Returning to the Workforce after a Divorce

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A divorce changes many aspects of a person’s life.  Not only is your marriage ending, but you must also separate your finances, property, and in some cases, determine who will take the kids.  To say this is a tough time is an understatement:  a divorce is life changing.

If you sacrificed your job for a marriage, or became a stay at home parent while your spouse supported the family, what happens when your spouse is no longer there? When a marriage comes to an end and one household is split in to two, you’ll likely have to re-enter the workforce to support yourself and your children.  Even if the court rules in favor of spousal support from your ex, it may not be enough to completely cover life expenses without a job to supplement those payments.  But, the longer you’re out of the workforce, the harder it may become to get back in the game.

How do I get my resume out there again?  What if my interests have changed?  Will anyone hire me after years of not working, and gaps in experience?  These are the anxiety-inducing questions that might be running through your head if you’re faced with getting a job after a divorce.  Rebuilding a career can be daunting, but there are ways to make the process go more smoothly — even as you’re still recovering from the throws of the divorce.

According to an article from Women’s Divorce, one of the best first steps toward finding a job is doing an honest assessment of your professional strengths and weaknesses. Write up your ideal job description, get creative with it, and think about the skills you have that might match that job — consider the roles you’ve taken on in your time at home.

Have you kept track of the household budget and bills?  Have you led any organizations in your community or at your kids’ school?  Think about attributes that friends and neighbors have complimented you for.  Thinking this way will help determine what type of job and position might be best for you, your education, and your unique skillset.

The next best step you can take is to tap in to your network.  Entering the Workforce after Divorce old colleagues, professional friends, and join LinkedIn.  Let people know you’re on the market for a job, and send out your updated resume.  A personal recommendation goes a long way and can get your resume looked at faster, with more weight.

To expand your network, join local business groups, meet-up groups for networking, or industry groups.  Be confident in your ability and everything that you can bring to the table and it won’t be long before opportunities come your way.

One challenge you may face upon re-entering the workforce is the change that may have taken place while you were gone.  Technology has improved, work practices are constantly altering, and work culture is changing with the times.  A new generation is entering the workforce.  Don’t let these changes intimidate you; if you have the skillset necessary for a job then you can learn to work with the transformations in a workplace.

The time after a divorce can be busy and extremely stressful.  You’re likely making the tough transition to being a single parent, or single person.  You might have had to move, and are settling in to a new home.  Finding a job may be the last task on your list, or it might be the first.  Regardless of your situation, refer to these tips when you’re ready to step in to the workforce after a divorce.

If you have questions or concerns about your personal or financial situation after a divorce, or are considering a divorce, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Julie Clark, Attorney at Law.  We’ve helped clients throughout Riverside County through the divorce process, from start to finish.

Photo Credit: fabrisalvetti via Compfight cc

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About Julie Clark

Julie M. Clark graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. She has been practicing law in Riverside County since February of 1992. Julie Clark's Google+ Profile

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