How Do I Find a Job After my Divorce?
Your life is falling apart. You can’t believe you are getting a divorce. You never contemplated divorce when you quit your job as a sales executive 15 years ago. You were so excited to stay at home with your children that the thought of divorce never entered your mind. And now on top of the stress of your family breaking up, you have to find a job. How do you start? Where do you go?
The best way to find a job after your divorce is by broadening and expanding your network. Finding a job in today’s world is much different than it used to be. A resume alone won’t cut it. You’ll need to sort through your contacts and discern who has expertise or connections in the field you’re interested in working in. Then, select a handful of contacts who will be most able to help you and approach them with your qualifications. You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” more times than you’d like to admit. Instead of disdaining over it, embrace it. Below is a list of tips on how to get a post-divorce job and actually enjoy it.
Tips to Help You Get Back in the Game and Find a Job After Your Divorce
- Create a LinkedIn account. This shows that you are out there and visible to the professional world at large.
- Create a business card. Hand them out to any and everyone you meet, explaining you are looking for new opportunities. If you have a specific skill set, include it in your tag line or title (“Graphic Designer” or “Sales and Finance Guru”, for example).
- Don’t limit yourself. Whatever new opportunity you decide to pursue doesn’t have to be based on your previous jobs. Be open to all possibilities.
- Join Organizations/Clubs/Groups. When you decide on the types of jobs you are interested in, join the organizations/clubs/groups etc. that are in that particular field or contain a variety of professionals. Examples include Rotary Clubs, Chamber of Commerce, Junior League, etc. Be the first to volunteer for events.
- Be active in your Alumni Association. If you graduated from a college or university, reach out to the alumni association to determine if they can offer any assistance.
- Use veteran services. If you are a veteran, reach out to the Veteran’s Association for any service they offer related to job assistance. This is a broad network and they aim to help veterans in any way they can.
- Use government Services. Check your local public service offices to determine job placement services that may be offered. Many local offices offer job placement services. They may even offer assistance with childcare while you search for a job.
- Check with Churches/Religious Organizations. If you attend church or any religious service, check with their office to determine if any job services are offered. Many churches offer divorce workshops and meetings to help you cope with the process.
- Utilize your children’s activities. Get to know the parents and instructors, who may be involved in a variety of different organizations that may have an opening.
- Set up Coffee/Lunch Dates with Professionals. Invite professionals in the field you are interested in to lunch to pick their brain about opportunities. If lunch is too expensive in your financial situation, schedule a coffee meeting.
- Attend Social Events in your Area. Go to as many free social events in your area that you can find. It will give you a chance to mingle with other adults and ask questions that may lead to job opportunities. At the very least, it will get you comfortable with meeting new people and talking to strangers.
- Make sure your resume is perfect. Read, reread and reread to ensure there are no errors in spelling. Have a few people proofread for you. One spelling error on a resume would most likely eliminate you for a position if the employer caught the error.
- Use your family and friends as resources. Ask them who they know in the fields of work you are interested in. See if they can get you a meeting or if they know someone that could possibly connect you with an employer.
- Send thank you notes. In the age of social media, set yourself apart with handwritten thank you notes. When you meet with anyone that has offered you assistance, send them a handwritten note thanking them for their time. This sets you apart in a person’s mind, and you never know where that can lead.
- Manage your expectations. It is ok to start in a job that isn’t quite what you are looking for. You have to start somewhere. Get your foot in the door and build your career from there. You may get your dream job out of the gate, but if you don’t, it’s ok. Look at it as a stepping stone to your next job.
Readjusting to the working world can be tough. However, you’re not alone and many others have blazed this trail before you. If you put in the time and effort, not only will you find a job after your divorce, you’ll find one in a field you’re actually passionate about.
If your children are not of school age, a job search can be difficult if you cannot afford childcare. Check with your local public services office about assistance with childcare. You may be able obtain assistance to help you pay for childcare while you search for employment.
Staying at home with your children is a rewarding experience. You learned a lot. You learned how to manage time and deal with crisis after crisis. Don’t be shy about discussing how that experience has enhanced your skill set in the job market. Explain the tools that being a stay at home parent has given you in your life.
Get out there and good luck!