Divorce can be a very scary moment for you, a stay-at-home mum, to make the decision to re-enter the workforce after your separation has been finalised. Amidst all the emotional roller-coaster that you are dealing with, the prospect of going back to the workforce can be daunting and you still need to forge ahead to provide for yourself and your children.
In a situation like this, what are some of the things that you can do in order to make yourself feel better?
Here are some suggestions.
1) Focus on the Positive side of things
Re-entering the workforce is a long process and one in which you need to be patient and courageous, do not be discouraged by what is ahead. You may feel scared and unsure of yourself as you start hunting for a job. That is natural. Do not beat yourself up about any of these emotions but instead focus on your goal to get a job. If you need encouragement, speak to a friend who is able to help you focus.
2) Remember your Strengths
Think about your strengths. What are the things that you are good at doing before and after you become a stay-at-home mum. These strengths will play a big role in helping you to re-enter the workforce. Start to look at jobs which require skills in what you can provide. If you were previously an accountant and have been handling the household budget for the last 10 years, a good place to start looking for a job is probably somewhere in the finance or accounting sector. Do not discount your own strengths!
3) Keep an Open Mind
Do not close off opportunities which you think are not suitable. They might not come twice. Evaluate each and every job offer that comes along and think whether it is something that is worth exploring. You might not think that you are suitable as a telemarketer, but if you are outgoing, resilient and have a sense of humour, you might just be able to excel in the job. Re-entering the workforce means that you are free to choose a new direction and reinvent yourself as a professional. Therefore, always be open to explore new ideas whenever they present themselves during your job hunt.
4) Short-term Training
There are many courses in WDA which offer short-term trainings for women who are re-entering the workforce. Getting yourself into one of these trainings that interest you might do you a universe of good as you will be able to get the most updated information and practical skills to do a job that you love. However, do take note that some courses might require you to commit more time so do arrange for your family members to help you with taking care of your children if necessary.
5) Try not to start your own Business
In your current emotional state, it might not be the best idea to start your own business unless it is something which you are already doing. If you have been dabbling with some home-based business while married, it might be worthwhile for you to continue with the business and find ways to expand it. However, if you have not been doing any business, it is not a good idea to start now. It will be better for you to look for a job first before thinking about starting a business.
6) Be Patient and Persistent
It might be some time before you can land a job in which you like. Therefore, being patient and yet persistent are keys to your success. Remember that you are competing with people with experience as well as fresh young graduates in the job market. It is common for you to face some rejections before you can get a job. Be persistent in your job search and you will be rewarded. A practical method is to create a spreadsheet listing all the jobs that you have applied for and keep it updated as you get replies. It is a great way for you to motivate yourself especially after receiving a few positive replies for interviews!
7) Leverage on your Network
Your network is often the one which will help you find a job. Some personal recommendations from your friends will help to expedite the job hunting process. Ask your friends and family members to help you with your job hunt. They may know someone who is looking for a person to do a job that you like. It is all a matter of telling people that you are looking for a job in the market. Join LinkedIn as well to build on your professional network. They have job listings which may be suitable for you and your presence in LinkedIn will connect you to more people in the same industry that you are interested in.