December 3, 2009 | Diane Johnson | 1 Comment Like it or not your name can influence how seriously you are taken at work. If you have a different or difficult name to say you may have to work twice as hard to get the same results. It seems that many people have a difficult time excelling in the workforce and your name could be the reason you are failing to advance in your company. The University of Chicago recently did a study that found applicants with names that sounded African-American didn't get the same amount of consideration in the hiring process. Researchers were able to discover this by sending out 5,000 fake resumes, and the resumes with names like Tyrone and Tamika were less likely to be called back for interviews than Anglo-sounding names. They also realized that qualifications had little impact in the process. Another example of this is Shuki Khalili. He worked for a company for several years but felt his name was holding him back. So he quit, started his own company and quickly realized that phone sales were a bust so he tried using an American name 'Andrew Warner' and his sales rose drastically. By changing his name he was able to contact and engage in conversation with more clients. He now goes by Andrew Warner and runs a successful entrepreneurial resource site. People throughout the U.S. including Hispanics, Asians and African Americans have found more success when they have changed their names. Many have changed their names from Marko to Mark and so on in order to find greater success in their careers. Unfortunately there is some racism remaining in America but the main reason customers don't want to work with these people is the fear of a language barrier. Workplace discrimination can be a problem and it can keep some people from advancing. But changing your name shouldn't be the only solution. By catering and bending to fit these standards you are just making things worse. You shouldn't have to change your name and therefore part of your identity to either get a job or receive a promotion. Even people that are Anglo but have unusual or what are termed "weird names" face the same problem. Many miss out on promotions because they don't have a serious name or people are uncomfortable saying it. So many have changed or shortened their name to sound more Anglo in order to get the promotion and the higher salary. A name can potentially make or break your career. So all those parents that want a unique name just remember you are branding your child for life. By picking a strange or foreign sounding name people will wonder if English was spoken in the home and question your ability to get along with Americans. So find names that reflect your culture but are also somewhat mainstream. Or choose a middle name that is Anglo-sounding so that your child has the option of going by that name. Whichever way you decide to go, remember that a name really does influence the success an individual will have in their career. Anglo-sounding names allow individuals to move further up the corporate ladder. Even though this isn't right, unfortunately that's how things are right now. There are several cases in front of the courts right now in which companies are facing charges of discrimination. Hopefully everything will be resolved and you won't have to change your name to conform in order to get a job or be promoted.