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Changing Your Name? Tips for the Workplace

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For Women & Co. by Erin Rooney Doland,

There are many reasons a woman might change her name: marriage, divorce, and perhaps even death. Given the number of professional identifications and social channels that reflect our identity, updating them all with a new name can be quite a process.

If you change your last name in any way, you're going to have some hoops to jump through in the workplace to establish your new identity. The following steps will help you make the transition as smooth as possible. These name-change notifications and preparations can take place before your last name is legally changed:

Email Forwarding
Most companies and organizations use some form of a recipient's name for an email address. As a result, you will likely wish to have your email changed to reflect your new last name.

• If you're getting married, put in the request for a new email address at least three weeks before your wedding day; your company's IT department should be able to help.
• Request that a mail-forward be put on your old account to your new account indefinitely, so that all messages will be delivered to you irrespective of which account the message was addressed to.
• Test out the new and old accounts to make sure everything is in working order. Make sure you send all outgoing emails from your new account.
• If you're going on a honeymoon immediately after you get married, set your away message to be sent from your new email account and include change-of-email address information in your away message.
• When you return back to work after getting married, send out a change-of-email notification from your new email account to all of your active contacts.

Business Cards and Company Nameplate
Similar to having your information changed for your company or organization email account, you'll probably also wish to have your name changed on your business cards (with those cards reflecting your new email address). Contact your human resources and other appropriate departments to make the change, and again, put in the request at least three weeks before you get married, so your cards will be ready with the updated information when you return to work. The same goes for any company-issued nameplates or door decals that feature your name.

Social Media
If you use social media such as LinkedIn, you'll want to change your name and email information once you return to work. Many sites have form fields for maiden names, so you'll still be searchable based on your previous last name.

Outgoing Voicemail Message and Company Directory
Don't forget to record a new outgoing voicemail message that includes your new last name. If your phone system has an automated directory to search for employees by last name, put in a request to the appropriate department to have your name be searchable in the directory by both your maiden and married last names.

Once you've filed your marriage license with your state and received your official marriage certificate, changed your name legally through the Social Security Administration, obtained a new driver's license, and changed your name on your account at your bank, you can proceed to change your name with:

Professional Memberships and Licensing Boards
Many professional associations will need your new last name and email information to update their records. If you're a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or another form of licensed professional, you will need to also change your name and contact information with state (and maybe national) licensing boards. To make these changes, you will probably need a copy of your marriage certificate and/or your social security card with your new last name on it.

Payroll, Health Insurance, Investment Benefits
You'll need to visit your human resources department again a few weeks after you're married and your name has been legally changed. The human resources department will then have you sign documents changing your name for payroll, direct deposits, health insurance coverage, investment accounts through your employer, and for all other employee benefit plans. Also, remind your spouse to change your last name on any pertinent forms, like beneficiary documents, wills, or trusts.

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