When you are divorcing, income is naturally a big area of concern; a two-income household will now be down to one revenue stream. This becomes especially true if you have not worked full-time for a long period of time because you were a stay-at-home parent or you were supporting your spouse’s career. If you are preparing to divorce and are concerned about returning to work for the first time in a long time, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Know Your Interests
You don’t have to go back to the same line of work you had before you married or had kids if you don’t want to. Sometimes, changing things up can make going back to work a little easier mentally. By the same token, having a specific degree doesn’t mean you’re forced to use it, either, if it involves a line of work you no longer enjoy. Switching careers can be beneficial to your mental state, and there’s no better time to go back to school or try vocational training than when you are already in a time of transition. If you have family, friends or even acquaintances in the career you are leaning toward, ask them about their experiences to get a little more insight.
Speak to a career counselor who can help you with your resume and explain the basics behind different jobs. They can also help you with applications, interview prep and pay negotiation strategies. Counselors may be available for free at local community centers and your area unemployment office, so be sure to check around to see who offers this service.
Estimate Your Income
While you are figuring out what job you want to do and how you will get there, you might need to figure out how to earn enough money to get by. For stay-at-home spouses or parents, child or spousal support will add income to your new household. Your budget can help as you decide what to do and how much additional income is required. A part-time job is also an option as this will get you back out into the workforce.
Draft a realistic budget that you can and will stick to during this time of transition so you know how much money has to be coming in for you to survive. Bear in mind that for a period of time, this may mean cutting some unnecessary expenses such as meals out, impulse shopping and other non-crucial expenditures until you are able to fully support yourself on your own.
Consider Going Back to School
Many good-paying jobs will require you to have some type of degree in a relevant field. If your goal is to eventually get a job you enjoy and want to do until you retire, you might have to go back to school to achieve that goal. A management degree, for example, can help you get into many industries and teach you what you need to know if you want to open your own business, and you may be able to work toward it part-time online. Weigh all your possible options before you make your decision about education or training; there may be more than one avenue for you to take to reach your goal.
If life changes unexpectedly and now going back to work after a divorce is part of your plan, consider what you can do to get yourself into a job you truly want to do and could do for the rest of your life. Balancing your family life, your children and your social life while going back to work can get complicated fast, but when you have a plan and explore all your options, you can make this transition a successful one.