8 Job Searching Tips for Moms Going Back to Work After Divorce

going back to work after divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

I get it. You were a stay-at-home mom when you were married because finances seemed good and one income was enough for your family to live comfortably. But, your separation changes everything, and now you’re facing the fact that you might be going back to work after divorce.


Having personally experienced being out of the work force for several years to stay home with my children and then getting back in, I can say firsthand how unbelievably difficult the transition was. But I will say this. The only person who really made it unbelievably difficult was me! I lacked self-confidence and belief in myself. Being a stay at home mom for awhile will do that to a person.


So, how do you land a job you love that also fits your single mom lifestyle?

Here are 8 job searching tips I wish I would have known as a mom going back to work after divorce.

1. Get help writing your resume.

How many years has it been since you put together a resume? For me it had been over a decade. Get some help with it. Ask people who work if you can see their resumes to get an idea of how to write yours. Have friends and professionals edit it for you and give you feedback. There are also companies who you can pay to do this.You can easily build your resume by using online sources like Jobseeker.

2. Consider working with a job coach to help you decide what jobs to go after.

Probably the hardest thing about going back to work after divorce is figuring out what jobs to go after. Lots of things have changed since you left your last job. What do you want to do? What are you qualified to do? What hours can you work? How much do these jobs pay? A job coach, a divorce coach or a life coach can work with you to determine the right career fit.


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3. Practice interviewing.

It may seem silly, but you haven’t had a job interview in awhile. Practice in the mirror, practice with your kids, practice with your sister or your friends. Keep practicing so that when you are actually interviewing, your words come out easily and smoothly.

4. Network like crazy.

The best way to get a job is to contact everyone you know, and I mean everyone. Past coworkers are the best. People love hearing from old friends. You will be so surprised at how receptive people will be to you. Remember that it isn’t easy for employers to find good candidates, so they appreciate referrals from people they know. If a friend recommends you, you have such a better chance! Also, I think LinkedIn is by far one of the best ways to network.

5. Face fear of technology head on.

When I got my Mac several years ago, I was so scared. It was a purchase that took me 2 years to find the courage to make. I was afraid I wouldn’t know how to use it. Same with the iPhone. But what I found was that I caught on quickly and within a week, was fully trained. Computer technology can be intimidating, so you just have to tell yourself you aren’t afraid, that you are intelligent, and that you have faith in yourself that you will figure it out. And, if you have kids, they are the best training manuals out there!


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6. Get a physical makeover.

Feeling confident while interviewing requires feeling confident on the outside. That means regular gym visits, eating healthy, and perhaps a new haircut, new interviewing outfits, and regular manicures. Oh, and always wear lipstick to your interviews. Lipstick will make you feel prettier, which will give you that extra boost of self-confidence.

7. Talk to other working single moms.

There is no better source than another single working mom to talk to you about balancing work and kids. She will ease your anxiety and make you realize how not only workable it is, but how happy you are going to be.

8. Believe in yourself.

The most important tip I can give is to have faith in yourself and your abilities. When you worked before you had kids, I bet you were a superstar. If you were that before, there is no reason to believe you won’t be that again. I’m stealing this quote from someone I know: “The only thing holding you back is you.” In other words, you have the talent and the skill. But to activate it, you need to believe it. Kind of reminds me of Dorothy and her ruby slippers.


Going back to work after divorce is life changing. It is scary as hell for many reasons, but I truly believe nothing bad and everything good comes from it. The countless benefits include everything from more financial security to new friendships to more opportunities to a new sense of self-esteem and confidence. In other words, you will love yourself, which is so important as a single mom.


This is your time to be strong and determined, to grasp all of your inner strength, and to go out and get the job you love, that you deserve, and that you will make you a huge success, both financially and emotionally. And when you land it, I guarantee, like me, you will have tears in your eyes from gratitude, self-pride, an immense amount of relief, and of course, excitement! Good luck!

Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    3 Responses to “8 Job Searching Tips for Moms Going Back to Work After Divorce”

    1. Natalie

      Your blogs are amazing for time short divorcees like myself. Thank you so much – you’re my lifeline at the moment, my friend I haven’t met, my life coach, the voice of experience and your articles really help me toughen up and give me hope that I can make myself a success for me and my sons. I’m doing the best I can and I’m very tired as my ex husband is cruel and a bully but I’m pushing on through and just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      Natalie from Northern Ireland 🙏🏼

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        You are so sweet for reaching out. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland! Here’s the thing. All soon-to-be ex’s are bullies because they are scared. So, every time he is mean or bullying you, just think, he’s so scared and that’s why he’s doing it. My dad used to tell me that. And, he should be scared. You are scared too. Divorce involves a lot of change and it’s not easy. It’s scary! Also, if he’s cruel, it’s because he’s scared. 🙂 Trust me. So, let him be mean and a bully. that’s his way of dealing with this whole thing. It will change over time. xoxo

    2. Sarah

      Thank you Jackie for another great article. Everything you wrote here I am experiencing — it’s almost like we divorcing moms are having a hive experience but we don’t even know it…!!! Also, I appreciate what you said about all soon to be ex-s being bullies because that is what mine is being! I have to admit that I’ve acted in ways I’m not proud of towards him too — and you are spot on it’s because we are both scared and transitioning.

      You having gone through the dark tunnel and found light at the other end is more than illuminating thank you thank you for this blog.


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