Divorce brings with it many changes. But one change that is often faced by stay at home mom’s (and increasingly stay at home dads), is finding a job after divorce or separation. This may be the first time in many years that a spouse has needed to find work, or it may be the first time seeking full time if the spouse has worked part-time during the marriage. Either way, the task is daunting. After several years of working with clients during this transition, I have compiled a short list of helpful tips.
Helpful tips for Finding a Job after Divorce
- Write a resume. Consider hiring someone to help in tailoring your resume towards the type of work you are seeking. If you have a friend in the field, they may be a useful resource for reading your resume and offering suggestions for getting it up to date. If you attended college, consider going back to the institution you attended. Most will have career services centers that help students and alumni create resumes and practice interview skills.
- Consider volunteering. If you can volunteer in your area of interest, it may be a wonderful way to meet employers. You can also become familiar with the work. Volunteering may also help you determine what specific area of a field you want to go into. It may be challenging to work a volunteer job into your schedule. However, it will have the double benefit of helping you feel like you are making a difference and introducing you to the workforce.
- Get the Word Out. Open a LinkedIn account. Have lunch with your former colleagues and let them know about your interest in getting back into the workforce. Drive by your desired workplace and notice if they post job openings on the building. Become familiar with the website where they post their employment opportunities. If you fill out an application online, consider following up with a friendly note. You could also visit the workplace to physically drop off your resume.
- Become familiar with the companies that you are submitting application to. You should have a reason to want to work for a company beyond “earning money”. Your resume and your responses to interview questions will reveal whether you know anything about the workplace culture of the place you hope to be employed at. The internet makes this kind of research easier. Use it to learn about how a company was founded. What is the strategic vision and mission of the company. Learn what some of the company’s current initiatives are. Knowing that a company values professional development, or that it focuses on providing low cost educational initiatives, for example, can help you frame yourself as a candidate who aligns to the company’s mission.
Transition to the Workforce
Remember your strengths and how far you have come. You may have been out of the workforce for a while, but in that time you have gained wisdom and insight. You have been managing a household and perhaps raising children, which are skills that transfer into some workforce’s quite well. Most transitions are intimidating, but with preparation and confidence, you will be able to get through this moment and get to a point where you are ready to help someone else facing it!