Are you newly divorced, or have you been divorced for several years? Maybe you are a single parent who recently became an empty-nester. In any case, you'll want to take time to reflect, ponder and consider possible career options that will fit this new chapter in your life.
So where do you start? Give yourself permission to pause, and think about what you really want your life to look like, lifestyle and career-wise. Allow yourself to be vulnerable as you plan for and build a new career, post-divorce. It will take courage, being brave, and taking a leap of faith, that is for sure.
Life is too short to not do what you enjoy!
Here are some helpful tips to consider:
Take a chance.
Give yourself permission to listen to your heart, pay attention to how you feel, and reflect on the many natural talents you have. Think about what you are most passionate about, and what you love to do. How can you translate your talents and interests into a profession?
Consider your family situation, especially if you have school-aged children. Perhaps choose a profession, or training program, that is compatible with their school schedules as best you can.
Think about the training and schooling you've already had. Do you have a college degree, post-graduate degree, technical training of some sort? Will you want to return to the career in which you've been trained, or will you take a chance on a new career path?
Do the research.
Once you've taken the time to reflect—being mindful and aware of what you really want—and made your decision, get busy doing your research. This is necessary in order to make a sound, wise, and realistic decision.
If you are still raising your children, then considering work or training schedules will be a high priority. On the other hand, if your children are grown, you will most likely have more time to work longer hours, become a student again, or even do both. It's very common for women, in particular, to choose a new career after divorce.
Your research includes looking for the possible grants and scholarships that are available for women and men who have experienced divorce, who are raising their children. For example, look up the numerous foundations in your community to see if they offer scholarships, meet with the schools or training sites you are considering, or potential employers to see if they can offer scholarships, tuition reimbursement, etc.
You need to know what you need, and ask for it.
Get busy preparing.
Whether you've chosen a new career path, or you're returning to your previous line of work, you'll want to refine and update your resume and continue improving and increasing your skill set. Look into renewing any professional credentials or licenses you've had. They may be expired, but that's okay.
You can work on one thing at a time, pacing yourself, to update needed information and reach out to professionals and people who can give you guidance and direction for schooling and work. If you are choosing to go back to school, then you'll want to work on letters of recommendation, prepare for entrance exams for your chosen specialty program, etc.
Keep listening to your heart, and trust yourself.
Surround yourself with support.
As you allow yourself to be vulnerable and courageous, you will begin to live your own authentic life. With that being said, you may find loved ones, and friends who are not too supportive of your new plans; however, keep paying close attention to what you love to do and how you feel.
Give yourself permission to honor your talents and gifts. Your life has been turned upside down by divorce. You are now rebuilding an entirely different life than the one you had planned on. Surround yourself with those who will cheer you on and believe in YOU!
Tap into your talents, and realize they are there for your benefit, as well as for those with whom you associate. Be sure to do your homework, and prepare well. Have the courage to be vulnerable, to "be still" and listen to your inner self, move forward, and work toward your new career goals. Remember to surround yourself with a positive support system. We all need cheerleaders in our lives. Believe in YOU as you start this new chapter in your life. It will look different than the one you planned on, but it will be authentically yours.
Written by Lisa LaBelle, MSC, ACMHC
Lisa LaBelle, MSC, ACMHC, is the founder of Hope After Divorce, HopeAfterDivorce.blogspot.com, and HopeAfterHealing.com. She is a licensed Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Lisa has a B.S. degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling. Her counseling work centers on families, individuals, and children experiencing divorce, grief, and loss. Lisa is a family and child advocate, and a published author. Her work includes Hope After Divorce, Hope After Divorce Support Group Program, and Hope After Healing Support Group Program for Youth. She has been an educator for over 25 years and a divorce consultant for over 15 years.