Week 65: The Power of a Name – #AlphaFemaleFriday
“ WEEK 65 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS ”
When I first began going on interviews as a young college intern, I made it a habit to call someone by Mr. or Ms. So-And-So until they introduced themselves as otherwise. I believe in starting out with politeness and formalities, and once those formalities are established and eventually dismissed, we can move onto respectfully casual. This week, I’ve been thinking about why some people breakaway from the needs of titular formalities and others are stricter sticklers.
The original idea behind this train of thought came from the 65th chapter of Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office. In the chapter, Lois P. Frankel talks about the negative effects that come using nicknames for themselves in the workplace. If their first name is Patrice, they go by Patty, or if it’s James, they go by Jimmy. I see the direction Lois was going with by that train of thought, the idea that a nickname in the professional world is a slippery slope from calling someone a playful “Jay” to “honey”.
In the same way that we may hold where we came from or where we grew up near and dear to us as strong points of our identity, we can also hold our names to that same esteem. There also comes a point where we must know where draw the line between pride and narcissism. In my fantasy world, everyone spells my last name (Gonzales) with an “s” at the end instead of a “z”. It’s not so much a point of contention, but rather a mild, buzzing annoyance every time the e-mail doesn’t send through due to a misspelling.
Yves Saint Lauren once said, “I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” The same can be said of a name. There was a great case study of two brothers, one named Winner and the other named Loser. (I found out about it while reading Freakonomics, but that’s a whole other book to delve into!) As it ironically turned out, Winner became kind of a loser and Loser ended up doing very well for himself.
Your name is part of who you are, and you should be proud of that name not because you belong to it, but because it belongs to you. It is merely one part of you. Your name carries the reputation and character you choose to have. If your life was a restaurant, let your name have a seat at the table but don’t let it overshadow the meals and drinks of your life.
@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales
Each week, I take a tip from Lois P. Frankel’s book, Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office, and explore how each of these tips affect myself and other women in similar positions on the road to becoming the women we want to be. There are far and few between who are a few steps behind me, and many more who are far advanced. I found that Lois P. Frankel’s advice applied to novice, intermediates, and experts alike. It helped me see that I was already doing right, served as a reminder to keep on doing what I was doing and how to keep that momentum going. The book also showed me areas where I could improve, and gave realistic tips to jump on board. There are a total of 133 tips, and explore one tip per week in a program I call: 133 Weeks to Success.
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