Dedicated December 2017

Changing your name at work

RustyTheDog, on December 4, 2017 at 2:52 PM Posted in Married Life

For those of you who have changed your name, how did you deal with your work? For example, our email is by our last name, my office has a plaque with my last name engraved, lots of people at work don't even know I'm getting married and certainly don't know my new husband's last name, so I feel weird going in like "hey, call me Dr. NewName now not Dr. OldName" and students will only have course cites listed with my old name, since it will take a while until I can officially change my name with SS, driver's license, then work I suppose. I don't even know who at work to tell to get my name changed on my paychecks! Do I wait until Summer semester to try to make everyone change it? Do I have to tell everyone individually (my boss, then HR, then the dean, then the course management system, then facilities to change my name plaque, etc.)? This seems so daunting but I really do want to change my name and I don't like the idea of dealing with different names professionally than personally.



  • MrsOtoBe
    VIP October 2017
    MrsOtoBe ·

    I would start with your HR department. I work in HR at a university and when we submit paperwork to change someone's name it's in an electronic system that hits most of the offices that would need be updated (so you don't necessarily need to go to every single person). If you did need to go to other offices and tell them separately, I think HR would be able to tell you that.

  • OG Kathryn
    Champion May 2016
    OG Kathryn ·

    My email forwards from old name to new name.

  • Daniella
    VIP October 2017
    Daniella ·

    Once you change your name on your license, take it to HR And They should change all your paperwork. They should also take care of changing your name on the website and your office. Then just gently correct people when they use your old name.

  • Ariella
    Super March 2018
    Ariella ·

    As a high school teacher I am waiting to make the transition for the new school year. My old email will forward anything to the new and eventually they just shut down the old one anyway.

  • Annie
    Super October 2018
    Annie ·

    I recently reached out to HR at my company about this. I plan on keeping my maiden name for email and business cards, but legally it will be my FH's name. They said I would just need to send in a copy of my marriage certificate after the wedding, and fill out some paperwork. Whenever anyone changes their name at work normally they'll send out a company wide email letting people know.

  • caitlin
    Super May 2017
    caitlin ·

    I agree--your HR dept should be able to initiate all this for you. i didn't change my name but many of my colleagues/staff have gone through it. sometimes it takes some time for it to get switched everywhere so there might be a transition period. ideally your department has a budget for this sort of thing to cover new business cards/plaques/etc.

  • Deirdre
    Expert March 2018
    Deirdre ·

    I haven't changed my name yet, but work in HR, so definitely talk to your HR person first (unless you want to give your boss a head's up first). HR will be able to advise you on what forms you need to fill out and how to update payroll and your benefits. Don't forget changing your benefits and if you have a 401K and/or life insurance, and want your FH to be the benefactor, you'll need to change that as well. When you change your name, most organizations can set up your email so if someone emails the old one it goes to your new one. Same with looking you up on an employee directory. HR should be able to confirm how this is done at your company. I have a few people who I work closely with who know I'm engaged and I'm just going to give them a reminder afterwards that I'll be changing my name and look out for a new email address.

    It sounds like you are a professor, you can always change your name with HR and have your students continue to use your old name, but that's up to you. I'm just going to start introducing myself with my new name. We're moving buildings in the April/May time frame, so I was just going to ask for a new door tag for my office in the new building as opposed to asking for a new one that will only be on that office for a month or so. Not sure what your course management system is, but it might automatically update when you update your email (depending on how you log into the system and if it's tied to any other systems that would have your personal data PeopleSoft for example feeds into a lot of other systems and it only needs to be changed there to be updated on all systems). HR would be able to answer those questions for you, or get you in contact with someone from IT who can. I know if you are adding your FH to your health insurance, you will most likely need to show your marriage license. You would definitely need to change with the social security office before they will change everything for you at work (maybe not everything, but definitely payroll).

    Good luck!

  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·

    Thanks everyone! This helps! I was so worried about it!

  • B
    Expert July 2017
    Becky ·

    For us, they just keep our e-mails under our maiden name - makes it SUPER confusing for the students - but, you know, whatever

  • Future Mrs M
    Super June 2018
    Future Mrs M ·

    My boss will be submitting for my new name plagues/signs 2 weeks before my wedding so they are here when I get home from the honeymoon. My email will be switched, too! All my emails that go tot he "old" one will forward for the next year after the name change! They are super accommodating.

  • BoudreauToBe
    Master July 2018
    BoudreauToBe ·

    If you are worried about people knowing who you are or being familiar with you, you could always go by "Rusty MaidenName NewLastName" for a little while in your email signature, etc. so that your students will be able to make the association.

  • It's going to be "Good"
    VIP September 2017
    It's going to be "Good" ·

    I contacted the HR department for changing my name on my paychecks and insurance. For my email and phone, I contacted our I.T. person.

  • Debra
    Dedicated May 2018
    Debra ·

    @Dierdre I was wondering if you (or anyone else) might know the answer to this question. I am a doctoral student (about to graduate and looking for a professor job. I would like to keep my maiden name for work but use his last name for personal. If I were to double barrel the names, would the university be ok with only using my maiden name for my work and I could use his last name for my personal life? I can't hypenate...WAY too long last names.

  • BecomingMrsWhite
    Savvy October 2017
    BecomingMrsWhite ·

    I also work at a university, and honestly, changing my name here was easier than anywhere else! I just needed to submit a form and show my new social security card and HR did the rest! I was contacted by IT about new log in usernames, and a new email address, and our department secretary has ordered new business cards and new name plate for my door. As far as the students are concerned, I sent out a mass email to all of mine and let them know that my name has changed and they will need to contact my new email address now. Much easier than I had anticipated!

  • MOB So Cal
    MOB So Cal ·

    Also at a U, and agree HR will likely be able to handle all the notifications & paperwork. Our email is gmail based, and IT can easily link more than one name to the same account. That way students or colleagues can search for your address with either and it will all show up in your inbox. Change your name on your syllabi for spring semester, and when you introduce yourself on the first day of class use your preferred name. Students will catch on, and those who already know you will probably be excited for you.

    When we married, I dropped my middle name and began using my maiden name as my middle. I didn't want a hyphen, but wanted to honor my family name as part of my personal & professional identity. Good luck! (It will be easier than you think!

  • CBD to Be
    Expert June 2018
    CBD to Be ·

    I'm planning on changing work email (we are also first.last@job) and editing my signature to have my new last name with my maiden in parenthesis

    As far as in-person interactions, just a gentle "oh, it's Dr. NewName now" will suffice, accept the congratulations that follow and move on. If your workplace is anything like mine, you'll only have to correct a handful before word spreads

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