Author Topic: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience  (Read 3264 times)

beginagain

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Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« on: June 26, 2018, 12:16:33 AM »
I've posted just a few times before, but I changed my username for this post to protect my privacy. And also because I'm embarrassed and ashamed about my situation. I'm looking for some input on next steps I can take. I could ask my family and friends but I think they are being careful about how they talk to me due to what I am going through. They are all very nice and will probably just tell me to do what I want and things will work out somehow.

I'm currently going through a divorce after being in an abusive marriage for just over 10 years. My husband was a high earner and I have mostly worked part-time from home, at non career-type jobs, while caring for our 3 young children. My husband is in jail and when he gets out he won't be able to make nearly his same salary, not that he would try to anyway, since he quit his job to keep his income down right after I filed. So while the lawyer bills add up on my credit cards, I have been scraping by working several at-home jobs, such as transcription and online tutoring. My original plan was to just work hard at all the part-time jobs while looking for something kid-friendly and with decent benefits, such as with the school district as a media assistant or something. However as my debt rises and my husband keeps delaying the divorce and causing even more legal bills with his nonsense, I am feeling a big sense of urgency to get to a high income level as quickly as possible. I'm already behind on retirement savings and this divorce is probably going to wipe out what little savings I have.

I have an MBA, but I don't have any professional work experience. I married right after finishing my degree, and we had to move a few times for my husband's job. He didn't want me to have a career, so I stuck with the at-home jobs to supplement our income. I've applied for some jobs that I found online and some that I heard about from friends, but I haven't gotten a single interview. I suppose an MBA from over 10 years ago with no relevant work experience just isn't that appealing to employers.

Some of the things I have considered are:
1. Just keep sticking it out with my side hustles. The positive side of this is that they are flexible, I can work early in the morning or late at night, and it is familiar and comfortable. The downsides are the low pay, the jobs can be boring and  not fulfilling, and I would like to set a better example for my kids as far as having a career. Also, it comes back to the shame and embarrassment I feel whenever I am around my family, that I spent so much time and money on an education and didn't do anything with it. They don't say anything to make me feel bad, but I'm sure they are thinking it and talking about it to each other.
2. Keep at the side hustles but put more time into the job search. Maybe join Flex jobs to find a better at home job, with benefits. I'm pretty good at transcription, I've worked in customer service.......maybe I could find a job in one of these areas that would have benefits. I would also look at something like working for the school district, although these jobs seem to be very competitive with other returning-to-work parents.
3. The other option I am considering, and this is the one I really want to do but I have some reservations about, is go back to school for a computer science degree. This is something I always regretted not pursuing earlier, instead of the MBA. I found a good program at one of the state schools here. It is mostly online and is specifically geared toward students who already have a degree and are looking for a career change. I feel like this could potentially get me into a higher income and it would also give me something challenging that I enjoy, and would be a distraction from all the bad stuff happening in my life. I could start small, just a couple classes a term, so that I can keep working and still have time to care for my children during this difficult time in their lives. However this option feels so risky. I worry that by the time I finish, the market for this degree will be saturated, and the degree will just be another thing to list on my resume with nothing to show for it. I've done some research on jobs available where I live, and I felt encouraged to actually see jobs with the degree as the only requirement, but it will be a couple years before I am finished unless I go full time.

Anyway, if you are still reading and have some advice then thank you. It feels easier to run this by Internet friends rather than by my real life family and friends, who have definitely been wonderful and supportive, but who I don't feel that I can ask. It's a weird situation. I think they just want to know how I am “feeling” and want to make sure that I'm not falling apart, but to me the easiest way to stay positive in all this is to focus on making my future and my kids' future as bright and successful as possible.

Cranky

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 04:55:30 AM »
I did read all the way through, and I'm sorry that you are in this mess and glad that you are getting yourself out of it.

My job advice to is go ahead and tell everyone you know that you are looking for a full-time job. You need somebody to give you a foot in the door so that you can build some experience and a resumé.

Good luck!

