The period during and after a divorce is full of emotional and logistical challenges, and returning to work or continuing to work is just one of those obstacles you might face. If your spouse had largely supported the family, you may find yourself entering the workforce for the first time in years and wondering how to re-ignite your career after divorce.
Even if you had been working, the changing financials of a divorced family may mean you need to find a better paying position.
Making changes to your career can be overwhelming, especially when so much of your life is already in transition, but the wake of a divorce is also an ideal time to re-ignite your career. With some concrete steps in place, you can evaluate your current situation and determine what you need to do to bring your career to the next level.
Here are 4 Tips on How to Re-ignite Your Career After Divorce.
Take Time for Yourself
Divorce can negatively impact your self-esteem and may even stifle your creativity. When you’re feeling uninspired and unmotivated, interviewing for a new position or getting a promotion can become a real challenge. Set aside some time for yourself to boost your creativity. Simple activities, like getting out for a walk each day or taking a step away from that project you’ve been working on, can help to get you thinking creatively again.
You may feel pressured to quickly jump into pursuing a new career or finding a job as fast as possible, but don’t forget to take some time for your own mental and emotional well-being. By taking time to care for yourself before moving on after a divorce, you’ll be better prepared to evaluate and re-ignite your career.
Make a Financial Plan
Divorces can mean significant financial changes, so take a step back, create a budget, and determine the salary that you will need to make to keep your family financially secure. If you’re coming from a two-career family, this transition may be easier, but you may find that you need to bring in a higher salary than your current one. In this case, you’ll need to weigh options like asking for a raise, applying for a new job, or even making a career change.
If going back to school might be part of your career plan, then it’s time to research the costs of your courses or degree, as well as the options you will have to pay for school. You can apply for federal and private student loans, and many schools offer scholarships, grants, and payment plans. If you’ve identified a school that you’re interested in, schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor so that you can learn about the specific options that school offers.
Consider a Career Change
Sometimes a career change can be the perfect way to start over fresh while securing a well-paying position. When considering a change, you’ll need to do some research into the types of positions available in the new field, their typical salaries, and the types of experience and qualifications that an employer would be looking for in an employee. If you have connections with anyone currently working in the industry or in the type of position you’re considering, ask to take them out to coffee so that you can learn a bit more about the ins and outs of the position.
You’ll need to rework your resume to apply to this new career, but you probably already have some skills and experience that are transferable. Carefully read job descriptions to gain some insight into what employers are looking for, and design your resume to highlight the experience that demonstrates you have those skills and capabilities. Some colleges provide ongoing career support to alumni, so you may want to contact your college’s career services department for help. Hiring a professional resume or cover letter writer can also help you prepare your documents.
Seeking out a new career is a major life change, but it can also have many benefits. A well-paying job can help you secure your children’s futures, establish financial security for yourself, and give you a sense of empowerment and independence during this tumultuous time.
Prepare Yourself for the Job Hunt
Before you apply to jobs, clean up your social media profiles. If there’s anything on your social media profiles that could affect your ability to make a great first impression on an employer, like messy divorce details, then you may consider deleting your Facebook profile. More and more employers rely on social media profiles as an applicant screening tool, so delete or lock up your profile before it’s time to apply for a job.
There is one social media profile that can work to your benefit, though: LinkedIn. If you aren’t yet on LinkedIn, create a profile, and if you are already active, take some time to update the details on your profile. Make sure that you include recent projects, past employers, and honors and achievements that you would want potential employers to know about.
You can also use LinkedIn to network with others and to re-ignite your career after divorce and determine if anyone in your network might be connected to a company that you’re hoping to work for. A warm introduction or a positive word to a potential employer could help you land that job.