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Guest Roux

Name Change And Job Market?

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Guest Roux

Hey, everyone. So I've been struggling with my name issue for a while, and I now I really need some advice. And maybe a hug.

Let's pretend that my legal name is Mary Sue Surname. I've been going by William for about three years, and plan to change my name to William Mary Sue Surname.

I finally got the blessing of both my parents, and spoke to my grandparents about it for the first time last night; I'd put off talking to them until I'd gotten my parents on board. The grandparents were remarkably cool about it. Hurray!

So this afternoon--as in over the past two hours--I walked down to the probate court and dropped off my paperwork. They need to do a background check, which takes about two weeks, and once that's done I'll go to court on the following Tuesday or Thursday, and it'll all be done. (Apparently, according to natives of the area, Rhode Island's name change laws are ridiculously easy thanks to the large mafia population. Thanks, organized crime, for making my life easier!)

I had just returned to my apartment feeling amazing about life and this step I'm finally taking, when my grandma calls. She told me that she's thought and prayed about it, and she feels I should put off getting my name changed until after I get a full-time job. She's afraid that the name change will be a red flag to potential employers, and that they will skip me over because of it. What's more, she pulled the "Your grandfather and I have never asked anything from you before, but we're asking this now" thing. I have this massive Obey The Family complex to begin with. It doesn't help that they're the ones who are supporting me right now. (No, I don't think they'll stop supporting me if I do change my name now.)

Anyway. I've been searching for a "real" job for the last six months or so with absolutely no luck. I do have a part-time job, but it's not enough to support me. Providence supposedly has one of the largest low-income populations in the country, by the way, as well as one of the highest unemployment rates. I have a bright and shiney Master's in Literature, and it's apparently not good enough to even get me a receptionist position somewhere.

I don't plan to transition, use male pronouns in the workplace, etc. I plan to write my name as "W. Mary Sue Surname" on my resumes and cover letters and so forth, then explain that my first name is William when (if?) I ever get an interview. As opposed to getting a job as Mary Sue and then, after a few months, informing all of my coworkers that I'm changing my name and by god they better start calling me William or I'm going to frown so hard. (Or whatever.)

I'm absolutely desperate for advice. Or words of comfort. That hug I mentioned earlier. Anything, really. Would any of you, in my position, go ahead with the name change? Does anyone think that it really will affect my (already dismal) chances of getting a "real" job? And does anyone think that my chances of getting the judge to sign my court order will diminish the longer I delay making a court date? (I'm imagining that the judge will see that I waited, say, four months to get my name changed, and take that as a sign that I'm not ready/suited for it after all, then denying my request. Is that silly of me to imagine? I mean, I suppose I could always explain to the judge that I delayed for a few months because of concerns about getting a job.)

Help.

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Guest ranse

I don't think it will hurt your chances at getting a job for having changed your name. It would be weirder to apply as one thing and show up as another.

Well .... how are you presenting yourself? If you're presenting female, then a female name should be there on the applications and stuff. If you're presenting male, then you should have a male name. How much have you transitioned at this point? If you're not living and presenting as male, then maybe hold off on the name change.

You can always go with initials on your resume and applications.

Another thing to consider is how much job history do you have? Do you have years in a career under one name? If so, then it might be something to think about. If not, if you have a fairly fresh start in the working world, then changing your name won't be detrimental in that sense.

Good luck whatever you decide.

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Guest Donna Jean

.

Oh .......

It's a name....not a gender marker change......

There are are LOTS of folks out there with gender mis-matched names.....

For years names like Lavern (my dad's middle name") Caroll, Shirley, Francis and Ashley were male names....

Many people have names from a loved one in the family that doesn't gender match...

Many Latin males have a name like Jose' Maria Estrada, and such as that.....

I think you'll find it a non issue once you've explained it quickly.....

G'luck

Dee Jay

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Carolyn Marie

If you are presenting female, or mostly female, and use the W. Mary Sue.... then I don't see a problem. I guess it comes down to how much you don't want to upset your grandparents. If its really important, then hold off. Otherwise, do what you feel is right. You'll never satisfy everyone, but the person you should satisfy is yourself. (apologies to Ricky Nelson).

