Here’s a thought provoking question from Tim Tyrell-Smith at Career Hub.
Are you a Kate or a Katie?
[W]e don’t name ourselves. Our parents do. And that name is usually chosen for you well in advance of your birth. But, as with all kids, your unique personality defines your working name throughout your life.
True enough, but many of us use different forms of our names depending on the context. As Tim (not Timothy) asks:
If you are a Katie, why do you use Katherine on your resume?
At networking events, do you let the Katie out or do you wear a Katherine mask because that’s what people expect to see at these functions?
If you are a Katie and you interview with a Michael (the hiring manager), should you become more Katherine-like to match his style? What if he was really a Mike (or even a Mikey to his pals) and was just stuck in that “professional interviewer” mindset?
But don’t a lot of people do that? I know I do. What’s on my business card and my conference name badge isn’t what most people actually call me, either socially or at work. The only people who use my full name are my mother and my wife when she’s annoyed with me.
Do people take you less seriously if you use a shortened form of your name? Or does it depend on the sort of job you do and the image people expect?
Some serious public figures use shortened forms of their names. Sometimes it is a deliberate strategy.
Would Anthony Blair ever have become leader of the Labour Party? Calling himself Tony enabled him to seem sightly less posh in what is still, at least in name, the working-class party.
For the Conservatives, David seems to work better than Dave Cameron.
So what does your name, and how and when you shorten it, say about you?
Anyway, the title of this post gives me an excuse to post what would otherwise be a totally gratuitous picture of my favourite newsreader, Kate Silverton, who is most definitely a Kate, not a Katie or a Kathryn.