If you put your career on hold for several years to raise a family, or maybe didn’t start a career at all, you may feel unprepared for entering the workforce. However, going back to work after divorce is a great opportunity for a fresh start.
Returning to work after divorce is a chance to meet new people, learn new skills and even find a renewed sense of purpose. Whether you want to re-establish yourself in a familiar job or reinvent yourself in a brand new field of work, new beginnings are exciting, but can be intimidating as well.
Here are 7 tips to boost your confidence when you return to work after divorce:
1. Dream Big
Take some time to think about what your dream job would be. What are you passionate about? What do you love to do? Your first line of work after divorce may not be your forever job, but don’t settle for a 9 to 5 if you would rather be running your own non-profit, starting a business, or getting paid to travel. Do one thing each day that takes you a small step closer to realizing your dream.
2. Assess Yourself
Think about the skills, knowledge, and experience you already have and how they could benefit a company. Have a 2 – 4 sentence summary prepared that highlights your greatest strengths, shares your passion, and illustrates your unique value. Revamp your resume. Translate the skills you’ve acquired into marketable language.
3. Talk to Everyone
Use the “3-foot rule” and tell everyone who comes within three feet of you that you are looking for a job. Share your summary with them and ask if they know of any job openings, or have a connection anywhere that might be helpful. Take every opportunity to network.
4. Ask Questions
Reach out to people who are doing what you want to do when you go back to work after divorce. Ask them what they love about their job, what they hate, and how they got there. Ask them to review your resume and give you insight to areas where you may need some additional education or experience.
5. Learn New Technology
If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest technology or job search engines, take some time to refresh your memory. LinkedIn and Indeed are great places to start for the job hunt. Also brush up on any industry-specific software that you may need to know. You don’t necessarily have to master it, but be sure that you can learn it. Your local library could be a great resource.
6. Consider Additional Training or Education
While going back to school is not always the best option, there are some cases where it is the practical next step. In some industries, an internship or apprenticeship would be more valuable than a degree, be sure to find out what the most useful next step would be, and do that.
7. Secure Spousal Support
Your contributions to your family and home are valuable and they gave your spouse the opportunity to be gainfully employed. You may be entitled to alimony from your ex-spouse to help make the transition financially possible. Be sure to consult with your divorce attorney and share with them your thoughts and hopes about what you will do for work after divorce so they can help you get the resources necessary to make your goals a reality. Don’t miss out on your dreams because you didn’t know your rights during your divorce.