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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Guest Roux

Thank you all for replying! You're wonderful. =)

I do have a couple more questions to ask: is it normal for employers to ask to see your birth certificate when you get a new job? If so, is a passport generally accepted in place of a birth certificate?

I seem to remember having to show both my social security card and my birth certificate to my current employer, but not to my two employers before that. I ask because I'll have to fly to my state of birth and get the certificate changed in person, which I just can't afford to do until after I get a job. And if possible, I want to avoid showing my future employer an ID with the un-updated name on it!

I don't think it will hurt your chances at getting a job for having changed your name. It would be weirder to apply as one thing and show up as another.

That's definitely true! Fortunately, I would be both applying and presenting as my biological sex (female). Once I got comfortable in the work environment I might start dressing more androgynously, but I wouldn't try to pass as male at any point.

Your point about the career history is one I hadn't considered before. I write a lot of press releases, and occasionally quote myself (using my female name) in them. All of my current networking is under my female name. I'm sure I could transfer the networking over to my new name fairly easily, since I'm just adding another name instead of removing the original name, but . . . Something to think about, for sure.

There are are LOTS of folks out there with gender mis-matched names.....

I think you'll find it a non issue once you've explained it quickly.....

Thank you, Dee Jay! That's so comforting to hear. =D

If you are presenting female, or mostly female, and use the W. Mary Sue.... then I don't see a problem. I guess it comes down to how much you don't want to upset your grandparents. If its really important, then hold off. Otherwise, do what you feel is right. You'll never satisfy everyone, but the person you should satisfy is yourself. (apologies to Ricky Nelson).

I definitely need to remember that. Sometimes I really do need to put myself first! I suppose I'll sleep on it for a few more days and see how I feel then.

Again, thank you all for your help. *Hugs.*

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Guest Roux

I do have a couple more questions to ask: is it normal for employers to ask to see your birth certificate when you get a new job? If so, is a passport generally accepted in place of a birth certificate?

I seem to remember having to show both my social security card and my birth certificate to my current employer, but not to my two employers before that. I ask because I'll have to fly to my state of birth and get the certificate changed in person, which I just can't afford to do until after I get a job. And if possible, I want to avoid showing my future employer an ID with the un-updated name on it!

Realized this is probably a silly question, since my name change would undoubtedly show up in a background check. Guess I just can't hope to hide it! =)

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Guest Roux

Just to update the thread: I got a job with the city, and everyone I work with/for has been 100% cool with my male name and female appearance . . . athough I'll admit that I told them it it's been my nickname since childhood, which isn't exactly the truth. But hey, I don't intend to change my gender marker or anything, so whatever. That lie will prevent them from asking awkward questions that I'm not comfortable asking. They're aware that I'll be legally changing my name to the male name within the next little while, and it's not a problem. Hurray!

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Guest Lizzie McTrucker

Unforunately in my case, I was unemployed for a year before I found work again with my new name. I sent out bunches of resumes (like 10 per day), had three job interviews and right at the one year mark I had three job offers come at me. My current employer was trying to do a background check on me but all my work history that I had listed was coming up under my old name, so I explained the situation to her, which was a non-situation actually, and she had me fax over the letter from the court showing that I had legally changed my name from (that) to Elizabeth.

..and I've been employed since January of last year with a trans-friendly company. :)

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Guest Elizabeth K

We probably over-think our name changes. My male name was not well transferable to a female equivalent. Elizabeth Anne is nowhere NEAR being a male name. But the judge never blinked.

I kept my last name our of respect for my children.

And I am me - name and all - and happy as a salty wavy tater chip in a savory french onion dip.

Lizzy

OH OH OH - forgot - I changed my name on my professional license too - not a problem at all!

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Ravin

Since I'm in school for a new career, I plan on changing my name before I graduate bercause I've been told that once you're admitted to the bar it's difficult to change your name in the profession.

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