Amir ... RichardYoung@ ... Sarah & Simon ... TheJohnsons@ ...
These are all variations on email names and addresses which have recently shown up in my womenreturners.com inbox. Stay-at-home dads looking to get back to work? Emails from friends? No, all of these messages were from professional women wanting advice about returning to work.
What's in a name?
It sounds like a small thing, but don't underestimate what your email name and address say about you. An email is often your first point of contact in your job exploration, be it for a networking connection or a recruitment application. In the same way as recent research* has found that you're less likely to appear hirable to recruiters if you have a funny or informal email address, using a family, joint or husband's mail name/address can affect how people see you. Your electronic identity risks labeling you as a mum or wife, with all the accompanying stereotypes, rather than the giving credible professional image you want to convey.
There is also something symbolic about setting up a personal email address for your back-to-work communications. If you're at home looking after your family, it's easy to lose sight of yourself while you're caring for others and being someone's mum/daughter. This is one simple way to start regaining your own independent identity.
How to create a professional email identity
- If you only have a family or joint email, set up a personal one - it's a 5 minute task using a provider such as hotmail or google mail.
- Make sure that your work email address is a formal one, ideally some variation on your full name (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Use the name you'll be using for work and on your CV. Be consistent - don't make your email your family name if you'll be using your maiden name.
- Whether it's a new or an existing address, check how your email name appears when it's received. You can see this by sending a test email. Make sure it's your full name that comes up & if not change the user name in your email settings.
- And, of course, make sure you add the new address to Outlook, your phone and anywhere else you monitor emails so you can easily monitor and promptly reply to all your work-related emails.
Related posts on the psychological side of regaining your identity
Reconnecting with your professional self
Who am I anyway?
Posted by Julianne