I am blessed to have the opportunity to collaborate with field experts and offer their advice to divorced singles. Let me introduce you to a friend of mine, Randy Hain, author, speaker, and popular Catholic business leader. His book, The Catholic Briefcase,
was recently voted the Best Catholic Book of 2011 in the About.Com’s
Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards. He has some great advice to share with any of you whose rebuilding life after divorce phase includes a job search. He writes:
It can be very challenging to make ends meet in this difficult economy. The challenge becomes even more formidable when it affects a household that has been through a divorce.
What was once a united approach to supporting a family now falls on the back of each adult as they go their separate ways. If children are involved, the complexity deepens and the challenge grows even more difficult.
I have been blessed to not suffer through the difficulties of divorce but I have witnessed how disruptive and painful this can be in the lives of my friends. For my fellow Catholics seeking an annulment or reconciliation with the Church, the pain is spiritual as well.
I would like to discuss the challenges of making a living in these tough times if you are divorced and single. I would suggest the following ideas as you either pursue gainful employment or hope to improve your financial situation through a better job:
- Rely on your network. There may be a tendency to avoid friends, family or fellow parishioners out of embarrassment or fear of judgment regarding the divorce. I encourage you to have faith in your relationships and know the people who truly care about you are there to help regardless of your situation. Their leads and active introductions can make a huge difference in finding a job or a better job.
- Take inventory.Take a careful inventory of your skills, accomplishments, experiences, passions and values as you address your job situation. This is especially important for former stay-at-home moms who are getting back in the workforce. This inventory will help you clearly and confidently articulate what you can offer a prospective employer and assist in making the right job choice from a fit perspective.
- Recognize the trend towards flexible employment. For years, there has been a growing trend towards flexible hours, working remotely, job sharing and project based work. This is welcome news for divorced parents with children in their care. Being open towards (and actively looking for) these kinds of roles can make your life and income potential grow. One great organization for mothers looking to reenter the workforce is Mom Corps. Check them out at www.momcorps.com.
- Put pride aside and ask for help. This is somewhat connected to the networking idea. For many of us, asking for help can be very difficult. But, I challenge you to put your pride aside and ask your parish priest, neighbors, former classmates and anyone else you know for assistance in your career search. I suggest you will be surprised at how much people are willing to enthusiastically help if you will only take the time to ask them.
One other key point is to recognize the male bias in couples affected by divorce. This may sound odd coming from a man, but it seems obvious that in most households prior to a divorce the man typically had a career in the business world. Although women make up a larger part of the workforce than ever before, many wives have had the more important roles of caring for the children and maintaining the home. Men in a divorce keep on working while often women have to reenter the workforce after years focused on other important things. Divorced parents having to make the jump back into the economy are especially deserving of our help and prayers.
Lastly, none of these efforts in finding a job or earning a better living will bear fruit
without prayer. Seek Christ in prayer at every opportunity: pray a Rosary and ask the Blessed Mother for her intercession, and go to Eucharistic Adoration whenever possible or attend daily Mass. The healing and peace from a life of prayer will make all the difference in your efforts.
Randy Hain, Senior Editor for The Integrated Catholic Life™, is the author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work which was recently released by Liguori Publications. The Catholic Briefcase is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online and your local Catholic bookstore.
Randy Hain’s new book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith will be released by Liguori Publications in November 2012 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.