I originally drafted this blog about changing my name a few months ago and then thought many would think it was an odd thing to do, so I left it sitting in the ‘ideas box’ on my PC. However following an article in yesterday’s news it seems it is not such a strange occurance after all, >>>an estimated 58,000 people changing their name by the end of 2011 – an increase of 4,000 on the previous year. A decade ago, only 5,000 people changed their names.<<< I decided to resurrect it as maybe I am just a little trend setter and way ahead of my time LOL.
Strange question to anyone who has never considered changing their name, but for many it can mean a completely new and often rewarding life.
There are many reasons for changing, anything from having the name you always wanted, being sick of telling everyone you meet how to pronounce your name or using a name that everyone already calls you even if you were not given it by your parents.
I changed my first name over 20 years ago, something that I would not ordinarily have done but a particular instance instigated this. When I tell people, they are amazed as to the discrimination that this appears to highlight. After being made redundant following many years with the same company, I suddenly found myself on the job market. When I applied for employment, although I was more than qualified for the positions, the applications were either rejected or ignored. I found this frustrating; as I knew I had a good CV and wanted to discover what was putting the reader off. I thought I would try a little test and changed the initial letter of my first name with that of my middle name. I sent out identical CVs apart from the name change and Eureka! It worked I received interviews for every position based on the CV with the new name and rejections for the CVs bearing the old name. As assumed, prospective employers believed my first name belonged to some middle aged person (which I wasn´t at the time).
After accepting a position with the new name, it sort of stuck and from that day to this it is what I have been called. It can take a bit of time for the new name to filter through, particularly to family, but after so many years nobody thinks twice about it apart from the odd few who think they are funny and clever being able to mentioning your old name. They assume this will cause embarrassment when the reality is, at least in my case, it has never been a secret and in fact is seen as highly amusing.
In general, if you wish you can just change your name, decide on what you want to be called and start using the new name. In strict law that is all that is necessary, however, people often choose to obtain a British Deed Poll that will provide evidence of that change and is accepted by the Passport Service, the DVLA, banks, in fact anywhere you officially sign your name.
So if you really want to do it, don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.