A pretentious dilemma

In my new job I have a colleague who has exactly the same role as me and we share our workload between the two of us. It just so happens that he has a Phd, and, as our job title uses the word “research” he refers to himself as Dr in his e-mail signature.

This made me feel oh so slightly inferior, not being a Dr myself. So I’ve been trying to come up with a comparable signature that reflects my credentials. However, there’s a fine line to be drawn between proving yourself to those in the outside world that you need to impress, and actually looking like a pretentious arse to your friends and colleagues.

Various options have been suggested by myself, friends and colleagues:
– Using my abbreviated (i.e. Liz) name, with ‘MA’ after it, as I have one.
– Using my full (i.e. Elizabeth) name plus MA.
– Using the fullest version of my name (Elizabeth Lesieli), with both degrees after it.
– Sticking to my normal name and nothing extra.

Or, as one friend suggested yesterday:
“Liz Clutterbuck, Methodist Researcher, Anglican Worshipper and popcultural blogger”
I kind of like it, although ‘popcultural blogger’ may be taking it a bit too far.

As it is, I may just leave my name as it is, and get over my need to achieve, impress and emulate. One friend said she’d stop replying to e-mails if I started using my MA in my signature because it’s stupidly pretentious…I think she has a point.


  1. Or just move to Mozambique and you could put “doutra” after your name with just a BA! Thanks for the birthday wishes.

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