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Re-Entering the Workforce Post Divorce Part 3 of 4

Rachel Alexander Oct. 15, 2020

The Brilliance of a Dual Plan: Now and Later

{6 minutes to read}  Sometimes simple necessity requires a short-term plan. However, a short-term plan need not replace or obfuscate a more comprehensive, pursuit-of-happiness-driven long-term plan. Short-term plans often address immediate needs: for income, social interactions or personal autonomy. Short-term plans address immediate action such as pursuing a “now” job. This can be done while keeping in mind, and in fact, creating a long-term plan.

Both long- and short-term plans can exist at the same time. Knowing this can empower one’s perspective — it grants permission to do two important things at once instead of the default, which is often choosing one and sacrificing the other.

The value of the short-term solution

Apart from being necessary, a short-term solution has some additional gifts. Attending to oneself in the current reality, however unwanted that reality may be, is grounding. When you are able to take care of yourself in the world as it exists, to respond adeptly to the demands of the moment, you grow your sense of security and well-being.

Training programs of all kinds can boost confidence as well as competence

What is meant by a long-term plan?

A longer term career plan encompasses where you ultimately want to be. It may include steps like gaining experience through non-paying internships or volunteer positions and taking courses to refresh skills or gain aptitude in a chosen arena before entering it professionally. Training programs of all kinds can boost confidence as well as competence. By enriching your knowledge base, you become more valuable to an employer, but you also clarify your own preferences and strengths. Through exposure to new thought and by utilizing aspects of your less-exercised capabilities, possibilities open up, offering more channels to explore.

Gaining ease with new or even fundamental technology helps bridge one of the divides between past and present and ease the overwhelm that can make entering the workforce after a long absence so daunting.

Going back to school – not necessarily what you thought

Re-education need not be pursuing a master’s degree or returning to school full-time. Today there are all kinds of certifications, online classes, and weekend courses. Now there are more online options than ever, so even the most challenging schedules need not pose an obstacle to education. In fact, many graduate programs are geared towards working adults. With recent education on your resume, you demonstrate your motivation and enterprise to potential employers while also benefiting from the training itself.

Katherine Kirkinis, Ed.M., M.A. from Wanderlust Careers notes that additional education can be something that you’re doing for yourself, but it has a dual benefit. For example, consider a two-week online, personal finance class. This is a time- and cost-limited commitment that can not only boost your resume but can also help you gain insight into whether your chosen career path is right for you. Katherine adds that young people tend to choose their first career paths without trying them out in some way first, such as by talking to professionals, working in the field, engaging in experiential education, or conducting research, and this can be detrimental. A bit of early exploration can prevent a more costly and disruptive change later.

How long does formulating a long-term plan take?

The ultimate goal for Wanderlust Careers’ clients is long-term fulfillment, yet this does not mean that Katherine and her colleagues work with clients for indefinite stretches. Quite the contrary. The Career Assessment process is the service recommended to clients struggling with choosing a career path. It uses a comprehensive battery of tests to assess interests, skills, personality, values, and work style to help clients make data-driven career choices. The assessment process takes only two to three weeks. From there an action plan and strategy is created and clients are ready to begin moving in a new direction.

Katherine notes that Wanderlust Careers’ work is short-term, solution-based, and goal-oriented to get clients earning incomes and enjoying their work lives — whether by establishing their own businesses or reentering the workforce.

A major question for many clients is: what is the right career choice for me? The truth is there are many right fits for each person. Katherine states, “There’s a myth going around about career and love — that you need to find ‘the one’. That there is only one. But there is not — there are multiple good fits for everyone.”

Many job-seekers face conflicts of needs; perhaps you need to earn $100,000 a year to be financially comfortable, but the re-education effort that you’re willing, or able, to manage is minimal; or perhaps you only want to work part-time.

  • If re-education is not a viable option, are there other adjustments you can make?

  • Are you willing to earn less money and gain more freedom?
    When you get the right support, much becomes possible.

Katherine’s approach encompasses a hearty attitude. She expects that her clients will land their jobs and meet their goals — these are foregone conclusions. This is comforting and helpful. It’s an attitude of: “let’s get this to happen and let’s do it in an intelligent, holistic way.” Together.

Thanks to Katherine Kirkinis for her contributions to this article and the Re-Entering the Workforce series.