How your name could determine your occupation
Vivian may very well be a social worker. Stuart is apt to be a biologist. Bonnie? The odds are she is an interior designer. What’s in a person’s name? According to Verdant Labs, everything! While developing the app Nametrix, which helps people learn the origin of names and is used to assist parents in baby naming, they stumbled across something fascinating. In analyzing public records, they determined an inordinately high number of people with certain names in specific professions.
According to their research, it is all based on simple math. Here is an example: In their sample of 2.5 million people it was found that 1.9% of Arnolds go into accounting, while only 0.55% of Shanes end up in this profession. Therefore, there is a higher tendency of Arnolds to become accountants than Shanes.
In crunching the numbers some of the researchers’ findings weren’t so surprising: Police officers, fire fighters and race car drivers tend mostly to be men. Women are more often librarians, social workers and graphic designers.
Other findings are a bit more interesting: Football coaches are most likely to have one-syllable names such as Rich, Mike, or Bill and Hebrew names such as Yosef, Moshe and Shlomo are extremely popular names for rabbis – who knew?
It is interesting to note their research did find some very high correlations. The study particularly points out that a large percentage of people named Elvis (I’m assuming men, but what do I know) are most likely to become musicians (I wonder why?) It does not mean that most musicians are named Elvis, but that the propensity to become a musician is much higher if you have this name.
Have a look at Verdant Labs’ chart which illustrates the top six common names most associated with each profession.
Six Most Disproportionately Common Names in Various Professions
[View a JPG infographic of the names/professions chart]
Before you go changing your kids’ names, take all of this new research with a grain of salt. The researchers of the study are quick to point out that other factors such as social, geographic and economic are more likely to influence our career paths than our name. For my name? I am most associated with being a police officer. Hmmm. Sometimes I do feel I am in the wrong profession.
They insist you shouldn’t pick your baby’s name based on the occupation you want him or her to pursue in the future. As well, researchers caution that choosing Holly for your daughter’s name does not mean she will automatically grow up to become a world-renowned surgeon. She will still have to go to medical school first. Now there is good advice!
According to their study, here are some top names for specific professions.
Accountant: Maribel, Charmaine, Kurtis, Mindy, Adele
Biologist: Stuart, Suzanne, Sara, Cheryl, Janet
Car Salesman: Clay, Travis, Pete, Allen, Bob
Drummer: Joey, Mickey, Billy, Chad, Tommy
Electrical Engineer: Harvey, Eugene, Bernard, Edwin, Charles
Farmer: Duane, Marlin, Delbert, Darin, Mavis
Firefighter: Brandon, Darren, Ryan, Jason, Jeremy
Fitness Instructor: Virginia, Rebecca, Julie, Pamela, Karen
Football Coach: Rich, Mike, Bill, Dan, Jim
Football Player: Reggie, Jermaine, Darnell, Quinton, Nate
Geologist: Henry, Frederick, William, Leonard, Hugh
Golfer: Bud, Willie, Tommy, Bobby, Johnny
Graphic Designer: Vanessa, Alison, Diana, Jan, Kurt
Guitarist: Mick, Richie, Trey, Sonny, Buddy
Hair Stylist: Lori, Raymond, Patricia, Susan, Robert
Historian: Herbert, Adrienne, Henry, Emma, Theodore
Insurance Salesman: Dalton, Garrett, Patty, Brent, Clark
Interior Designer: Elise, Marjorie, Martha, Lynne, Bonnie
Journalist: Alastair, Gideon, Hanna, Jonah, Louisa
Judge: Archibald, Lise, Josiah, Clement, Louise
Lawyer: Norton, William, Sanford, Cecily, Augustus
Librarian: Nanette, Margot, Abigail, Johanna, Eleanor
Mechanic: Dave, Patrick, Randy, Fred, Jerry
Meteorologist: Joe, Bill, Scott, Mike, Jeff
Photographer: Zoe, Bruno, Hugo, Annie, Noah
Poet: Celia, Hannah, Edgar, Edmund, Dorothy
Police Officer: Louis, Kevin, Wayne, Kim, Timothy
Rabbi: Chaim, Shlomo, Judah, Meir, Yosef
Race Car Driver: Robbie, Johnny, Bobby, Sebastian, Luigi
Rancher: Boyd, Leland, Leroy, Judy, Roy
Social Worker: Jeannette, Stella, Penelope, Constance, Marsha
Soldier: Zachary, Jacob, Jeremy, Kyle, Joshua
Songwriter: Richie, Mick, Sonny, Benny, Billy
Stuntman: Eddie, Erik, Alex, Ben, Terry
Surgeon: Sherwin, Harris, Barrett, Sanford, Holly
Venture Capitalist: Joanna, Guy, Shawn, Nicholas, Alexander
Veterinarian: Wayne, Sara, Peggy, Tracy, Gene
Waiter: Joshua, Sarah, Amy, Elizabeth, Lisa
Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at email@example.com.