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10 Surprising Ways Your Name Can Determine Your Success

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10 Surprising Ways Your Name Can Determine Your Success

Names are not merely a sum of letters and the subsequent sounds used to identify us. In fact, there’s a great deal of influential power that comes attached to a name. Not only do they sculpt your personality, but they also sculpt others people’s perceptions and ultimately, your future!

Before you dismiss this as nothing more than mythical nonsense, you should know that scientific research supports this curious notion. Names have actually been seen to have a significant influence on how successful our lives become.

Without further adieu, here are 10 unbelievable findings from various worldwide studies.

1. Common names are more likely to get hired than unique ones.

A study conducted by Marquette University found that if your name is common, it could increase your chances of being hired, whereas those with unique names are often less likely to be chosen by interviewers.

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2. Easy-to-pronounce names gravitate towards higher-status positions.

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    Steve Jobs – Image Coursey: Digital Trends

    A study conducted by New York University discovered that easy-to-pronounce names are more likely to get a favor from others. Often, this eventually leads to them gaining higher statuses in society.

    According to psychologist Adam Alter (also a great example of an easy-to-pronounce name), if information can be more easily assimilated by the brain, we are more likely to like something or someone.

    3. Last names nearer the start of the alphabet may be more likely to get into good schools.

    Research conducted in the Czech Republic uncovered a controversial pattern. Students whose last name were closer to the top of the alphabet had more chances of getting admission in a school, whereas last names that were lower in the alphabet did not fare as well!

    4. Having middle initials makes you appear smarter and more capable.

    If your name contains a middle initial such as “Sophie N. Turner,” you will often be considered more intelligent and capable. This fact was established by research published in European Journal of Social Psychology. When students were told to grade papers written by author names, those with middle initials scored higher than those without. In actual fact, the one with the most initials secured the highest marks!

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    5. First names nearer the end of the alphabet are more likely to be impulsive shoppers.

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      Almost unbelievably, one particular study found that people with names like “Zelda” or “Yasmin” are more likely to be addicted to shopping! They were seen to be more easily persuaded by promotional offers and marketing strategies leading to increased shopping habits.

      It’s believed that having spent most of your school years at the end of the calling register, they are more keen to quickly jump good offers as soon as they get the chance. However, these overzealous spending tendencies could certainly be detrimental to success.

      6. Last names with royal or noble associations can help you reach higher-status positions.

      European study stumbled upon the fact noble names naturally found their way to higher managerial positions. This research, based in Germany, found last names such as “Kaiser” (emperor) and “Konig” (king) were more likely to occupy the higher ranks than any others.

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      This phenomenon could be related to associative reasoning; our minds link previous knowledge and emotions to similar words.

      7. Females with gender-neutral names may go further with certain careers.

      It’s a fact of life that many career fields are highly gender dominated. Engineering and Law are some of the biggest examples of male-dominated fields. Yet as a female with these fields, one study found that having a gender-neutral name may give you an edge.

      Specifically, it was seen that females with more masculine names such as “Leigh” and “Harper” were often able to go further in their law careers.

      8. We feel enticed to work with companies who share our initials with their name.

      A study from Ghent University found we are more likely to work in companies with names that share our own initials. For example, Lily Harper could be very inclined to work for Lifehack! This behavior can be related to the fact that we are attracted to familiarity, especially if it’s similar to our name.

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      9. Men who use shorter first names are more common in CEO positions.

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        Bill Gates – Photo Courtesy: AIB

        During a study conducted by the social media platform LinkedIn, more than 100 million profiles of their users were analyzed. It was found a majority men in CEO positions went by their shorter names such as “Bob” or “Tim.” It’s believed that going by their nicknames allows them to project an approachable friendliness.

        10. Females with full names are more likely to be found at the top.

        During the very same study, LinkedIn also discovered that the opposite was true for female CEOs. Using their full names, such as Carolyn or Deborah, helps them to exude a more professional image and to reach higher positions.

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        Published on September 21, 2021

        How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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        How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

        The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

        In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

        1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

        Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

        But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

        Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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        Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

        Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

        While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

        Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

        2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

        At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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        Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

        Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

        Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

        McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

        From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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        3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

        An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

        McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

        Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

        Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

        Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

        So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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        The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

        If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

        Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

        Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

        Reference

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