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So, what’s in a name?

The Scotsman write an article on the current story doing the rounds, the naming of David and Victoria Beckham’s child, Harper Seven:http://news.scotsman.com/news/Unusual-name-for-Beckhams39-new.6799906.jp

Why all the fuss about a name?  Well, our names and titles are very important to us.  They give us a sense of identity.  Some of us like our names, others dislike them.  Many people adopt a middle name as a first name, for a whole variety of reasons.

But what about the titles we give ourselves or inherit or get promoted into?  For example, Managing Director, Team Leader, Centre Manager, etc?  These titles give us an important sense of identity.  For those of us in business, particularly in self-employment, a title can give us something to live up to.

How we describe ourselves to others can help build up our confidence and sense of worth.  How would you describe what you do for a living?  What title would you give yourself?

Of course, it can get excessive.  Sometimes people like the title but don’t live up to it.  Managing Director might be a self-imposed title for the owner of a small business, but if they don’t really manage or direct, it’s fairly meaningless.    Excessive use of a title (“I’m the boss!”) can also let others know we’re a bit insecure in ourselves and are overcompensating.

Think about what you would say if someone asks you “what do you do?”  It’s a common question, but one we are rarely prepared for.  Write down the answer you would give and reflect on what that says about you.  Is there another way you could describe it?  For example, instead of saying “I work in a bank”, you could say “I’m a team leader in a busy mortgages department for one of the large financial institutions” or words to that effect.

If you are out of work or work in a different way (e.g. homemaker), then think of a way that expresses what you do in a positive way.  For example, if you were made redundant, instead of saying “I’m out of work”, you could say “I used to work in the telecoms industry, but am currently looking for a new job, preferably something in the customer services line of work”.  If you are a stay at home parent, don’t be embarrassed by this, but find a positive way of expressing it, e.g. “My background is in Human Resources, but I’m having a career break to look after our young family, which is one of the most rewarding (and challenging)  jobs I’ve ever had!”

There’s a lot in a name, and some names we’re born with, but our sense of identity and who we are, go much deeper and we can influence these things in a positive way, with a bit of thought.

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