort a person puts into their life and career is what will truly make a difference. Don’t simply assume you can’t succeed or that success will be given to you just because of your name. Always put in the effort to stand out amongst the competition so that you can make a name for yourself beyond the one you were given.