Are you struggling with whether or not to change your name?
First things first, there are a lot of very personal viewpoints on this issue. The truth is there is no right or wrong answer. If you’ve been working on your career and your brand, this is an especially tough decision. This is your name and your brand, and you have options. For example, if you are getting married, you could take your spouse’s name, you could keep your given name, you could hyphenate both, or take your spouse’s name legally and keep your given name professionally.
But outside of the series of steps you should take to change your name, have you thought about how changing your name may keep you from being *found*? And as a consultant, the impact on your business could be huge.
Here’s what you should think about:
- Will you disappear in plain sight of many of your business connections?
- Do you have hard-earned accomplishments, connections, and publications under your current name that need to be transferred to your new name / new brand?
- Do you plan to have children and/or will your decision create family issues in your future?
If you decide to keep your name, no need to do anything. For now, there is no confusion, no hassle at the social security office, and all of your professional contacts will not be confused. Those contacts will be able to find you. You will still be credited easily for your accomplishments.
If you decide to change your name, make sure that you don’t get lost! Give co-workers, clients, and business contacts advanced notice of the change to avoid confusion (especially if your email address will change). Update your LinkedIn profile, business memberships, and social media platforms and consider using both names for a while. The bottom line is, you want to do everything in your power to make yourself easy to find. And of course, you will need to make sure your name is changed at the Social Security office and DMV, you will need to change your name on your credit cards and accounts, and, through your company, you will need to change your name on your business cards, beneficiary designations, insurance benefits, company email, directory list, and tax and Social Security forms.
Not only is name-changing the more labor-intensive option but it could add a few speed bumps to your career. It is crucial to do everything in your power to make yourself easy to find.
For some, name changing or name keeping is a no brainer decision. For others, it’s harder. Either way, it’s personal, and the decision is yours. We suggest that you take control of your future and career and put the time into thinking this one through.