CONNIE’S CAREER CORNER “What is in a name?”


“What is in a name?”


Tip for the day:  When making decisions in life, consider your options, make your best choice and do not second guess yourself.


Q:  Dear Connie:  I have been working on my career for 10 years.  I am now planning on getting married.  Should I change my professional name to my husband’s last name?


A:   Dear engaged:  You are facing a problem that is common these days to many females.  Many women today choose to establish themselves in a career before considering marriage. Since women are waiting longer to get married, they have established themselves by their maiden names in the job market.

The concern many women have regarding changing their last name is that they will lose all of the networking that they have established in the past.  They are concerned that clients will not be able to reach them since they have changed their name.  If a person is in sales, she may worry that her clients will not take her calls since they may not recognize the new name.

Within the office environment, changing a name can present a problem because it is difficult to locate a person on e-mail when the last name is not the same.  If someone has been called by the same last name for 10 years, it may be a challenge for someone to remember the new last name.

There are many official documents that will have to be updated if you do not keep your professional name.  If you decide to change your last name, you will have to change your official name on everything from your electric bill to college transcripts and professional designations.

You have several options to consider.  You can change your last name to your husband’s last name which is considered the traditional approach.  You can use both your last name and your spouse’s last name with a hyphen.  You can keep your current last name or you can use your maiden name at work and your husbands name the rest of the time.

The problem presented with using a hyphenated last name is that it is difficult for people to remember two last names.  If you decide to have children, it is also a long name for children to learn and to write.

The new movement is for a woman to leave her last name the same as her maiden name in her profession and use her husband’s last name for her personal life.  This is simpler if you have children since in your personal life your friends and acquaintances will know you by the same last name as your husband and children.

Whatever you decide, there are women using all options.  Make your decision and proceed with confidence.


Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

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