What’s in a name? Apparently a lot of money. According to a new study by TheLadders.com, every extra letter in a person’s first name may reduce their annual salary by $3,600. That is a substantial chunk of money. I may have to start going by Mere. In fact, just call me M. I just made every Starbucks barista’s day a lot easier.
TheLadders tested 24 pairs of names—Steve and Stephen, Bill and William, and Sara and Sarah, and in all but one case, those with shorter names earned a higher paycheck.
This is a little funny, if you think about it. We think longer names like Sebastian and Theodora make people sound so regal, but actually those schlubs are losing out on money to Carol, Bob, Alice, and Ted.
But what should really be pointed out is that people who tend to have short names that are only three letters are usually men. In fact, the study found that eight of the 10 top names for male C-suite jobs had five letters or fewer, and that that group earned on average 10 percent more than others in similar jobs. The most popular names: Bob, Lawrence, and Bill.
Now I know people name their kids crazy names these days, but I have never met a girl named Bob, and I bet you haven’t either. If you have ever had a nickname, this would be the time to embrace it, girls (as long as it’s appropriate).
But on the bright side, European companies love people with long names. According to a 2011 LinkedIn report, Wolfgang, Xavier, and Charles were among the top CEO names in Europe.
Have you ever thought about how your name might impact your professional life? Tell us what you think!