Is the informal Dr. ‹first name› something a starting academic should avoid?
As my father was Dr. ‹my last name›, I have, since receiving my PhD, cultivated Dr. ‹my first name›. A senior colleague recently advised me to stop: she called this unprofessional, and suggested that over time it would be a significant drain on my academic career. She went so far as to label this kind of informality a "professional cancer".
Context: I am an engineer and social scientist based in the USA, but I work with colleagues in Europe and Asia regularly.
While I feel that is hyperbole, I have discussed this with several trusted advisers. The responses have been polarized. Concerns raised include sacrificing respect, confusing personal branding (I have a memorable last name), and making more formal colleagues uncomfortable. Is this a real mistake I'm in the process of making? Is this a simple age division issue? Might the informal name actually be a benefit?