Baby Names and Careers

Baby naming has been one of the most conversed topics in my household over the past few months while awaiting our first baby’s arrival. My husband and I looked through all the books, asked our friends, family, and strangers for input, picked out a few ourselves, and ultimately settled on none. This went on for months.

For me, choosing my baby’s name was a big decision, something she would be attached to for the rest of her life. Screwing this up was not an option.

We couldn’t seem to agree on any name until the very end. It turned into a game to suggest the most ridiculous names possible. But seriously, I hated most of his choices. My choices were, of course, all awesome.

Our decision was based on a few factors. First, we live in Argentina, but I’m from the United States and he is Argentine. Our options were endless, both in English and in Spanish. I felt it was important to choose an ‘international’ name, or at least something easy to pronounce in Spanish and in English, especially since our children will have tri-citizenship. My mother would kill me if she couldn’t say her granddaughter’s name correctly. And since our daughter will be raised in Argentina, I didn’t want her to run into issues with Spanish speakers constantly pronouncing her name wrong or having to spell it out 5 times before getting it right (like being a ‘Lindsay’ in a Spanish-speaking country).

We decided to write out all of our name choices, even if the other didn’t like it. We ended up with:

Juana Antonia
Brisa (translation: breeze)

A couple of days before her birth, we finally agreed on Julia.

So why am I telling you this story?

Laurie Ruettiman got me thinking about this again a few days ago when she brought up the baby naming topic on her blog, Punk Rock HR. She asked her readers their opinions on baby names and how it affects their future career options. I’d encourage you to read the comments for some interesting insight.

I sprung many of these questions on myself during our naming process. How could our name selection influence our daughter’s potential career options when she enters the workforce? Does a non-traditional or an ethnic name influence the opinions and assumptions of the evaluator? Equally qualified on paper, looked at side-by-side, one candidate named Julia and the other named Faustina or Juana Antonia, who would be called in first? Would it even be an issue?

Talk to me. Am I crazy for forbidding my husband to name our next child Viento (translation: Wind) because I fear he may be passed up for a future job opportunity by some jerk who thinks his name is too far out there?

My parents almost named me Sunshine. My mom wanted to call me Sunny for short. Luckily, someone talked them out of it, but I’ve always wondered if being named Sunshine would have affected my disposition.

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