Parents, choose wisely. A new report says that what you name your child can have an impact on his or her future career success and earnings. We’ve written before on how taller, better looking people, and people with deep voices tend to earn more money. Now it turns out that having a shorter name can also give you an advantage.

A study conducted by The Ladders, a UK career website, says that people who have shorter first names earn higher wages than their coworkers with more elongated handles. Apparently people with long names even see a pay bump just by using a short-form nickname instead of their full name.

People who go by “Bill” earn bigger paycheques than guys called “William.” “Debbie” is going to make more than “Deborah.” (On an unrelated note, you can call me “Pete” now.)

For this study, The Ladders analysed the profiles of their nearly six million members and compared the length of users’ first names to their career-level and salaries as well as industry and location.

The results show that for every additional letter added to a person’s name equals a $3,600 reduction in annual salary. Sarah makes $3,600 dollars a year less than Sara. Philip similarly earns less than Phillip.

The five highest-paid names for men:

  • Tom
  • Rob
  • Dale
  • Doug
  • Wayne


The five highest paid names for women:

  • Lynn
  • Melissa
  • Cathy
  • Dana
  • Christine


People with the 25 most popular names earn an average of $7,000 a year more than other people. According to The Ladders’ numbers, women earn roughly 22% less than men in all categories they compared.

Obviously unaware of the impact that the length of his name would have on his future income, I’ve given my son the unfortunately lettorious name of Jackman. When he’s old enough to start looking for jobs, I’ll recommend he just use “Jack” on his resume.

Source – The Ladders: On a first-name basis with success? 


Peter Harris

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