Divorce often brings big changes in a person’s lifestyle. By examining their lives, some individuals decide that it’s finally time to leave their unfulfilling jobs and find new careers. There are a great deal of resources to help folks through this difficult transition. Many colleges and community colleges provide programs ranging from a two hour class to an eight week workshop on career decision making. These programs refer you to new resources including support groups, networking resources, professional organizations, government agencies, and training programs.
Choosing a new career is a major decision and it should be preceded by a thorough evaluation process. On a practical basis, once you have spent so many years working in one field, it can be difficult to change careers, particularly in a tight job market. It’s typically best to keep your current job until you find a new one.
Many community colleges offer free counselling services and college career centers provide individual and group career counselling. Career counsellors can help you with the self-evaluation process, selecting a career, and the job search process.
Natural strengths are a vital element of the career selection process. A gratifying career is often built upon one’s natural strengths. So take some time to think about what you’re really good at.
Consider getting a mentor. Many colleges and employers have formal mentoring programs. Also, formal mentoring organizations match mentors with individuals. Taking advantage of these programs is a great way to learn about careers and to create some valuable networking opportunities.
Many companies hire people through references. Job search experts report that over 60 percent of available jobs are not advertised and candidates often get invited for interviews after a personal introduction from somebody they know. This makes networking a vital job searching tool. Find a way to network into companies with the goal of getting introduced to a hiring manager.
Network with family members, friends, clubs, and college alumni associations. Social networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn provide opportunities to meet new people with similar professional and personal interests. These new contacts may help you discover new career opportunities and make it easier to find a great job.
Interviewing people in the fields that interest you helps you learn about the various aspects of a career. Informational interviews often change a person’s perspective regarding an occupation. Find interview candidates by asking friends, your college alumni association, or neighbours. Contact relevant professional associations and societies.
According to some career experts, 80% of open jobs are not posted on the Internet. Don’t judge your progress by the number of online applications you filled out for companies where you don’t know anybody.
Going Back to School
Many recently divorced individuals are in a hurry to get their lives back on track and they often make big changes before they’re emotionally ready. Depending on the circumstances, some individuals may want to wait at least a year before deciding if they want to go back to school.
School counsellors can help determine if you’re eligible to get college credit for past work experience. This will decrease your course requirements. School counsellors can also refer you to useful services at the college or in the local community.
A lot of colleges have special programs for adults going back to school. They offer flexible schedules, part-time programs, and online classes. Community colleges are typically good at catering to non-traditional students. Some experts suggest working adults take one class at a time so they don’t get stressed out.
For divorced professionals in boring, dead-end jobs, graduate school can be a powerful way to expand career opportunities. However, graduate school isn’t a good place to take a breather. It’s expensive and time consuming. Perform research and find a field you enjoy that’s fairly sure to provide employment opportunities.
Dancing is a popular post-divorce activity. It won’t help you find a new career, but taking dance lessons keeps you active, boosts your self-confidence, and provides an opportunity to meet new people.
If you’re re-evaluating your career, perform extensive research before making a major career decision.
Brian Jenkins, a member of the BrainTrack writing staff, writes feature articles that offer great advice about a variety of college and career topics. Check out BrainTrack’s Facebook page to learn more.