When I got divorced a few years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom with outdated skills and a young little girl to support on my own. How the [bleep] was I going to make myself marketable for the 21st century while napping a four year-old?
Ironically, during that time, I ran into an old friend at the market and we got talking. She had just put together an online coaching university that was accredited with the International Coaching federation. I had no idea how these things worked, so I took some time to sit down with her to understand the time requirements, class schedules, the cost, and possibilities after “graduation.”
It made sense and was completely do-able with a mommy schedule. I signed up that day and never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I had made after my divorce for many reasons.
1. I was beginning to take control of my life again and it gave me purpose, something to strive for. After being home for so long and not taking time for myself, now I was making time for myself and investing in my future. No one can make you stronger except yourself. Sitting and playing victim will not get you a job and pay the bills. I got off my [bleep] and got moving toward an achievable goal.
2. Not only did it help me, but it also helped my kindergartner to learn a bit of self reliance while I was on my class call. Because class times sometimes began just before she got out of school, she learned that she needed to be quiet when she got into the car, take care of her stuff, and put her coat and school bag away when we got home. She watched me work and listened to me in class while she made her own lunch: peanut butter and jelly waffles. There was an understanding that if she wanted me to be at home with her, then she needed to learn to be a bit more independent I went to school. Learning independence and interdependence from me helped me in other areas of single parenthood as well.
3. It was affordable with my reduced income. The online university personally took the time to get o know each student and their financial situation. It was like a mini-family supporting me as I grew a new pair of wings and fly again. We were able to work out a payment plan that worked well for them as well as for my bottom line. To have the ability to take classes from home, during the day, actually saved me money because I didn’t need to spend money on gas driving to school or pay a baby sitter to watch my little girl.
4. Classes were held at various times during the day and I could pick which ones worked within my schedule. They also rotated back again quickly so I could easily take one that I had missed. In order to take a class, I needed to phone in as well as log into the webinar from my computer to get credit. However, if I could only call on the phone, I could let my instructor know via email and he would mark me down as present. They really made it easy to take a class no matter where you were. As a single parent, having that flexibility was so gratifying!
5. Every student had a mentor. I would not be where I am today without my mentor helping me to reach my potential. She helped me shake off the divorce, my old life, and step into my strength. She helped me dig deeper into who I was and who I wanted to be. I had been told by my Ex on multiple occasions that my creativity was a weakness and was always negative when I would try to express myself. My mentor helped me to recognize that my creativity was my gift to the world, helped me to focus, and it became the cornerstone foundation of my new coaching practice.
I feel that it is important after a divorce to invest in yourself, even if it is just one class. You will find its value may not be a tangible outcome, but a greater sense of self that you can take with you as you take baby steps into your new life. If you are interested in an online degree, do your research! Check their affiliations, accreditation process, pricing, feedback and rankings. Be smart about it.
Getting a coaching degree online changed my life, empowered me to start my own business, and feel confident that I will be able to be financially independent in order to care for my child. Invest in your future, you are worth it.
Is it time for you to go back to work after divorce?
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