Simple names the key to career success
According to research, having an unusual name plays a major role in how people are perceived by those around them and can lead to less career progression. This explains a lot. I'd previously thought that my lack of career progression was due to my inertia when in fact it's all my mum and dad's fault. It's so unfair.
When I was born, my parents initially decided to call me Rose. I was announced in the EDP as Rose, my grandparents thought I was called Rose, I probably thought I was called Rose too.
Then, suddenly, it was all change – from a simple, classic name, I became Eustacia which is, in anyone's book, a fairly giant step in the opposite direction.
At school, I desperately wanted to be called Louise, because everyone else was, but by the time I was an angst-ridden teen, I realised that 'Stacia' looked better when I signed my miserable poetry or terrible paintings of mermaids and unicorns.
When I joined the Evening News and Eastern Daily Press, my mother sulked for a month when I refused to use my full name as my byline even though she never calls me it herself (mainly because I wouldn't answer if she did).
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Barring the odd name call from a doctor, I never, ever get called Eustacia – this would be fine if I actually did get called Stacia, as opposed to every possible variant of those six letters imaginable. It's the persistent offenders that annoy me most, those who have – reasonably – asked how to pronounce my name and then continue to provide their own variation on the theme throughout subsequent conversations.
Once, memorably, someone said to me that they'd decided to call me Clare on the basis that it was simpler for them to remember, pronounce and they 'liked the name Clare'. It was my Mum. Not really.
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The best ever name fails have been from PR companies: Staga Dreegs had a Clockwork Orange feel to it, while Stacey O'Briggs gave me a much-needed injection of Gaelic cheer.
The new research shows that the easier a person's name is to say, the better their chances of success in the workplace and the quicker they were promoted.
And there's even more good news for those of us with names that everyone finds impossible to pronounce: a simple name improves people's ability to make new friends.
It stands to reason that had I been called Rose, I'd be editing the Daily Mail and have Michael McIntyre on speed dial (the most compulsive argument for unusual names imaginable).
For the record, I am not Stacey or Anastasia. I am not Starzia, Stay-cee-ah or Stasha. It's Stacia, like station – now, promote me, please. Preferably to an outrageous new tax bracket where I have to consider a moonlight flit to Jersey.