Like all new(ish) mothers I’m asked why I named my children what I named them or how I decided on their names. Where do I even start?! I can admit now that I worried way too much about a list of things when it came to naming my first child. Ultimately, I think you just need to name your child the name you like the best. End of story.
Okay, that’s not really the end of the story. There would not be blogs, websites and gagillion books devoted to naming babies if that were the end. While naming your child your favorite name is important, there is one thing I think parents often don’t think about. I asked myself the same question with both children’s names.
How is her/his name going to look on a resume?
I think a huge mistake parents make, is that they name a baby. You are not naming a baby. Yes, you make their name official when you sign papers in the maternity ward, but you are not naming a baby. You are naming a person. The name you choose will be with them forever, or until they legally change it as an adult.
I recently heard about a couple who named their daughter “Daisy.” It’s her legal first name. That is lovely and adorable. I’m sure the name has great meaning for the family, but I cringed at the thought of it on the top of a resume. The name Daisy will be precious until she’s about 5-years-old. After that, she’ll spend the rest of her life defending or explaining why her parents named her Daisy. Is that judgmental of me to say? Probably. Is it true? Probably.
Imagine you are the Dean of Admissions at a law school and you get Daisy’s resume and application. Would you take her seriously? You might because you are kind and non-judgmental, but many people are not. Would you hire Daisy as your attorney? She better be one hell of a lawyer. I worry Daisy will have to work extra hard to prove herself so the professional world can get past her cutesy name. What about Katherine? Yeah, I’d take Katherine more seriously upon first impression, too. Makes you wonder why the parents didn’t name her something like Katherine and just call her Daisy among the family. For example, my Dad’s name is “Mack” but everyone in our family calls him “Buddy.” That’s not to say Buddy’s don’t make it in the corporate world, but my Dad never used Buddy professionally.
I hear you, “But, in 30 years our world will be run by all the cute little Rylee’s and their names won’t seem young or childish. They will look fine on a resume!” Yeah, maybe. I hope so. I hope I’m totally wrong and Daisy’s resume is only judged by her outstanding qualifications. (For the record, Rylee is a great name. I just use it as an example because its spike in popularity did not seem to happen until the last 10 years or so and the only people I know named Rylee or Riley are young.)
In my 6th grade diary I wrote out my favorite names in print and cursive, imagining what I’d name my children one day. As a pregnant woman I did the same thing for my real babies. I took it a step further. I typed them out. I wanted to see them in black and white and in Times New Roman, just to make sure. I just wanted to make sure that someday an employer wouldn’t rule them out or prejudge them because of the name we had given them.
I figure it’s the least we can do to increase hireabililty. Now we’re starting the hard part, raising kids that are smart enough to know that “hireability” isn’t really a word so one day they’ll be employed.
What do you think? Did you think of a resume when you named your kids? “Daisy’s” of the world, what do you think? Am I right? Do you wish your name was less cute and more professional sounding?