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Mama_Cakes's avatar

"Jennifers" of the world, do you prefer to be called "Jen" or "Jennifer" in professional settings (say, when dealing with clients)

Asked by Mama_Cakes (11085points) April 30th, 2012

Family and friends always refer to me as Jen (or Jenny), but never Jennifer.

Professionally-speaking, though, does Jennifer sound better?

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12 Answers

tom_g's avatar

This question got me thinking. I mostly have worked with Jennifers. But recently I started working with a “Jenny” and something didn’t feel right. It did feel a bit informal, although I know it shouldn’t matter. It felt a bit like someone calling me “Tommy”.

It really doesn’t matter though.

JLeslie's avatar

Jen and Jennifer is usually what I run across in professional situations. Honestly, Jennifer is what I hear 80%+ of the time probably. On business cards I have never seen the name shortened I don’t think? Even if they go by, ask people, to call them Jen. Usually it is someone else shortening the name, and that Jennifer just doesn’t mind, so it sticks, or people hear others calling that person Jen, and follow suit. I do know two Jenny’s, they are Jennifer’s, but use the nickname, and I find it a little odd, and that is not even at work, they are both in my zumba class. Jenny I think of as a family nickname, or for people who are much older. Neither of those two women are old though, they are in their 40’s.

Sometimes when there is a bunch of Jennifers, which happens a lot, they might decide at work to use Jen and Jennifer so people know who is talking about who, but usually they clarify a different way.

In the end, over time, we begin to feel comfortable with any name I think. What I mean is even if we think someones name is odd or unusual, after we get used to calling the person that it just seems normal. Jenny, Jen, Jennifer, all three, you can’t get much more “normal” than those names, it is such a common name.

JLeslie's avatar

I do have two Facebook friends who are Jen, so I guess maybe they use Jen on a business card, if they work in a profession that has business cards. I only know them both online.

john65pennington's avatar

Jen, if she a working associate,

Jenny, if you are dating her.

Jennifer, if she is in trouble.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

When I heard “Jennifer Lynne” as a young girl, panic set in.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think it matters. Whatever makes you comfortable. If you think people will take a Jennifer more seriously, then go by Jennifer. Personally, the Jennifers I know go by “Jen.”

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Do they all introduce themselves as Jennifer? And, then maybe say, “you can call me Jen?” Or, do they introduce themselves as Jen? Or, does everyone just call them Jen? Even though if asked they would say their name is Jennifer.

wundayatta's avatar

They introduce themselves as “Jen.” Unless it’s “Jennifer.” Now that I think about it, there is a Jennifer. She’s an artist. I don’t really know her at all.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I tend to call my co-workers and employees by their proper names but this is purely out of my own preference and yes I do feel it is more professional. I also feel like we should use our birth given names at least some of the time, it only feels like the right thing to do.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not called Jennifer, but people routinely shorten my name, professionally and privately. I prefer to use my full name professionally. I don’t mind if people I know shorten my name when speaking casually or during conversations. However, if my name is used on an official document (agendas, certificates, emails, lists, etc.), I don’t want it presented in its shortened form, this happens though. I have put my initials on documents and had people say “who is XX?” They forget that my actual name starts with one letter while the shortened version starts with another. It is quite annoying.

Consequently, I ask people how they would prefer me to refer to them if they have a name that is often shortened and I take my lead from the way they introduce themselves. I have a colleague who has a name that can be shortened and I asked her what her preference was and she (like me) said professionally, she prefers her full name to be used. Between us she is happy for me to use the shortened version, but she doesn’t want that used when mentioning her professionally. I think this is sensible.

So, I would use Jennifer on all documents you send out professionally and if asked, refer to yourself as Jennifer. If asked how you want to be addressed professionally, say Jennifer. Be specific. Let people know they can call you Jen or Jenny (if you are happy with this) casually but it should always be Jennifer professionally. And still some people will use Jen or Jenny!

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Reminds me of this. “Some of them are Davids”. “But, most us are Daves”.

GracieT's avatar

@JLeslie, I’m 42. Thank you for saying that people in their 40s aren’t old! ;0)

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