Imagine! You are still trying to figure out who you really are. It’s been almost a year since you went through a divorce. Things have never been the same. Then this new acquaintance of yours asks you- what to do you do for a living?
You managed to tell her that you are in between jobs. However on getting home, the thoughts came pouring in again. What are you actually to do about your career status? It is now very real that a dual family income is a thing of the past.
Maybe at this time of last year, you could have held a 30 minute conversation discussing what you do for a living. It could be that you were a Senior Sales Representative. You had worked in this career for almost twelve years. You took some time off at different times after you had your first and second babies, but maintained the employment thereafter. Now all that is past history. Your career dream seems to have gone into oblivion like many other dreams you had when you were still married to Mr. X.
Someone had told you that divorce is the death of a relationship. But you have come to realize that that is just one aspect of what has happened to you. There has been a big loss of continuity in your life. Over the last year, you have gradually been discovering a new identity in terms of your family life (what is left of it), community and social life. Your economic identity (finance) is one big issue. Even though you receive settlement payment from your ex, it has not been the same.
On deep thought, you came to terms that you had held on to that job over the years not just for the money, but also for the intellectual identity it offered.
You are a little bit confused as how to approach things.
In-between jobs indeed! You could barely get time to work out, not to talk of going to work for a whole day. Since the divorce, you have had to stay with your two young children. Household chores, school trips, responsibilities that were previously handled by your husband and more have left you barely enough room to breathe.
Is there any way to revive your career dream at some point in this your new circumstances?
Yes, there are ways. Remember that where there is a will, there is a way.
Here are some tips to guide you on your new journey of resolving career issues after your divorce:
• If you are feeling overwhelmed about your career identity or the lack of it, recognize that this stage of uncertainty will also pass. Know it is a transient phase that will not last forever.
• Check your career-discovery readiness. If you are still hurting a lot from the emotional trauma of the divorce, it may be very difficult to concentrate on a new or modified venture that requires a significant amount of brain work.
• Recognize that a career identity, though very important, is a part of other identities that define your wholeness. Your self-esteem, social identity, family identity etc. have all been affected by the divorce. Therefore, always view the whole picture as you consider new options.
• Analyze your options. Taking on a new career status may actually require you to take time off your present career/job for a period of time. Your need may be best directed towards more time with your growing children. In other cases, the time off may provide you some thinking space on how to progress in the future.
• Be flexible. The transition towards a new career identity is a process of discovery and this requires a very open mind.
• Recognize that you are unique and so are your circumstances. Do not use somebody else’s parameters to measure yours. What works for another fellow divorcee may not work in your own circumstances.
• When you are ready to work on discovering a new career identity, progress at the right bite size for you.
Tolu Adeleye, Ph.D. author and life - career coach works with individuals and groups helping them to design and pursue healthy career paths. Visit her at: http://www.wholesomecareerliving.com