Wait – before you sign your divorce papers, make sure you’ve negotiated money to reboot your career. While overall divorce rates have declined, divorce rates for those over 50 years old have increased.

Most of my clients who divorce later in life, need to return to work. The obstacle is they’ve been out of the work environment for over ten years!

Before you sign your divorce papers, calculate how much income you need to sustain your post-divorce lifestyle. Please work with a Certified Financial Planner™ professional or a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® when you determine your finances for your post-divorce life.

Once you know how much income you need to generate, then look at career options. Depending on your skills, you may need to go back to school to find a job to generate your income needs. If you lack computer skills – and these skills are necessary for most jobs – you need to take classes to be marketable.

Here are easy steps to begin the job search process:

1- List possible jobs you are interested in AND can generate the income you need.

2- List companies you would like to work for during this new phase of life. Some of my clients choose working for a large company instead of starting their own business in order to receive good health care benefits and access to a retirement savings plan.

3- Update your resume and include any community work you did during your break from Corporate America. Include if you chaired a committee at church or if you organized an event at your child’s school. Limit how much time your spend on your resume – there’s a tendency for people to use this step as a way to procrastinate.

4- Reach out to at least five of your connections daily asking them if they know anyone at the companies you listed in #2. Also, let them know the specific jobs you are looking for – see your list from #1. Do NOT say, “I’ll take anything.” People need specifics in order to be helpful.

5- And the most important step is to stay PEF – positive, enthused, and focused. Your alimony may be limited and you need to secure a job before it ends. People are more willing to help and hire someone with a good attitude.

Moving forward from a divorce is hard. It’s especially hard if you have to find a job when you’ve been out of the work environment for an extended period of time. Before signing your divorce papers, negotiate money to reboot your career. Stay PEF and you’ll eventually land an opportunity.

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Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”