According to a large-scale study in the US, people who go by nicknames tend to earn more money than their formally named counterparts. What's more, shaving a single letter off your moniker could land you an extra $US150,000 over the course of your career. No really.
Business card picture from Shutterstock
How much "cachet" do first names hold? In a bid to find out, job search site TheLadders analysed more than 6 million names in its database and compared the results against each member's annual salary. It found that for every extra letter in a person’s name there tended to be a $US3600 drop in income. Over a 40-year career, the corresponding loss in earnings can amount to nearly $US150,000.
Among high-ranking C-level executives, Bob was the most common name among males. In addition, four of the five highest-paid male names contained just four letters or less.
Meanwhile, the five top-paid names for women were Lynn, Melissa, Cathy, Dana, and Christine. The report notes that women were less likely to shorten their full names so as to "project a more professional image."
The income anomaly also applied to nicknames, with people who went by shorter versions of their proper names (e.g. -- Steve/Stephen, Bill/William, Debbie/Deborah) usually earning more money. It is thought that such abbreviated names are often used to denote a sense of friendliness and openness. Nicknames were found to be particularly effective in the creative industries such as acting or media.
These findings might seem dubious, but they're backed up by an earlier study from business networking site LinkedIn. The site's researchers analysed the top CEO names around the world and found that most of the highest earners either had short names or went by shortened versions of their proper name (Bill, Steve, etc.)
"However you choose to represent your name, make it consistent across every business channel, including your professional online profiles, resume, business cards, and email signature," TheLadders report suggests.
"There’s no rule of thumb about using your nickname versus your proper name, but if the results of this study are any indication, ‘Christophers’ may want to consider going by ‘Chris’ professionally." (On a side note, this hasn't seemed to help me much. Tch.)
"In conclusion, it does make a difference what your mother named you. So, to all prospective mothers, our advice is to keep Baby’s name short and sweet – your child will thank you when they’re raking in the money one day."
[Via Business Insider]