Going through a divorce is one of the hardest life transitions anyone could ever face. You’ll actually end up going through a grieving process, even if you know splitting up with your spouse was the right thing to do. But once you’ve gotten through that process and you’re ready to accept the reality of your new life, you might be asking yourself “what now?”
Try to consider this next chapter of your life as a fresh start. Some people who get divorced have a hard time with self-esteem and even figuring out their own identity. That’s why being open to new experiences and learning new things can make a big difference in your overall psychological health.
Learning something new can allow you to meet new people, refresh your environment, and jumpstart your professional life, whether you currently have a job and you want to advance your career or you want to go back and get the degree you’ve always dreamed of.
With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the things you should know about continuing your education after a divorce, and how it can benefit you.
Here Are the Benefits of Continuing Your Education After Divorce
Learning New Skills to Advance Your Career
Unfortunately, divorce leaves many people in messy financial situations. Between 2005-2015, single mothers in the U.S. saw their average income decreased by 6%. So many women (and men) find it necessary to advance their careers if they’re currently employed. Going back to school to obtain a degree or further your education is a great way to beef up your resume or to land a big promotion.
If you work in business, one way to get ahead is to learn different change management skills.
These skills include:
- Strategic planning
It’s also a good idea to take one-off classes for different office necessities, including Microsoft Excel, or graphic design. Thankfully, many training programs are offered online, so you can work through them on your own time and at your own pace.
Considering Something New
Maybe you never ended up going to college or a training program after high school. Or, maybe you did but never utilized your degree and now you’re interested in something new. If you want to go back to school, you should first decide what it is you want to do so you can have a clear and focused pathway toward reaching your goals.
For example, if you’re interested in finance, you might want to consider becoming an accountant. To be a certified public accountant, you’ll need about 150 hours of college credit, which is more than the standard Bachelor’s degree. But all of that hard work isn’t without its rewards! Accountants make about $69,000 a year, and there are over 1 million accounting jobs in the U.S.
Have you always had a passion for education? You can work toward becoming a professor of higher education if you want to inspire the next generation of young minds about to enter the working world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that this particular career path will grow by 15% in the next 10 years. While it can take years of schooling and certifications, it’s a great way to shift your focus away from your divorce and onto something meaningful for yourself.
Sticking to a Schedule That Works for You
There are a few things you should keep in mind before you head back to school. Focus on your strengths, and give yourself time to rebuild your self-esteem and confidence. According to a study done in Clinical Psychological Science, divorce can trigger depression in some people, so you might not initially be motivated to continue your education, especially if you think it will add extra stress.
But one of the best ways to beat depression after divorce is to find a new hobby and start with a clean slate. Continuing your education with a schedule that works for you is a great way to do that.
Thanks to advancements in technology, going to school isn’t always what it used to be. Many universities and training programs offer online courses that allow you to join in on your own time, from the comfort of your own home. If you have kids, that can be a great option so you’re able to stay home with them while still advancing your education.
You can also look into schools that will work with your schedule. For example, Chicago’s Roosevelt University offers a Lawyer’s Assistant Program (LAP) that meets on nights and weekends. Find what works for you, without you having to adapt your schedule too much. Remember, this is supposed to be a positive experience, not something to further stress you out.
When the divorce is final and you’re not sure what to do next, think about your passions and what you’re interested in, and how continuing your education can help you to further those passions and reach your goals. Whether you want a pay increase, something to distract you, or something to motivate you to start fresh, now is a perfect time to continue your education.