By Daniel Hunter
More than one in ten young business professionals believe their name is holding them back in their careers, a new study has revealed.
The research by serviced office experts officebroker.com found that 12% of business professionals aged 20-35, believe their skills may be overlooked because of their name.
Most of those who worried their names could be a hindrence to their career prospects were workers with modern names such as Wayne and Kayleigh.
They told researchers that they felt colleagues with more traditional names, particularly those found in the Bible such as Mark and Rachel, were more likely to be rewarded by bosses.
One of those who took part in the study, who was willing to go on the record with his first name of Kyle, said there was a lot of prejudice against people with modern names.
Kyle said: “I work in the legal profession and there is still a lot of unspoken snobbery around. It may not be verbalised but I am aware of it every day.
“I started straight out of university and even getting a job was harder for me than for friends with names like David and Daniel.
“I am just as well qualified as them yet potential employers struggled to take me seriously and I’m convinced my name is to blame.
“When I did eventually find work I was overlooked for promotions while others with nice safe, solid names such as Matthew and John were recognised ahead of me.
“It isn’t just a Christian thing either. I have colleagues called Mohammed who are given respect and taken seriously. But no one seems to think a lawyer can be called Kyle.
“It’s gotten to the point now where I am actually thinking of using my middle name for work. I definitely blame my parents.”
The study found that workers with names like David, Mark and Matthew are more likely to be in senior management positions than those called Wayne, Darren and Ryan.
And the same rule applies to women with Rachel, Rebecca and Sarah outshining Chantelle, Kayleigh and Bianca in the office.
Despite the growing popularity in modern names such as Kai and Klay — chosen by Wayne and Coleen Rooney as the names of their two sons - the vast majority of senior professionals in business still sport traditional monikers.
A spokesman for officebroker.com who compiled the study, said we still judge people by their first name.
He said: “It really shouldn’t make a difference but when we meet someone new we do unconciously categorize them by their name.
“Our study showed that happens in the workplace and may even hamper career prospects in certain professions.
“Traditional sectors such as law and insurance seem to be less open minded when it comes to accepting modern names than more youthful sectors such as sales and marketing.”
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