UK-based man explains changing Nigerian name before getting job interviews


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A Nigerian man based in the United Kingdom, Inein Victor Garrick has narrated the difficulties he experienced getting jobs with his Nigerian name.

Born in South-West Nigeria, he left for the UK aged 22.

Garrick said he dropped Inein, which is his first name, after he graduated from the South Wales University and struggled to get job interviews.

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He said he noticed that few company representatives that called him had issues pronouncing the name, and he sensed “unconscious bias” could be working against him.

Garrick said it dawned on him to start using his middle name Victor on his Curriculum Vitae (CV) and there was a turnaround.

“I started using Victor’s as first name due to the barriers I faced whilst applying to jobs after university.

“I never seemed to get past the first application stages even though on paper, I had all the necessary requirements for at least an interview.

“In addition, the few calls I had, the recruiters had an issue in saying my first name correctly.

“With comments like your name is difficult or hard to pronounce. I always felt I was on the backfoot and sent some unconscious bias.

“The moment I changed to my middle name Victor, on my CV, within a week, I had multiple calls for interviews,” he told Mirror UK.

Garrick, who is 34, now works as a Safety Inspector at Transport for Wales, which he said has been supportive.

He said few years getting the job, he realised he was “hiding a part of himself”.

In October 2021, on the occasion of the Black History Month, he said he told his colleagues he had been going by his middle name.

He then formally reversed to his first name, Inein, changing everything including his email signature, with the company creating a phonetic template for employees to use.

“I think it did really hit me. Last year, I almost felt like I hid a part of myself all those years.

“It wasn’t shame per se but I wasn’t my true self.

“People would hear Victor and assume I was British or English and I wasn’t highlighting my true identity.

“I’m proud of where I’m from and I think I hid behind Victor. This opened that door to talk about Nigeria and my cultural heritage, it’s a fantastic conversation starter,” Garrick noted.

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