HOW TO TACKLE A CA­REER CHANGE AF­TER DI­VORCE

Lift Magazine - - Contents - Writ­ten by MIMI FONG ca­reer change spe­cial­ist & life change coach

While en­ter­ing the world of sin­gle moth­er­hood is fore­most a change

to your per­sonal re­la­tion­ship, it’s ef­fects are far- reach­ing and to some ex­tent, in­fil­trate ev­ery part of your life. It’s a time of up­heaval, it’s a time of re­flec­tion, and as I’ve seen, it can be the time that women make the most deeply ful­fill­ing changes to their ca­reer.

While the thought of a ca­reer change dur­ing di­vorce may at first seem counter-in­tu­itive, it can ac­tu­ally be the per­fect time to re-align your life with what mat­ters to you most and steer your ca­reer in a di­rec­tion that will sup­port you emo­tion­ally and fi­nan­cially, not just now, but for many years to come. It may help you with the prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions of hav­ing greater fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as a sin­gle par­ent, it may help you close the chap­ter on your old life and fo­cus on new beginnings, or it may let you dream big and ful­fil your life’s pur­pose in ways you couldn’t when you were in a re­la­tion­ship.

And while the ac­tual process of a ca­reer change may seem over­whelm­ing along with all the other changes that sep­a­ra­tion and di­vorce brings, it is ab­so­lutely achiev­able. You just need a plan of ac­tion to tackle it!

One of the big­gest mis­takes I’ve seen peo­ple make dur­ing my 15 years in re­cruit­ment, head-hunt­ing and ca­reer coach­ing is to jump right to the end of the ca­reer change process. They start scour­ing job boards, on­line por­tals, so­cial me­dia news feeds and news­pa­pers for ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties only to be­come even more dis­cour­aged, stressed and over­whelmed as they can’t seem to find what they are look­ing for. Of­ten, this is sim­ply be­cause they don’t know what they want, what best suits them and what would make them happy.

So then, where do you start?

ONE OF THE BIG­GEST MIS­TAKES

I’VE SEEN PEO­PLE MAKE IS TO JUMP RIGHT TO THE END OF THE

CA­REER CHANGE PROCESS.

1. KNOW YOUR PUR­POSE

Your pur­pose is your why. It gives you that all-im­por­tant sense of ful­fil­ment, mean­ing and fo­cus and there­fore hap­pi­ness. It’s been shown to be one of the key habits of highly suc­cess­ful peo­ple be­cause it pro­vides you with a ca­reer frame­work, a path for suc­cess, and, even more im­por­tantly, it gives you per­mis­sion to say no to the things that are dis­trac­tions.

So ask your­self this – What is my pur­pose in life? What on earth was I put here to do?

If you’re hav­ing trou­ble defin­ing it clearly, an­swer th­ese ques­tions:

What would you like to be re­mem­bered for in your life?

What would you like your legacy to be?

What would you like your kids to re­mem­ber you for?

Think as big as you can!

And don’t worry about the ‘Hows’ right now. How much will it pay? How would I get a job when I think I don’t have the rel­e­vant skills or qual­i­fi­ca­tions? Or how would I pay for train­ing if I need to re-train? Just give your­self per­mis­sion to dream. Once you find your why, you’ll find the how.

2. DE­FINE YOUR PAS­SION

I’m not re­fer­ring to the things you like to do or find re­motely in­ter­est­ing. A pas­sion is some­thing that you LOVE to do! It brings on a feel­ing of in­ten­sity and ex­cite­ment when you talk about it and it’s what fu­els you and helps you stay on course when ob­sta­cles get in your way. It makes you go that ex­tra mile and open your­self up more to new pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Right now you might be think­ing ‘Noth­ing!’ or ‘I have no idea’ or ‘I’m so tired I have no en­ergy for pas­sion!’ As chil­dren we’re nat­u­rally pas­sion­ate crea­tures, but as we grow up our pas­sion can get buried un­der the need for fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, our ded­i­ca­tion to our roles as wives and moth­ers, and just get­ting through the day… but it’s still there.

If you are strug­gling to come up with any­thing, think back to when you were a child. What did you want to do when you grew up? What did you ded­i­cate many hours to? Who do you ad­mire the most in your life now, and why? If fail­ure or money was no ob­ject, what would you spend much of your time do­ing? What would get you ex­cited, fired up and out of bed in the morn­ing?

The key to this is let­ting your imag­i­na­tion soar. It doesn’t have to be some­thing se­ri­ous, con­ven­tional or prac­ti­cal. Be play­ful!

Once you’ve taken some time to iden­tify th­ese two key el­e­ments, you will be well on your way to hav­ing a much clearer idea of what your next steps need to be… whether it’s know­ing ex­actly where to start to look for that new role you want, ac­knowl­edg­ing that you may need to find a new men­tor or coach or per­haps even that you ac­tu­ally really do enjoy your cur­rent ca­reer and it may just need a some tweak­ing, per­haps a change in hours or a new em­ployer.

Whether it’s a sim­ple job change or a whole new ca­reer path, don’t let your cir­cum­stances or fi­nan­cial pres­sure stop you from putting your toe into the wa­ter to start the process. Your ca­reer path is a life-long jour­ney, and ev­ery lit­tle step to­wards your dream job will set you up for long-term hap­pi­ness… be­cause when you are happy in one im­por­tant area of your life, it will flow onto all the other ar­eas which is a win-win for not just you, but your whole fam­ily.

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