Dictionary Time

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 05:24:23 AM »
What about looking for part time jobs that are more related to what you want to do.  It seems like the hustles you have are kind of dead-end, and the full time jobs have a lot of competition, so finding something that might help your career, but is part time, might be a compromise.  Just something to get you out there.

The degree seems like a long term thing, that you could pursue in addition to whatever else you do.

And kudos for taking care of you and your kids through this hard time.  You'll make it through!

Noodle

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 06:24:13 AM »
I am so sorry to hear about your troubles.

On the job front, I agree with other posters that a full-time job is probably the way to go. Even a not-great job for a year or so to get resume experience and health care, while you look for something better, or get things organized so you can go back to school.  I appreciate wanting to be child-friendly with all the other disruptions going on in their lives, but getting the family on a firm financial footing may need to come first. Since you don't have much on your resume, you may have to network heavily. Let EVERYONE know that you are looking for a job--your kids' friends parents, your family members, people you know from your religious community. You can share as little or as much of your story as you feel comfortable with, but people really like helping and I think you will find that there are a lot of people out there whose parents/siblings/friends experienced domestic abuse--or they did themselves.

The other thing to look for, I think, is some support for yourself since you mention that your friends and family are well-meaning but aren't necessarily able to help you in the ways that you need. I know counseling may seem like just another bill to pay, but are there any support groups in your community for DV survivors? You might be able to find people there who can give you better advice than your family (or the Internet).

elliha

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 06:46:00 AM »
If you can find a better job for now maybe you can do that and school? Then you can quit the side hustles and do a better paying job and school so that you can then make a switch once you have graduated. If you cannot see yourself doing something other than going back to school and you don't find a job, keep the side hustles and go to school but also be open to finding a new job. I think there should be a job for you, the things you have been doing sound like something that could be usable even in a more regular type of job, especially customer service.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 06:58:05 AM »
The is a podcast about this subject, women returning to a job after a long pause for childcare. One of the advices that I remember was asking a company to let them do your relevant job, for a lower salary to start with. They are taking a risk by hiring a person without experience. And ask to be reconsidered half a year later or a year later for a better salary when they know what you are worth.

bugbaby

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2018, 07:26:26 AM »
Also, do not discount all your experiences including PTA, Mum groups, church volunteer, home renovations, home schooling, college clubs etc as a showcase of your skills.

Go ahead and write your best CV listing these, and apply for all local openings. Also, look at large organizations such as hospital and universities. A lot of times they have new fangled regulation required positions where they're just looking at education qualifications and nothing else. Your MBA places you ahead of an army of college grads, not to mention your maturity.

I was once in a similar situation ... best wishes

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thesis

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 08:21:47 AM »
Dang, sorry to hear this is your situation. This sounds like one of those ultimate tough situations, but you've got the guts to reach out so you're definitely on the right track.

There are a handful of posts about tech careers on these forums, take a look at those. Really, the best thing to do is make sure tech is a job you will enjoy and succeed at before jumping into a program, since the risk for you is high at this point. There are plenty of free programming courses online, and I have found that programming books are not created equally and how much you get out of one or the other will depend very much on how it's style resonates with you and how you learn. For what it's worth, I used the second edition of this Python book to get started: https://www.amazon.com/Python-Programming-Introduction-Computer-Science/dp/1590282752/ but it has been a very, VERY iterative process over the past five years. It's not like doing a coding boot camp or even a CompSci degree just sets you up to be a great programmer, you need a personality that is well suited to it, and grit. Do look into it, though, it's very possible it is a great fit. It is also very a much well-compensated career :)

Like others have said, having the MBA shows you're knowledgeable but maybe just aren't up to speed on things because it was so long ago. Are you sure there aren't some MBA refresher courses out there?

I'm young enough I don't have too many divorced friends, but from those I do know, the message is always "get a really good lawyer". Sad, but true.

Best of luck on your journey, I think others will have better advice beyond this :)

trix76

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 08:30:12 AM »
I’ve read about companies who hire customer service agents to work remotely/from home. In some cases you may be able to get a part-time schedule (30 hours a week). Something like this: https://www.workingmother.com/how-to-get-work-from-home-job-at-amazon?


