Getting Back to Work: Part II

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—If your post-divorce reality means that you are going to have to go back to work after staying home with kids for several years, your greatest ally will be confidence. Did I say that already? Never mind, it bears repeating.

After that, it's a matter of knowing what direction you want to go in. If you are getting back into the same profession you left, it could mean getting back in touch with former colleagues you haven't spoken to in years. If you see yourself moving in an entirely new direction, it means reaching out to a whole new community. Yes, it is going to feel scary and awkward in the beginning, but the hardest phone call or meeting or email is almost always the first one.

"For so many of us, the prospect of going back to work can be daunting," says Sophie Wade, founder of Flexcel Network, a corporate employment firm specializing in flex-time jobs. "The overall key is to break it down into steps."

Here are six to start:

First, recognize the good things you got out of the choices you made. Acknowledge the level of competence you've demonstrated being CEO of your domestic universe.

Second, start conversations with people around the kind of work you want. "You need to re-boot how people see you--whether it's people you volunteer with at your kids' school or whether it's a head hunter," says Dawn Andrews, a career consultant specializing in media and entertainment. Also, the more you talk about where you'd like to go, the more real it becomes. People begin to identify you as the person who "wants to get into" non-profit development or college advising or prop styling, or whatever it might be.