Earlier this week we talked about whether smoking can hurt your career. Other seemingly irrelevant things could handicap advancement as well, such as your name.
While a bizarre first name rarely says much about the individual who carries it—serving instead to lay the parents out like an open book—will Zuma, Apple, or Kyd have trouble being taken seriously in the working world?
The issue—raised here at Evil HR Lady, here at Life as An Adverb, and here—is raised largely in response to the names issued by celebrities to their unsuspecting infants. In truth, Hollywood is a creative town, and acting is a creative field in which an unusual name might actually be an asset. But what about accounting or finance? Would you mind letting Sage Moonblood manage your money?
One note: Blogger Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership had this to say (in Evil HR Lady's comments section) about the potential detractors of physical appearance or a fondness for nicotine:
I think I have to go the other way on this one, folks. I don't think we have near enough good producers in the companies I've seen that we can afford to start eliminating people because they're over an arbitrary weight standard or because they smoke. It seems to me that the hiring criteria boil down to "can he or she do the job?" It's a very slipper[y] slope when you start adding other factors into the mix that you can't justify with anything other than a "feeling."
Same probably goes for weird names. If you're a parent, consider the professional ramifications of your child's name. But if you're an employer, focus on performance.