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formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 08:36:23 AM »
Please don't be ashamed or embarrassed.  You're getting yourself out of an intolerable situation and protecting your children.  That's something to be proud of.

What is your undergrad degree in?

When my inlaws divorced, my MIL hadn't worked in 15 years.  She had been a volunteer with her church, and when she told everyone she knew that she needed a job, one of the church contacts asked if she'd be interested in substitute teaching at the local parochial school.

She sub'd for a few months, and the following school year they offered her a permanent teaching job.  In my state, private school teachers don't have to be certified, and some public school teachers can be hired without certification, too, especially if they are teaching specialized classess like Business principles/accounting/etc.  Even so, here, for people with degrees, the certification process is not that complicated - a few online classes and a test.

You have experience wrangling children.  You have experience dealing with difficult people.  You have an advanced degree.  You may very well be able to turn that into a teaching career.


historienne

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 09:33:09 AM »
I think it's worth pulling out all the stops to get a job with the qualification you already have (the MBA) before getting another degree.  Have you looked into specific "re-entry" or "returnship" programs?  These are designed for women who've been out of the workforce raising children to get back in.  They may or may not exist in your area, but it's worth checking out. Are you working with the career services offices at the place you got your MBA? 

Some potentially useful links: https://www.workingmother.com/on-ramping-programs-for-working-moms
https://www.nbcnews.com/better/careers/returnships-help-stay-home-moms-get-back-work-n750651

Also, I'm not sure exactly how low your income is right now, but apply for any and all government aid that you or the kids are eligible for.  TANF, food stamps, housing assistance, daycare subsidies, WIC, Medicaid - if you qualify, take the help. 

neo von retorch

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 09:38:05 AM »
This may depend a little on the area that you live in, and the flexibility you have with childcare, but I'll offer this suggestion.

Someone close to me is going through a divorce, and did not previously have any real income. However, several people clean houses and businesses for a living, and she got started on that maybe five months ago. She learned to do a nice job and pay attention to the details, and she rapidly got referrals and new business. She now has basically a full schedule, and earns $25-40/hour - more from businesses, which are actually "easier." I'm sure it helps to have an "in", but you could try to poke around and try to find business. Maybe see if anyone is posting anything online (i.e. CraigsList, TaskRabbit, etc) and offer up house-cleaning to your network (i.e. Facebook.)

Odds are, there are (relatively) wealthy (non-mustachian) parents that would rather pay you $25/hr to clean their house than deal with it themselves. And even if they have a cleaner, maybe they are ready for a change.

birdiegirl

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 09:40:00 AM »
You should definitely reach out to the career services depts from your MBA and undergrad program.  As an alum, you may be able to get some free assistance with your resume and search process. 

Another option to consider is working with a temp or contract agency.  You may have to start at an entry level role initially but it would be solid experience to add to your resume.  It's usually easier to get your foot in the door as a temp, since the employer doesn't have to make a long term commitment.   But with a few assignments under your belt, you'll be a lot more marketable for a permanent role.

Dicey

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 09:47:24 AM »
Look at the public utilities. DH works for one and they're in the middle of a multi-year hiring spree as they try to replace all their workers who are retiring. Great benefits,  including a Defined Benefit Pension. Most jobs are listed on line. A lot of companies just want to see the check mark in the level of education box, so they know you are trainable. Also, admin jobs at colleges and universities is an avenue worth exploring if there's one in your area. They typically include free or cheap tuition for sprogs after X number of years of employment.

+1 on the house cleaning.  My sister does this on the side. She cleans only three houses a week, but gets paid $40/hour in a MCOLA, not the Bay Area. All referrals, all people who are neat, organized and nice. She calls it easy money.

Gronnie

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2018, 09:53:07 AM »
I don't think him quitting his job to "keep his income down" will help him at all if you have a decent lawyer. I don't think the judge will look to kindly on it either, and should order any financial obligations to be based on what his actual expected income would have been.

koshtra

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 10:27:34 AM »
There is nothing, nothing to be ashamed of.

