Re-entering the workforce during or after your divorce

Re-entering the workforce after divorceYou’re in the process of a major life transition, separation or divorce, and now possibly faced with the reality of diminished income, especially if only one spouse has been working during the marriage. Yet another life transition is at hand… the need to re-enter the workforce after a prolonged absence.

Most often it is the woman as stay-at-home moms that have to figure out how to overcome this challenge.

 “What do I do to get a job after not having worked for a long time?”

In some cases a career makeover may be appropriate; in others, you may be able to get back into the same field. Each individual’s circumstances will be different but here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Set reasonable goals for self-sufficiency and the time it will take to achieve it
  • Determine what your first move is; plan your next move
  • Realize that this is another life transition and a professional transition phase as well
  • Focus on your strengths and skillset and not necessarily your prior experience. Your skillset may be appropriate for several career choices.
  • Consider meeting with a career coach to help you figure out your strengths and interests.
  • Redo or write your resume; in addition to a career coach, there are many websites offering suggestions on how to do this. Your resume will be a work in progress, so editing and revising is to be expected
  • Build your confidence in yourself by practicing and role-playing job interviews with friends and family. Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked during an interview and prepare answers in advance so you don’t have to make it up on the spot
  • Decide upon which jobs or career direction you really would like to have. This may be an ideal opportunity to attempt what it is you WANT to do rather than what you HAVE to do
  • Manage your personal expectations, you may have to start at a lower level then when you left the field but with your life skills may work your way back up more quickly
  • Read the HELP WANTED ads in the newspapers; search the Internet job boards, network in person and on social media to get a sense of the current job availabilities. Tell everyone tactfully that you are in the market and searching for a job; never ask them directly for a job, rather ask if they may know of any openings.
  • Be able to describe in five sentences what your ideal job is and why you are qualified for this position ( often called an “elevator speech”,  this should be able to be spoken in the short time it takes to ride the elevator from the lobby to your floor)
  • Learn from each job hunting experience and apply that new knowledge to your next meeting
  • Don’t give up!

At NY Divorce Mediation Group we can help you find your way through this workforce situation as we help you through the divorce mediation process, too.

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