You may have been out of the workforce for a few decades while taking care of children, a husband, and a household.
Now suddenly everything is topsy-turvy and you are thrown back into it. Here are some tips to make this transition from stay-at-home mother to working woman easier.
1. Get a career Coach. If you are still in the divorce process, bring in the newest member on the collaborative divorce team, the career coach. This coach can help you get career advice while you are divorcing and is invaluable for determining if you require an extra bit of money for retraining or brushing up on skills. A career coach can help you feel more empowered and stronger during the divorce process.
2. Determine your skills. If you are unsure about what type of job is best for you, call your local college to inquire about vocational testing. The test results can give you a clear indication what career path to select.
3. Shape up your resume. Get professional help writing your resume, this is not a do-it-yourself project. Think about the various volunteer tasks that you have done and how they may translate into a job. If you did accounting, planned big events, and wrote grants, these are valuable skills which can be mentioned in the resume. If you are only doing a small touch up, at least have someone, like a teacher, go over it. When you send off your resume, make sure to include a specific cover letter for the job wanted. When I ran a business, if someone did not include a cover letter, I tossed out their job application.
4. Meet with a career advisor. Community colleges often have free services where you can meet with an advisor who can help you write your resume and any cover letters, and also may have good leads on jobs in your city. If your skills are rusty, then take a class. Consider enrolling into a computer course to update your proficiency. Most jobs from auto mechanics to store clerks require basic computer knowledge. There are also special programs for women over fifty getting back into the job market.
5. Go to a women’s networking group meeting. They may have some job leads or know people who may be able to assist you. I was amazed how quickly job connections were made when I attended one recently. Let friends, relatives, and acquaintances where you do business know that you are seeking employment. I went into one business and told the shocked owner that I would be starting there the next morning. I said that I would work several hours for free to see if we both thought it would work out. I ended up staying there for five years.
6. Check out Craig’s List and other listings. Look through Craig’s List and free newspapers in your city. I found a small part-time job by word of mouth. Talk to people in your industry for any leads.
7. Volunteering can lead to a permanent job. Volunteering is a great way to get experience and your foot in the door. It gives an organization the opportunity to see how invaluable you are and when a paid position opens up, you are right there on the spot to claim it.
8. Dress the part. Now that you have landed an interview, spiff up your wardrobe. Have a fashionable friend take a look into your closet to sort out what would be appropriate job interview outfits. Make an appointment with a department store consultant who can give advice on what to wear on the job. She can stretch your wardrobe by showing how a few pieces can be worn many different ways. Get advice on your hairstyle and makeup to give you a more contemporary look.
9. Be prepared. Practice doing a mock interview to enable you to become more comfortable. Before the actual interview, do whatever it takes to get more relaxed: meditation, deep breathing, or my favorite, which is squirting Bach’s Rescue Remedy into my mouth.
10. Make friends. When new on the job, be friendly to all. Avoid jumping into joining a clique too soon. You do not want to find out later that the clique is catty, or others do not like them. Be careful when people are gossiping, because you do not want any comments attributed to you. I would go out after work with a big group until I later could judge who was reliable and good friend material. Bringing homemade goodies endears one to others quickly.
Watch what is posted about you on social media and do not let friends post photos of you partying. Keep your social media on the professional side so there are no repercussions down the road. Once you get into the swing of things on the job, you will become more relaxed and enjoy this new adventure.