I tend to think that a full-time job with benefits, if find-able, is your best option, even if it's not great pay. If you're really *drawn* to programming, if you really like it and it's something you'd do for fun, then it won't matter much if the market is saturated -- the folks who really like it are rare and they stand out. (Really good programmers are ten times as valuable to an employer as decent programmers.) But that's only if you really like it (which you may not be able to know until you've done some.)

Doing the at-home piecework feels maybe like a trap to me -- no way to really get ahead, no way to feel like you're "out in the world," not much recognition or camaraderie or daily interaction with people. And difficult to prove to employers you can "do a real job." (I know, like raising kids isn't a real job.)

A hard row to hoe, but you can totally do this. And whichever way you go, leave the shame behind. Nobody sees it and gets out of it as soon as they supposedly should have.


historienne

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 10:28:01 AM »
I don't think him quitting his job to "keep his income down" will help him at all if you have a decent lawyer. I don't think the judge will look to kindly on it either, and should order any financial obligations to be based on what his actual expected income would have been.

I would think he would get his income imputed based on earning potential; but if he's in jail, his earning potential may have actually gone down considerably, and the amount imputed may reflect that.

Also, you can't get blood from a stone.  If he's not working, or only working at a low-wage job, she's not going to be able to get significant support garnished from his paychecks, even if he's legally ordered to pay.  The OP should work with her lawyer to maximize the support she is ordered, especially since it sounds like she's going to be shouldering all of the work and expenses related to their joint children for the foreseeable future.  But she is wise not to rely on that money coming in. 

Proud Foot

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2018, 10:30:18 AM »
Sorry to hear about your troubles with your ex.

Having the MBA is good. What is your undergrad in and what areas are you interested in working? Like others have said, tell everyone you know that you are looking for a full time job. Find some recruiters/staffing agencies in your area and have a meeting with them. Being able to sit down with them and tell your background, interests, and why you are job searching will go a long way towards getting your foot in the door somewhere. They can also help you get a contract temp job which will hopefully turn into a full time job. If not it will give you recent work experience.

Candace

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2018, 10:32:35 AM »
I don't think him quitting his job to "keep his income down" will help him at all if you have a decent lawyer. I don't think the judge will look to kindly on it either, and should order any financial obligations to be based on what his actual expected income would have been.
If he's in jail, as the OP wrote, he probably has little to no income presently, though perhaps he has assets (retirement accounts, bank accounts, cars, perhaps a pension, etc.). A good lawyer can give you suggestions on how to suss any assets out and get what you're reasonably entitled to. If and when he gets out, I do know that a judge in Virginia can impute income to someone who decides to quit his job. They impute the income based on what he should reasonably be making based on past job history and present circumstances. Of course if he's a felon and can't find a decent job because of that, that process might not help, and all the imputing in the world plus $1.49 will get you a cup of coffee. I think you're right to focus on what you can do for yourself. Best of luck. You have my sympathy and my admiration (which, again, combined with $1.49 will get you a cup of coffee).

Cwadda

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2018, 10:38:56 AM »
In my area, there are companies that have special hiring programs for people who have been away from a career (i.e. raising children) and are transitioning back into the workforce. One company calls it the "Re-Empower" program. Have you seen any opportunities like this? You could try sites like Linkedin, Indeed, Glassdoor, and others.

Zamboni

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 10:49:36 AM »
Hang in there . . . things will get better!

You should definitely reach out to the career services depts from your MBA and undergrad program.  As an alum, you may be able to get some free assistance with your resume and search process. 

Another option to consider is working with a temp or contract agency.  You may have to start at an entry level role initially but it would be solid experience to add to your resume.  It's usually easier to get your foot in the door as a temp, since the employer doesn't have to make a long term commitment.   But with a few assignments under your belt, you'll be a lot more marketable for a permanent role.

