Listen up all you Christophers, Michaels, Sarahs and Christines: Your insistence on appearing more professional by keeping your full name intact might actually be shrinking your paycheck. By a lot.
So says a new study by online job matching resource TheLadders, which contends that, on average, those with shorter names command higher salaries. I know you’re rolling your eyes there, Daniel, so consider this: every additional letter tacked on to your name accounts for a $3,600 drop in your annual salary.
Paying attention now, Danny Boy?
TheLadders looked at 24 pairs of names from U.S. members, comparing the full version to its standard shorter version — Christopher vs. Chris, Sara vs. Sarah, and so on. In all but one case — Lawrence makes more than Larry — those with shorter names earned more money. “Its research,” Quartz reports, “is based on finding a linear trend in data from 6 million members, with 3.4% of them in CEO or other C-level jobs.”
If this still seems like happenstance, this might help sway you. “The definitive proof for this theory can be seen in Sara vs. Sarah, Michele vs. Michelle, or Philip vs. Phillip,” the study said. Even one letter less, it would seem, saw a positive correlation with increased salary.
Admittedly, I’m enjoying a bit of self gratification while writing this. I long ago shunned my birth-given Alexander for the far less pretentious Alex, opting to save everyone I meet a few extra syllables in the process. I like my full name, but in a social or professional setting, I couldn’t figure out how to introduce myself as Alexander without it sounding like I was trying to be better than everyone else, like my name had to be pronounced in italics: So nice to meet you, I’m Alexaaaander.
If this study holds any weight, that childhood decision has made me thousands of dollars over the years.
Come to think of it, I’ve always liked the sound of Al.