The Name's The Thing

04.02.13

I Changed My Name For My Job, Not A Man

In the era of building your brand, when does it make sense to ditch your last name?
During her engagement, Jennifer Armstrong struggled with the big issue of the name change. She’d worked as a journalist for a decade, amassed hundreds of bylines, and even a few juicy features for Entertainment Weekly. Why throw it all away for a new, married identity?
 
The last name became an issue, the engagement became a break-up, and Armstrong went on to build a high-powered journalistic career. But along the way, it began to dawn on her that in the age of Google Search, a common first-and-last-name combo could be a curse. There was Jennifer Armstrong the bagpipe teacher. Jennifer Armstrong the fiction writer. Jennifer Armstrong the kids' author; the doctor; even a fellow journo. 
 
So on the eve of publishing her book, Sexy Feminism, Armstrong had to decide--how important is it to be a distinguishable brand in the Internet era? And would her work prompt her to do what her fiance never could?