Tips for Starting a New Job During Your Divorce
Starting a new job in the midst of a divorce may sound like the perfect storm. Indeed, it can be difficult to navigate the challenges of two major life transitions at once. Here are some tips for success – along with a reminder to view your new opportunities with hope and take life one step at a time.
You’re going through a lot right now. Rather than tackling everything at once, set small goals for yourself. Celebrate each accomplishment along the way. Patience and perseverance are key to handling major life changes with grace and confidence.
Benefits of starting a new job during divorce
As someone who is starting a new job while going through a divorce, it’s a good idea to focus on the positive. What potential benefits will you get with this change? While some of the following benefits may not apply to you, some probably do. Chalk them up as wins!
A different focus
Having something new to focus on can be extremely helpful during this time of transition. Whether it's learning a new office culture, meeting new people, or simply trying to prioritize your work amidst all the other stressors and challenges in your life, your new job can provide you with an important outlet for nervous energy and take your mind off your personal life for a while.
A chance to nurture self-esteem
Even if you’re the most confident person in the world, going through a divorce can chip away at your self-esteem. The fact that an employer has commissioned your talent is validation in and of itself. Around the corner, more chances to build autonomy and a sense of self-worth may be waiting. Yes, a new job can be daunting, but it can also be a great adventure. Look for the positive in it.
During the pandemic, many employees found they could successfully work from home while enjoying a bit more flexibility. Maybe your new job has given you such flexibility. If so, embrace it! Flexible scheduling options are highly helpful when you’re dealing with the deadlines and other stressors of divorce. And with flexibility comes a heightened sense of control over an important aspect of your life: your time.
Maybe your new job signifies an advance in your career. Maybe this is the first time you’ve worked outside the home after being a stay-at-home parent for years. Regardless, the ability to make more money is a great benefit to people going through a divorce because let’s face it, you may be dealing with filing fees, attorney fees, moving expenses, child support payments, alimony payments, and other costs you didn’t have before.
You may find ways to save money with your new employer, too. You may be filling out tax forms. determining withholdings, and signing up for a new health insurance plan as you onboard. Are there any potential ways to cut corners and save a bit of cash? Maybe your employer offers a more affordable healthcare plan than you had before, or maybe they offer a 401k program. Employee incentives that save you money can be worth their weight in gold.
Protect yourself and your interests
Of course, there are several aspects of employment that could negatively affect your new career. First, you may have to take time off work for divorce proceedings, which could put you at a disadvantage in your new role. It might make it harder for you to get up to speed with the rest of your team, and it could lead to missed deadlines or lower performance evaluations.
Consider part-time work
If you need to take time off work to attend court hearings or meet with divorce lawyers, you may need to take part-time work so it's easier to meet these obligations. This can be challenging if a part-time income is not sufficient for your needs, however. Remember that spousal support is sometimes awarded to people who need to take a new job or go back to school after divorce in order to regain their financial footing.
If a part-time gig works for you, it can be a great starting point. You might check with your supervisor to find out if your role could potentially expand a few months down the line, when you’ve begun your post-divorce chapter and feel ready for more change.
Negotiate childcare with your ex
If you have kids, consider negotiating a co-parenting plan with your ex-spouse that allows both of you to spend adequate time with them while still focusing on your career goals. Check out our guide to common co-parenting time schedules.
If the kids will be in daycare due to your work schedules, you may need to negotiate with your ex about this as well. Professional childcare is not cheap, but it’s more bearable when the expense is shared. If the two of you are amicable enough to put your heads together and find reliable, affordable childcare in your area, you’ll both be able to relax knowing your kids are safe while you’re at work. You and your spouse might also have family members or friends who don’t mind taking the kids for a few hours as needed.
Other tips for success
Here are a few other tips for balancing divorce and work while making the most of your new life.
- Be honest at work, but maintain professional boundaries. While it is important to be honest with your boss and coworkers, use your best judgment here. It is also important to keep issues or tensions with your ex-partner separate from your work life. Avoid sharing information that could put you in a bad light or otherwise hurt you professionally.
- Avoid oversharing on social media. It can be tempting to vent about your divorce on social media, especially when things get stressful at work. But this is unwise, as it could harm your professional reputation and make it more difficult for you to focus on your job.
- Take care of yourself, physically and mentally. Stress management is key. Try to get enough sleep, eat well, and spend time with emotionally supportive friends and loved ones. For other ideas, download our free self-care worksheet.
At Hello Divorce, we’re proud to provide resources that help take care of the whole person during divorce. Visit our homepage here, and perform a search in the upper-left search bar to see what we have to offer in terms of your mental and emotional well-being, financial health, and legal needs. Don’t forget to check out our online divorce plans and services to learn more about what we do. And if you’d like a personal chat, click here to view our calendar and schedule a free 15-minute call with one of our account coordinators.
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