Name Swap: How to announce a name change at work

Q: I am in the process of reverting back to my maiden name. At work, should I alert people ahead of time that my name will be changing? If so, what is the proper thing to do – send out an email to the people I interact with the most and let them know?

A: A person who changes the name by which he or she has been known should immediately notify social and business associates of the change to avoid confusion and embarrassing situations. Traditionally, the quickest and simplest way of informing others is to send out formal announcements:

Mrs. Susan Smith

Announces that by Permission of the Court

She Has Taken the Family Name of Jones


  1. Alicia

    I think the traditional announcement is no longer the quick and efficient way. There are probably tons of people you wish to know your new name who you do not have physical addresses for.
    Change your email signature
    Start signing your emails with your new full name even if used to use Emily use Emily Post( thus reinforcing new last name)
    Change your name on facebook
    Change your name on Linked In
    Send an email out to your professional contacts
    Do a facebook post for your personal contacts
    Everyone can thus get the news in under 15 minutes

    Be forgiving of those who mess up in the coming weeks and months. a simply my name is Post now when they call you Smith without any acrimony

    • polite punk


      And to be totally honest, a formal announcement will get far less attention from me than these consistent changes in social media and email.

  2. Kevin Rhoads

    I have a question regarding the format, would it also be appropriate to clarify the full name? I worry about redundancy but I also worry about having the only time a full name is used it is the old one.

    Mrs. Susan Jones (formerly Mrs. Smith)
    Announces that by Permission of the Court
    She Has Taken the Family Name of Jones

  3. Danielle

    I strongly suggest using your email signature to consistently reinforce the name change. But you can’t do any of this officially like Alicia recommended above until the legal change is official (because I’m assuming your email address is going to change too?) Before it’s legal, it’s OK to spread the news by word of mouth.

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