The Royal Wedding has me thinking about that pre-wedding dilemma some of us go through… to change the last name after the marriage ceremony or not. The choice is, of course, personal, but in this industry there are some extra factors to consider.
If you change your last name…
… and you work freelance… How are you going to inform your network? As a freelancer, it takes up precious job-searching time for your network to learn you’ve moved from one job position to another, and think of you in the new role. How long will it also take them and to reconcile you are the same person now that your last name is different? Plan to spread the news of your new last name for multiple times, using multiple channels and over an extended period of time to ensure people know who you are.
… and you have a website using your birth name… What are you going to do with your domain name? You could have two, with one automatically forwarding to the new one for a few years as people get to know you with the new name.
… and you choose to use your birth last name for work, but your new last name for home… How are you going to deal with social networks that overlap work and home life? If you use your Birth Last Name on LinkedIn whereas your New Last Name on Facebook, you’ll be able to keep your home social network more separate from your work network, but you’ll still deal with confusion about what label to use for yourself and when as work and home networks overlap.
… and you hyphenate your last names… Will you use a hyphen or a space between the ames? You’re bound to run across mis-spellings and mis-filings that will make it that bit harder to find your name, but depending on the two last names could make your new name more distinctive and easier to find.
And – though no one wants to consider the possibility at time of a wedding – if you get divorced, are you ready to go through what’s necessary to change your name back again to your birth name?
Considerations, considerations. Whichever choice you make, ensure it’s the right one for you.
Cheers & enjoy the coverage of the Royal Wedding,
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Do you know about Deb’s appearance in Toronto on May 27 and the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://on.fb.me/hEdmNg