This is good advice. You could also consider taking the dates the degrees were earned off of your resume . . . plenty of people do this, and I am not sure how it works out. Then the hiring manager won't know you aren't a newly minted graduate. You also don't have to list everything since the dawn of time on your resume. I had a factory job in high school and a pizza delivery job in college . . . those are not on my resume any more, so it is harder to figure out how old I am.

Please don't downplay your work experience. You have been working, so you have work experience. Don't fall into the trap of explaining to people "but it wasn't a real job." Focus instead on your skills and what you can do for a company. You likely need to rebrand what you are doing with more powerful wording on your resume. Your alma maters' career centers should be able to help you with this. Heck, I'm happy to help you with it if you PM me and send your resume (you can take off your name and identifying info in the version you send me if you are worried about privacy.)

Quote
to let them do your relevant job, for a lower salary to start with. They are taking a risk by hiring a person without experience. And ask to be reconsidered half a year later or a year later for a better salary when they know what you are worth.

I would caution against this strategy . . . this is one of the ways people end up getting paid way less than they should be paid. Instead, do your market research for what the going rate is for and MBA with X-years of "pre-MBA" work experience and expect to be paid in that range. Asking for less shows a lack of confidence, and you don't want to work for employers who are looking for un-confident employees.

You are well educated, smart, and write well. You have a lot going for you! Companies would be lucky to have you working for them.

Good luck!

Sibley

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2018, 10:51:49 AM »
Best job resource I've ever found:
AskAManager.org - work advice blog. She also has amazing cover letter, resume, interviewing, and general how to get a job advice.

Banish the shame. Shame is for when you did something bad or wrong. Based on your post, you didn't do anything worthy of shame. Maybe something wasn't the most ideal decision based on your current situation, but that doesn't mean it was bad. Feel shame because you caused someone pain. Not because you were a SAHP.

Good luck getting a job and getting your life on a good track!

Ecky

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2018, 10:52:00 AM »
Depending on where you live, I understand the job market is pretty good right now. In Vermont we've basically reached the point of "everyone who wants a job, has a job". Unemployment has reached record lows, so people are getting hired for positions which employers would have, in other times, had higher requirements for. The odds are in your favor.

My 2 cents, look for a full time job, one that offers connections and room to grow. I quit a job not too long ago and took a slight pay cut to get access to better upward mobility. Also, depending on the age of the kids they might be able to take care of themselves for a couple of hours each day? I was raised by a single mother and by the time I was 10, my 6 year old sister and I were no longer in any day cares.

Padonak

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2018, 11:12:04 AM »
Op why is your husband in jail?

Zamboni

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2018, 11:15:25 AM »
There are also before/after school programs for elementary age children and good day care options for younger ones. My kids loved these, especially my son who is very social. He would get annoyed with me if I came to pick him up early . . . and I know some other kids felt the same way.

I divorce when my kids were in early elementary school. Like you, I have a graduate degree. Like you, I worked part time and was very under-employed from the time of their birth until the divorce. Like you, I just wanted it to be over, but my ex- was a horrible, controlling stick in the mud . . . it took us a long time, a lot of money, and a third party mediation (in addition to our two lawyers) to finally get it done. My divorce lawyer actually tried to hire me to work in his office after more than a year of observing how organized I was in my coping with my ex!

Many days I told myself "just get through this day." I sought counseling under the veil of "how do I help my kids handle this?", which really helped me handle it, of course.

My best advice is to be entirely serious about getting a full time job that uses your current education. Go to the thrift shop and get some nice looking work clothes, if you need them. Get a sharp looking haircut. Look into child care options available now and also for the Fall if some of your kids are in school. Decide you are worth a career that pays well . . . because you are. Just being on this board indicates to me that you have some financial acumen.

Something someone wrote makes me thing you are in VA. Is your extended family there? Do you want to move closer to family? Is there somewhere else you would rather live? (ex is in jail and therefore is out of the decision making picture, period.) Can you do a national job search? Where would you be willing to live? Where would you most like to live? If your kids are under 12 years old, then they will survive a move. . . trust me on this. I know you are trying to minimize disruption, and I get that, but you have moved for jobs several times before . . . this time, if necessary, it should be for your own job. Basically, I'm suggesting you consider doing the opposite of the work from home gig and going wherever the best job is.

beginagain

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2018, 11:33:33 AM »
Thanks for all the replies and support! This seems like a lot of good advice and gave me some new things to consider.

