Charting A New Course Professionally For The Suddenly Single Woman

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Embarking on a solo journey after a significant life change such as divorce or becoming a widow often presents the unique opportunity to reassess your career path or reenter the workforce. As the tax season wraps up, many suddenly single women are inspired to redefine their personal and professional goals. For those newly considering employment, perhaps on an attorney’s advice, or those seeking a career refresh, here’s a guide to navigating this transformative phase:

  1. Skill Assessment & Alignment: Evaluate your current skills against your career aspirations. Do you need additional training or education to achieve your goals? Resources like LinkedIn Learning offer courses across various fields, from leadership to technical skills, helping bridge any gaps.
  2. Goal Setting: Define new, achievable career objectives. Consider SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals to guide your journey.
  3. Networking: Expand your professional network by connecting with neighbors, friends, and former colleagues. Professional groups on LinkedIn and industry events are excellent networking opportunities. Engaging in forums related to your field can also open doors to mentorship and job opportunities.
  4. Mentorship: Seek a mentor who can offer advice, support, and guidance. A mentor who has navigated a similar path can provide invaluable insights. LinkedIn is a great platform to find industry mentors.
  5. Entrepreneurship: If you’ve dreamed of starting your own business, now might be the perfect time to explore entrepreneurship. Small Business Administration (SBA) resources and local entrepreneurship meetups can provide guidance and support.
  6. Resume and Job Search Resources: Crafting a compelling resume is crucial. Websites like Canva offer easy-to-use resume templates, while Coursera and edX offer courses on career development and job interview preparation, often at no cost.
  7. Resources for professional development:
    • LinkedIn Learning: Offers a wide range of courses to develop new skills.
    • Microsoft Learn: Provides free training in Microsoft products, crucial for many office jobs.
    • Indeed Career Guide: Offers valuable tips on resume writing, job searching, and interviewing.

With career advancement comes the potential for increased income which will require you to manage it effectively. If you don’t have children in the house, you should adjust your spending plan to reflect your new income and financial responsibilities. As you “Budget for One,” YOU get to make all the decisions about how each dollar is spent or saved to invest in YOUR future.

Additional income may allow you to start contributing to a retirement plan or even allow you to decide to contribute the maximum allowed by law. It will be especially important to surround yourself with experts to help you balance the risks and rewards associated with various investments as you may need help balancing lucrative opportunities with maintaining your longer-term financial security. Financial advisors and accountants can help you evaluate investments considering your long-term goals.

Above all, regardless of your new circumstances, believe in your ability to succeed! Your career journey is not just about financial gain; you should ultimately look for personal fulfillment while achieving financial independence. Initially identifying as a suddenly single lady can be daunting following a divorce or the passing of a spouse, but it can also serve as a special moment to take charge of your next chapter…what can you do to find fulfillment? Now is the moment to pursue your passions…I believe in YOU!

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Tricia Mulcare, CFP®, CPA, PFS


Tricia joined Homrich Berg in 2003 and is a Principal of the firm. While Tricia works with a wide range of clients, she has a particular passion for working with women (older, single, widowed, and divorced). Tricia enjoys speaking with groups about the lessons she has learned after years of working with women who have navigated a recent transition and find themselves "suddenly single".