Going through the divorce process can be overwhelming, even in the best of circumstances. It is emotional, and time-consuming, and understandably includes all of the stress that would be expected when moving from one home, and one shared life, to two. As if this stress weren’t enough, it is not uncommon as couples divorce for one spouse to realize that he or she will have to go back to work in order to make ends meet to cover the expenses of two households instead of one.
Understandably, this realization can cause some amount of anxiety. At the beginning of a marriage, it is not at all unusual for one spouse to quit his or her job to stay home with the children, never imagining divorce as a reality down the road. As a result, it can be quite a shock to realize, perhaps after many years of being at home, that you will need to return to the workforce. While the prospect of returning to work after many years away may be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be impossible.
At The Law Office of Dustin McCrary, we are happy to offer these tips, which we hope will be helpful, to those returning to the workforce either during or after a divorce. If you’re in the market for a new job, consider the following recommendations:
- Don’t view your years at home as a hindrance: Often, many are afraid that potential employers will treat a gap in the resume while staying home to care for children as a negative. In fact, the truth can be quite the contrary. Don’t be afraid to tell potential employers how your years at home with your children were not only very valuable from an emotional perspective, but also how those years enhanced your time management skills, your ability to deal quickly with crisis situations, your ability to think on your feet, and your ability to manage many types of tasks throughout the day. Emphasize your strengths.
- Update and proofread your resume: Spend the time you need to update your resume and make it truly representative of your skills. Carefully craft it with an eye toward the type of job you hope to obtain, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from others whose opinions you value. Don’t forget to carefully proofread your resume as well – don’t let minor mistakes keep you from a major job opportunity.
- Use available online tools to market yourself: There are many helpful online job searching tools including LinkedIn and others, on which you can post your resume, picture, job skills, and other pertinent information, and which you can use both for potential employers to contact you, and to search for jobs in which you may be interested.
- Use your family and friends as resources: Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help. Some of the best connections come from word of mouth and from personal recommendations. Allow those who care about you to help you, and to put you in touch with potential employers if possible.
- Utilize your membership in organizations to your advantage: Are you active in your college alumni association? If so, reach out to your office of alumni affairs. They may have a database of alumni employers with job openings, or may be able to put you in touch with other alumni who can help you in your search. Likewise, if you are involved in church, or the community rotary club, or any other social and/or civic organizations, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals in your group who may have information about jobs in fields that interests you. Are you a veteran? Reach out to your local Veteran’s Association for any job assistance services they may offer.
- Consider creating a business card: You don’t have to have a job already to have a business card. In fact, creating a business card can be a very savvy move for a job seeker – it’s an excellent way to showcase your skill set with a catchy tagline or a striking design, and a good way to help potential employers keep you in mind.
- Make use of any community services: Does your community have an employment office, or any other sort of job placement organization? If so, don’t hesitate to contact that office to see what help they may be able to offer, or to review a list of any potential job openings.
- Be open to new possibilities: Even if you may have held a certain type of job in the past, or may hope for a certain type of job in the future, don’t be limited in your thinking with respect to what sort of job you might enjoy. Be open to different possibilities, and don’t be afraid to take an interview that may seem somewhat out of your comfort zone. Sometimes that is the best way to discover something new that you love.
- Always say thank you: Never underestimate the value of a thank you note. Particularly in today’s fast-paced digital world, a handwritten thank you note is a personal touch that can make a lasting impression. Always take the few minutes to send one.
While returning to the working world may not be easy, and will certainly require some adjustment and adaptation, the good news is that it can, in fact, be very rewarding. It’s possible you may find more than a job – you may find a passion, or a hidden talent you didn’t realize you had, or a group of coworkers that you enjoy being with a great deal. You may be able not only to make a financial difference in your own life, but also a lasting difference in the lives of many others as well. As with many things in life, the beginning of a new job is a journey – make it a wonderful adventure.