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.
7 Tips To Boost Your Confidence When You Return To Work After Divorce
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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.
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.
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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.
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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 into areas where you may need some additional education or experience.
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 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.
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.
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.
Find Your New Interest/Passion
If you need to find yourself, you can start by finding a career counselor to help you discover your interests, refurbish your resume, uncover new opportunities, negotiate pay, prepare for interviews, etc. Career counselors can be incredibly helpful when transitioning from a divorce. If you were a stay-at-home spouse, you still have your life ahead of you. You must rediscover your interest and passion and prepare to transform them into income.
A career counselor can help you switch careers or find work outside your areas of expertise. You shouldn’t be limited by anything. In fact, this is the best time for transitioning. You simply need to be open and ready to rediscover whatever it is that interests you.
Have An Ideal Income in Mind
Divorce can create an urgency to work to cater for some expenses. When that’s the case, it helps to know exactly how much money you need first before looking for work that matches your needs. As a stay-at-home spouse going back to work, you need to think of those expenses that aren’t covered by alimony and child support. Once you have a figure, you’ll have an idea on the work you should be looking for.
Consider Higher Education
If you need/want a good income that can help you rebuild your life completely, you should think of higher education. Most well-paying jobs today are highly specialized. If you wish for a job that you will love or be proud of, you can consider going back to school and acquiring a management degree.
While you can secure a great job online with no degree, higher education opens more job opportunities. Luckily, you can get an online degree that is convenient and affordable. It’s also possible to work online exclusively and earn a great living. A management degree can also open doors for getting into entrepreneurship.
As a parent trying to get back to work after a divorce, you can get inspiration from your own kids. Children are incredibly creative. They play and imagine in their own world with little to no limits. You can use this same image to create your ideal job and be as descriptive as possible to answer seemingly challenging questions about your ideal job.
For instance, you can answer questions on your ideal industry, company, pay, location, working hours, etc. Possibilities begin with dreams. By tapping into your imagination, you could even stumble upon a great idea that can launch your entrepreneurship journey.
Focus On Your Strengths. Don’t Ignore Your Weaknesses
Your ideal job is one that complements your strengths. This is precisely why you should list down your strengths first when looking for a business idea or job. Matching your strengths and a job description can make you a great fit for an ideal company. Assuming you’ve been a stay-at-home spouse, what roles have you been handling?
If you’ve volunteered part-time in an organization, run the home budget, established a home-based business or done other things, write that down and find the skills required to do such work. Also, don’t forget to list the attributes other people love about you to discover important strengths you commonly overlook.
You should also consider the weaknesses and how you can work on them. Understanding yourself is critical when interviewing for new roles and looking for business ideas/pursuing entrepreneurship.
Assuming you lack work experience, investing money and time can cover for such shortfalls. For instance, a person who has been a stay-at-home spouse for several years with their last job in project management can use this tip to their advantage. Assuming your last role has transformed to a certified position, acquiring the relevant certification is all you require to re-enter your old field.
If you need another degree to do the same job at a higher level, going back to school can be your leverage. Generally, there are small actions you can take to offer you greater returns on any investment. It doesn’t have to be educational. It could be anything from taking a part-time or seasonal role just to gain the necessary skill, exposure, and credibility to get the job you want.
Networking is a notable leveraged action you should consider when searching for work after divorce. Networking is as simple as making it known to those you interact with that you are searching for work. Before you became a full-time stay-at-home spouse, what were you doing? You can use old networks, referrals, networking events to connect yourself with new opportunities.
Start making a conscious effort to know people, market your skills and communicate your urgency to find work. Networking establishes a sales force that markets you in your absence. To increase your odds, consider networking sites like LinkedIn, which connect professionals together. Social media sites also have industry groups or business platforms you can join or follow to find opportunities.
Seek Help From Family Members & Reliable Child Care
If a divorce turns you into a broke single parent, you’ll need support to look after your children and work at the same time. Children fall sick often. They also need to be kept busy, attend school, attend extra-curricular activities, etc. You can’t possibly earn a decent living after divorce if you can’t focus on your work. The best option would be seeking help from a family member i.e., an elderly parent who can help you while you are working.
You can also purpose to find a daycare facility that will watch your kid/s when you are working. Having reliable options makes it possible to return to work without worrying about your kids constantly.
If you implement the above information, you should have a smoother transition to work after divorce. Returning to work can be challenging after an extended break. Luckily, you now have information to guide you along the way.
Important: You may be entitled to significant alimony or spousal support after a divorce if you were a stay-at-home spouse. To get a fair settlement and support that lets you transition smoothly back to work, talk to a seasoned divorce attorney.
It’s not an easy process, but with the right family law attorney, you can leverage the ways that the situation is treated and come through the experience more financially prepared. Talk to a professional in The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates by calling us at (256) 769-0508 or contacting us through our contact form.