As you enter your new life after divorce, it can be difficult to think about anything but what you’ve been through. However, it is important to start concentrating on your future and how you will support yourself and your children (if you have them). After divorce, some people find themselves looking for a new job.
Analyze your needs and your skillset
Regardless of your situation, it's important to stay focused and motivated when trying to get a job post-divorce. This can be especially challenging if you've never worked before, if you earned a degree but never used it, or if you're just starting a new career.
It's also important to keep your post-divorce needs in mind, as these may differ from what you needed during married life. For example, if you're receiving temporary spousal support, you may need to find a part-time job that allows you to balance work and childcare duties. If you're looking for a career change and hoping to find something exciting and new, you may need to exercise patience while you search for the right opportunity.
Set realistic goals for yourself, and work at staying positive. Remind yourself that plenty of opportunities exist; it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Stay focused on what you want, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
Recommended reading: Divorce and Marital Status Discrimination: Your Workplace Rights
Familiarize yourself with job posting sites
There are many job posting sites available online, and it can be very helpful to familiarize yourself with them and how they work.
Indeed is a general job site that contains listings from companies who post jobs on their site. You can find company information as well as employee reviews that give you an idea of what it's like to work there. You can also post your resume and apply for jobs through Indeed.
ZipRecruiter is another general job site that allows you to create a profile and receive daily email alerts with new job listings that match your criteria. ZipRecruiter pulls job listings from many sites, including company career pages, so you don't have to go looking in multiple places.
LinkedIn is a social networking site specifically for professionals. You can post your resume and make it viewable to potential employers. The site offers listings for thousands of jobs as well as information about companies and their employees.
Google is a wonderful resource for finding a new job. Type in the search bar what kind of job you're looking for. Or, if you know a company you want to work for, type their name and "+ work for us" to quickly locate any open positions they may have.
Industry-specific job boards
In addition to general job sites, there are industry-specific job boards for your perusal. If you’re interested in finding a job in the healthcare industry, for example, check out HealthcareJobsHQ.com or NurseRecruiter.com. The best way to find the right job board for you is to do some research online and ask friends and family for recommendations.
As you visit these sites, you may see a few jobs that perk your interest — and many more that aren’t right for you. With such a vast array of new jobs to consider, you may feel disappointed if you don’t find the perfect position right away. Bookmark these sites, and return to them often. New job opportunities turn up every day.
Tighten up your resume
Here are some tips for tightening up your resume.
- Make sure your resume is up-to-date.
- Focus on your skills and experience rather than your job history.
- Tailor your resume to the job you're applying for.
- Use strong action verbs to describe your achievements.
- Limit your resume to one page, if possible.
- Proofread it carefully for mistakes.
- Get someone else to proofread it for you.
- Make sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date.
- Check out the company's website before you apply for a job there.
- Write a tailored cover letter for each job application.
Don't get discouraged if you don't find the perfect job right away. It takes time and effort to find the right position for you, but it will be worth it in the end.
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Work with a coach
A job coach is someone who assists job seekers in finding and obtaining employment. They help with everything from creating resumes to preparing for interviews. They can also provide support in the workplace and act as a mentor. Job coaches can be found through various organizations, such as career centers or employment services.
A life coach can help you with a job search, too – and some life coaches specialize in helping people with career transitions. The added bonus of a life coach is that they may be able to help you work through some of your post-divorce issues, too.
A job interview is just like any other performance. It takes practice to feel confident and ready. By preparing ahead of time, you can increase your chances of acing the interview and getting the job you want.
One way to prepare for an interview is to video record yourself answering interview questions. This will help you see what your body language looks like and whether you are speaking clearly and at a comfortable volume.
You can also role-play job interviews with a friend or family member. They can give you real-time feedback on your answers and help you craft solid responses to potential interview questions.
Research the company and position you’re interviewing for. Learn what the company's values are, and find specific examples of how you have exhibited those values in your past work. Be ready to talk about your strengths and weaknesses as well as why you are interested in the position.
Network like a boss
When networking in today's environment, it is important to utilize all the technology at your disposal. Here are a few tips to help you network:
- Make a list of all your contacts. Put them in your phone (or contact management software). This will make it easy to reach out to them when you need to.
- Use social media to connect with people in your industry. LinkedIn is a great site for this, but there are also many industry-specific social media sites that can be helpful.
- Attend industry events and meetups. This is a great way to meet people in your industry and build relationships.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest technology and trends. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and show potential employers that you’re knowledgeable in your field.
Consider going back to school
People going through a divorce often think about (and sometimes worry about) their options for the future. One option may be returning to school. There are many scholarships and grants available to help pay for school.
A great way to find scholarships is to do a Google search for scholarships in your local area, for your specific school, or even for your field of study. You can also check with your local community foundation, library, and Chamber of Commerce.
A great way to find grants is to do a Google search for grants relating to your desired degree. Your school's financial aid team can also be a valuable resource.
Another option is to take out student loans. Student loans are available through the government and private lenders. To apply for student loans, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at fafsa.gov.
Our final tip on finding a new job post-divorce is a more personal one, and it’s quite simple: Take care of yourself.
We see you. You’ve just gone through one of the most stressful experiences of your life. You’re on the lookout for new opportunities. You’re probably balancing a new lifestyle that may include co-parenting, child custody schedules, and giving or receiving spousal support or child support. And, whether the divorce was your idea or not, you’re probably still grieving the loss of your old life.
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Balancing self-care and self-love with a job search and all of life’s other demands can feel overwhelming. We’re here to remind you that you’ve come this far, and you’re worth the effort and time it takes to get this next chapter started on the right footing. So take care of yourself, and keep looking forward.