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How to Adopt Your Spouse’s Name Without Troubling Your Career

Kim Kardashian is now Mrs. West. The hot American television model has now legally adopted her spouse’s name and announced the same via instagram.  

But how about a normal woman? Adopting the name of your spouse can create confusion in a professional environment. This is true in case of all brides who switch names after their marriage. It really is a bold career-move, especially in a job where your name is linked your livelihood. This is more like altering your professional identity and it can be a problem for the reputation you have established.

So if you plan to adopt a new name for both your personal and professional life, here are some simple steps to help you do so with minimum office troubles.    

Think of your best bets

According to Danielle Tate, the founder of MissNowMrs.com, one of the easy ways out is to maintain your maiden name in the office and with professional contacts, while your spouse’s name can be used socially. If you can afford to, you may cut down business connections that are tied to your old name.

Another good idea would be to use both your surnames. You can either use your maiden name as your middle name or create a hyphenated last name. Kim did this initially. She announced her new name in her social media accounts as ‘Kim Kardashian West’. This will help colleagues get used to your new identity. Later, you may drop your maiden name or leave it if you wish.  

Get your Company’s help to do it

Michelle Friedman, a certified consultant who specializes in the advancement of women’s careers, says it is better to seek help from your company. You do not have to resolve this yourself. Your company has witnessed many who have gotten married and changed names. Hence they can help you out with the best practices.

A good idea would be to check with your HR department on what changes are required in your beneficiary designations, company emails, insurance benefits, Social Security forms, tax forms and directory listings. Your HR department may also help you with managing contacts and also tell you what other employees have done it in the past.

Make proper announcements

Make sure your clients and co-workers are well aware of your name change to avoid confusions. Let them also know about the changes in your email and other possible alterations. Make a small note / reminder in your email signature so that your recipients will see them.

Use technology to good effect

After you make a name change, set up email forwarding from your old account or create an automatic reply with your new contact info. By doing this, you will not miss important emails and it will also give more time for people to update your new contact.

Share the News with your former employers

Make sure your former employers and colleagues are aware of this change. This will help you when you are looking for a new job, as your background checks will run smoothly. Your former employers will not mistakenly deny your experience in their organization.

Make yourself more accessible

Think of all the ways people find your business. It could be through a review site, Google search or social media platforms. Make sure you have updated all your bios. When you update your new name, keep a vestige on the old one as well. This will help people recognize you better. Having both your surnames is a big plus. When people make a search, they will have better chances of finding you.

Make the changes in your membership

To help better recognition, put the new name in places wherever you have your membership like alumni associations, professional organizations, community or company boards or any other groups you belong to. In case you hold a leadership position or you are listed somewhere for your achievements, request a name change. This way what you have earned stays with you.

By now, have no doubt realized the various problems associated with your ‘name change’. Hopefully, by following these helpful guidelines, you will “live happily ever after a name change”.

If you are aware of any tips that can help a woman make a smooth name transition, please share them in the comment section below.

 

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