My undergrad is in operations management. After graduating I had been interested in a career in business analytics or data analytics- I had done well in statistics courses, but I ended up working in HR management in retail (because I was already working retail and it was an easy transition after graduating), for a short time before going back for my MBA. My university is in another state and they do offer some career services if I pay to join the alumni association- I hadn't considered this before someone mentioned it but I will look into it some more to see if it might be worth it. I have the HR experience on my resume and have applied for some jobs in this area. I didn't love the work but I was pretty good at it so I'm open to doing it again.

There are MBA certificate programs at the school I'm considering for the CS degree- in areas like business analytics- they are pretty expensive though and I'm hesitant to lay out that much money without a clear direction of how it will help me. If I were to get a job that had advancement potential for obtaining this kind of certification then I would do it. I've researched these programs and potential careers quite a bit and I think a career in programming sounds like a better fit than the data analysis. I've done a few free basic online courses and I liked the problem solving. I don't know how to put it into words exactly but it felt very satisfying and fulfilling.

I have been letting everyone know I'm looking for work. I'm pretty introverted but I socialize and interact with others when I can. There are a few families in our neighborhood who get together once or twice a month, and they usually ask about my situation. I always mention I am still looking for work. I probably talk about it in more of an upbeat way, so people are probably getting the message that it's not that urgent when it actually is. I know I already seem like a downer to be around. Just hearing about my stuff gives people a sad uncomfortable look on their faces so I talk about it as little as possible.

I live in an area with a strong job market, but it is also a high cost of living area. I've definitely considered moving to a lower cost of living area. It's actually something I daydream about- starting over where no one knows me! I don't know if I could actually go through with it. I have family a couple hours away, my kids love it here, and so do I. I'm open to it though if I needed to for a great job.

About my husband and money- that's right, I am counting on no child support due to his likely felony conviction. We do have a few joint assets so I'm hoping this part will at least work in my favor. I have a decent lawyer but I may need to start all over with someone new- I don't need to go into it all here but if my current lawyer ends up quitting then I will look into what legal aid programs I am eligible for. My husband is in jail for domestic abuse and some other things he did after I filed for divorce.



MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2018, 12:35:35 PM »
Op why is your husband in jail?

She said she was abused for 10 years. No need to be curious or nosey as her telling you won’t help your advice to her.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2018, 02:05:26 PM »
Another option to consider is working with a temp or contract agency.  You may have to start at an entry level role initially but it would be solid experience to add to your resume.  It's usually easier to get your foot in the door as a temp, since the employer doesn't have to make a long term commitment.   But with a few assignments under your belt, you'll be a lot more marketable for a permanent role.

I was going to suggest this if no one else did. My son worked for a temp agency and his last job the employer had a certain date when they either had to hire him permanently, or get rid of him. That's how he got the job that was a step to what he does now.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2018, 03:08:55 PM »
First, I'm so sorry about your past situation. But you got out! Your kids are okay! Your husband is in jail! Awesome outcomes.

A few things:

"I would like to set a better example for my kids as far as having a career." Your kids know you are working. That's the example. They don't care if you call it a career or go to an office or 2 offices or work from home.

"It comes back to the shame and embarrassment I feel whenever I am around my family, that I spent so much time and money on an education and didn't do anything with it. They don't say anything to make me feel bad, but I'm sure they are thinking it and talking about it to each other." This is almost certainly in your head (and may come from your years with your husband). Don't imagine things that aren't being said. Take people at face value. For one thing, it's way less work! For another, even if it were true, would that change your decisions? It shouldn't.

