Keeping your name for your profession?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I’m in law school and a lot of women keep their name professionally, and go by their husband’s name socially. My mom kept her maiden name for professional and political reasons, and she says she never had an issue having a different name than her kids. But if someone wants a unified family name, then keeping their maiden name professionally is actually quite common.

Perhaps in your case, consider what Hillary (first) Rodham (middle) Clinton (surname) did?  You’ll be able to maintain your professional identity. Since you’ll be hired back as a student, are you in finance or law? If yes, then I’d suggest you get a female mentor who can guide you through these decisions. Mine has always maintained that women lawyers keep their maiden names professionally since you will be known by name. You don’t want to be changing your name after divorce and 2 decades of practice, and you don’t want to lose touch with law school pals who are your network.

 

Post # 4
Member
550 posts
Busy bee

I’m about to go into law school, and I didn’t change my name. Not just for professional reasons, but also because I don’t like the tradition. I have had this name for almost 30 years, and I don’t think changing it makes practical sense.

And it’d be nice, should we ever go into practice together, to be Marvellous and Magnificent, not Magnificent and Magnificent, which I think would lead people to assume a father-son relationship (ugh).

Post # 5
Member
64 posts
Worker bee

If you legally change your name, do you HAVE to change it at work? I don’t want to but my co-worker said come tax time it will be a hassle for me having my maiden name on them but my ID saying married name.

Post # 6
Member
2571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’m changing it the moment they physically allow me to, lol.

Post # 8
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@misswhereami:  No. I changed mine and I have had no problems. People just learned my new name and it had no impact on me whatsoever. I would not base a personal decision on work.

Post # 9
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@misswhereami:  You’re crazy not to take advantage, seriously. I go to a top law school and I’m in class with kids of Supreme Court judges and managing partners of huge firms. No one overtly brags about their lineage, but they certainly use it to their advantage. It’s an over saturated market, why wouldn’t you? You’ll still be judged on merit, but your network will give you an edge.

Post # 10
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I know people who keep their name professionally…but usually only those who have MANY years of a career under their belt and it will hugely affect them…like journalists whose byline is their lifeline, haha. I changed my name since I’ve only been in the business a couple years and have had no problems. Most people didn’t even notice, a couple women did see that my email signature changed and said congrats, but that’s it, lol.

Post # 12
Member
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Back when I was a writer (before I switched to marketing and communications) most people I know did this. You have your name on things, and it feels like you’re losing all of that. One of things I prided myself on was my expanisve Google search result (haha). But, now that I’ve switched professions, it’s not as important. Sure, there will still be times where I’ll lose out on name recognition because someone in the industry knows my old name, but I’m young enough that I can establish myself pretty well with my new name.

 

However, if I was still a writer, or if I was over maybe 28 or so, I’d probably keep my name. It’s important for some industries. 

Post # 13
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

My profession is one of the main reasons im changing my name. I know alot of female doctors keep their maidan names, but ill be married before i graduate, so my married name will be on the diploma. The way i look at it, ive spent 25 years pissing people off, this new name is like a second chance since my maidan name is really unique (were the ony family in the area with it) and my FI has a very (very very very very) common last name.

Post # 14
Member
1743 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

When I got married, I had almost 20 years of professional experience plus a rental property in my name.  If I started using Georgia Married Name, no one would know who that was and changing legal documents would be a pain.  I do use my married name socially.

If you are relatively new in the professional world, people will just get used to it.  As far as divorce is concerned, I do know several people who have been married/divorced/married/one is divorced again and went through name changes each time. I truly wish they would just pick a freakin’ name and stick with it, because at least one of them is offended if you refer to her by the wrong name.  Divorce does happen but cross that bridge if you get there, don’t go borrowing that trouble.

Resist the urge to use Maiden Last or hyphenate.  Nobody ever knows what to call you and email is a pain.

Post # 15
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I am 30, expect to be married by 31 or 32 at the latest, and I will be changing my name. I am currently in finance/accounting which is another stuffy and traditional profession, but I feel that I haven’t really done my “best” work in it yet. I’m leaving that for my 30s and 40s where I will have my new last name. I spent my 20s after college floating from finance/accounting job to finance/accounting job so I didn’t really build too many ties with my maiden name.

This was brought up in another thread, but I feel that as a woman, you will never win the career and name-change game. You’re not taken seriously if you are a “wife,” but single women get a stigmatized as well. One of my married friends who doesn’t normally wear her ring works at a DA’s office as a lawyer, and she was told to wear her ring when in trial as the jury “perceives her better that way.” So yeah, I don’t think you can ever win.

Post # 16
Member
340 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@misswhereami:  I just got married.  I am a lawyer with published decisions under my belt, and don’t want to lose that name recognition.  However, I really want to change my name!  So, what I am considering doing is going from Jane Smith to Jane Jones, and then practicing law as Jane Smith Jones (obviously not my real name) – basically what @letigre said.  That way, I have both names there.  I see what you mean about the divorce embarassment – a colleague just got divorced and she changed her name back, so everyone knows what happened – but don’t let that stop you.  I figure whatever I ultimately decide to do, it’s my decision, and people will have to deal Sealed

 

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