Does Having a Unique Name Negatively Affect Your Career?

Unique and creative names have been in fashion for the past decade. Parents love to name their children differently, knowing that this will enable them to stand out from the masses. And it does to some extent when children are at school.

But how about workplaces? Is an unconventional name a help or hindrance in a corporate environment?

Mellissah Smith and her Experiences

Mellissah Smith, the founder of Marketing Eye, said she got her name accidentally because of her immigrant father. Her father was Croatian and she got her unique name because of a spelling mistake he made on her birth certificate.

Smith says that she has never minded people misspelling her name as long as she was remembered. She believes it was a unique way to market her personal brand. In a way, it was an asset. She further explained that her name was a common name with a twist. Because of this, she was able to stand out, naturally adding more value to her business environment. Her name never played a negative role in her career.

Elvis with a similar story

Tolsa Harrison, the founder and the banking executive of PopUpGigs, shares a similar tale. He owed his name to the 1960-movie - GI Blues. The movie’s hero Tulsa McClean was played by Elvis Presley.

Harrison says that his mom was 6-months pregnant when watching the movie and that influenced her to come up with the name.

In the professional environment, Harrison makes the most of his name, as he believes it was an asset that helped him start conversations. To him, it is an advantage as people remember it.

With a name that is as unique as ‘Tolsa Harrison’, people would know exactly who is being talked about. Harrison recalls how his clients enquired about his name and where it came from. According to him, his name was a great ice breaker as it helped him get into a comfortable zone and have a laugh with clients.

What’s good about unique names?

As seen in the instances above, uncommon names can be an asset. They have their own brand value. People remember you for the uniqueness of your name. As a result they will also remember your business, product or service. Your name can also help you start conversations and get along with people well.    

The downside of long and complex names

Complex names like Breeyanahs, Jarrahsons and Alycesaundras are likely to see ongoing irritation of having to spell them out frequently. Language expert, Professor Roly Sussex, believes that such names are a matter of uncertainty and if you don’t pronounce them well, people may think you are insulting them deliberately. According to Sussex an easily pronounceable and recognizable name is valuable in this situation, as it can prevent social blunders.

So unique names have their own pros and cons. It’s nice for parent’s to give their little ones a special name, but they must also consider the possible difficulties that their children may come across as they go through life. The best idea would be to decide a name that is not only unique, but also easy to remember and spell.

What are your views on unique names such as hashtag? Share your views on how you think it’s going to affect their corporate lives.


Image Source: iStock


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