I'd also highly recommend listening to Brene Brown's TED talks. https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame

Separately, you've gotten some bad career advice in here. I second the AskAManager blog. She gives great advice and has free resources for how to format a resume and write a cover letter. I've been in the same job for 12 years and was surprised at what has changed in the acceptable and expected format. (Also, she and her community are very compassionate.)
http://www.askamanager.org/2013/02/job-searching-after-being-a-stay-at-home-mom.html
http://www.askamanager.org/2016/01/8-tips-for-parents-returning-to-the-workforce.html

lhamo

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2018, 05:22:14 PM »
Does your area have Nextdoor (a neighborhood social networking platform)?  I would put the word out that you are looking there.  It's kind of like the on-line equivalent of the backyard fence gossip phenomenon - oh, you're looking for a job?  X is looking for someone to help with his Y business.  I mention this because you sound like you would make a great office/operations manager, maybe in a field like property management, contracting/construction, or legal/medical.  There are LOTS of small businesses out there that don't really manage the ops side of things that well.  Sometimes they only need someone part-time to start with, but if you get the business organized/help it grow it could develop into a full time position.

Suit

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2018, 05:55:53 PM »
Does your area have a chamber of commerce or other business associations that you could join and spread word that you are looking for work? Also, look into if there are any professional organizations for the type of job you want and see if you can join or meet up with members to build relationships.


Also, I think you are amazing and strong. Leaving, prosecuting, and starting up with work again are all difficult. Raising kids on top of it is even more difficult. Please give yourself a lot of credit.

ElleFiji

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2018, 06:53:46 PM »
I agree that a temp agency is a good way to get back in. Small companies and clinics are another avenue.

crispy

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2018, 07:26:29 PM »
Look at government jobs. I was out of the workforce for a long time as a SAHM but decided to go back FT after my youngest started 1st grade. I found a job at a non-profit and 18 months later moved to a position in state government. Many state and local governments are looking at a huge portion of their labor retiring in the next few years so are really recruiting heavily. Many jobs here require a degree, but don't necessarily require a ton of experience. I have been able to move up the ranks pretty quickly by working hard and showing initiative.

I also second Ask a Manager. Great info and solid career advice.

Also my background is career development and training. I always reminded my clients that it is not a matter of if you find a job but when and where you are now is not where you will always be. You have shown incredible strength by changing your situation and leaving your abuser. You are stronger than this situation, too.

Cwadda

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2018, 08:48:15 PM »
Op why is your husband in jail?
There is no need to ask this question.

beginagain

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2018, 01:24:41 AM »
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement! I hadn't thought of using Next Door but I will think about that because I am a member, just have never posted on it.  I will check out Askamanager too, sounds like a great resource. Will check out the government jobs and other resources suggested. I really appreciate the ideas.

Dee18

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2018, 09:20:09 AM »
+1 to looking at university jobs, especially at the school that has the CS programs you like.  I would apply for every admin assistant job that has benefits.  At my university women who have been stay at home moms are frequently hired at these slots, but within 3-4 years move on to well paid ($80,000+) positions in admissions, student services, etc.  Also, they get free tuition for themselves for courses at any level and free college tuition for their kids.  Plus generous flexibility with work hours...in the summer all full time staff get flex time to work 3 or 4 days a week, some even negotiate 10 months a year jobs.

Best of luck to you on your journey!

moneytaichi

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Re: Back to work after divorce, degree but no experience
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2018, 08:56:49 AM »
I graduated in Management Information Systems 18 years, and MBA would be the logical next step. I ended up going to working for a mega IT company and earned high salary. You don't have to do programming (I don't). If you like statistics and problem solving, you might enjoy data analytics or business analytics. They are more fun anyway :) To get your foot in the door, consider taking a few free online courses on Coursara or join some open source projects. Find a couple of mentors. WIT (https://www.womenintechnology.org) has some great mentorship program. Do a few volunteer or low-pay jobs to fill your resume, then you will find a good paying job quite easily.

In the meantime, I agree that cleaning or painting houses as side hussels are good deals. It was really hard to find reliable resources on this regard.

Good luck! You don't need to feel shame about the past. You stand up for yourself and your kids. In 10 years, you'd be smiling at your achievements