Looking for a job is tough enough. Looking for a job after you’ve taken a few years away from the workplace is even more difficult. So just imagine how overwhelming it can be to look for a job after you’ve been home full-time and you’re reeling from the effects of a recent divorce: emotionally, financially and physically drained. Yet, as tough as this may be, it is reality for thousands of women each year. If you find yourself suddenly thrust into this position, here are some suggestions for easing the stress:
Get Support – The emotional and logistical issues involved in securing employment following a divorce can be overwhelming. Don’t try to go down this road alone. Ask for help. Friends and family can be an indispensable form of support and resources, but don’t hesitate to secure help from “outside” sources as well. Sometimes therapy may be in order or you might benefit from joining a divorce support group, where you can learn from others who have a firsthand understanding of the issues you face. For assistance with the specifics of the job search, enlist the aid of a qualified career counselor or a local job support group.
Invest in Job Training – One of the best ways to calm your anxiety about the job search is to improve your technology and job-related skills. In addition to the degreed programs sponsored by colleges and universities, investigate some of the less expensive options offered through on-line courses, adult education programs, industry specific workshops and business school training courses.
Consider Temping – Even if you’ve only been out of the workplace for a few years, you may be surprised by the changes that have taken place in today’s office environment. Temping can help ease the transition into the workplace of the 21st century, by allowing you to test out new equipment and practices within a relatively risk-free environment. Temping can also be an excellent way to secure permanent employment, so approach your temp assignment with a serious and professional attitude. You never know who you might impress along the way.
Attend Professional Meetings – Whether it’s the local Chamber of Commerce, the US Small Business Administration or a local branch of a professional association, there are dozens of professional meetings being held in your city every week. Most of these organizations welcome newcomers (typically for a small fee) and their meetings are an excellent place to network and learn about recent industry trends. Check the business section of your local Sunday paper for meeting listings or consult your local phone book for organizations of interest.
Finally, as tough as it may be, be sure to separate the personal from the professional when interviewing. Your feelings of anger and insecurity are understandable, but the fact remains that potential employers really don’t want to hear about how unfair life has treated you lately. Instead, focus on impressing the potential employer by emphasizing the contributions you can make to the future success of the organization.