When I got married 21 years ago I had a great job in PR. Granted I had only been working for 5 years when he popped the question, so I was quite junior in the company — but it was at a great firm with an incredible roster of clients and lots of growth potential……. I was on my way up the corporate ladder.
My performance reviews were always excellent and my boss was impressed with my hard work ethic, and told me directly that they wanted to groom me for a higher position.
Not planned, I got pregnant within my first three months of my marriage, and suddenlymy corporate dream seemed less important. I started to feel like I couldn’t work the long crazy Agency hours and that I should reserve my energy for my upcoming family….
Elated, I could barely wait the 9 month term before I submitted my resignation. My boss and co-workers tried to persuade me to stay. I even remember a female colleague taking me to lunch with the objective of persuading me to reconsider.
At the time, I barely gave it a thought. My husband did well and we weren’t struggling financially. Why wouldn’t I want to be at home with my kids? Why would I want to be stuck in an office all day when I was so lucky to be able to stay home and raise my kids?
The idea of mapping out a “just in case” plan did not cross my mind.
Twenty one years later, I find myself divorced with three grown kids. While I will always be needed as a mother, my children are moving on and out and are no longer dependant on me.
I hadn’t considered where I would be today. Completely out of date with the working world and in need of a job!
My husband and I settled over a year ago and after working with my financial planner it is clear that I can no longer live the lifestyle I am accustomed to without a supplemental income.
So where does that leave me? I’m still smart ,but the PR world has changed dramatically since my working days — I no longer have media contacts and I definitely am not social media savvy.
And to be quite honest, I am a different person than I was 21 years ago. I don’t regret staying home and raising my kids but I look back and wish I had at least kept myself in the workplace, even as a part-time freelancer..
I also know that it is never too late to reinvent yourself –and believe me divorce pushes you to reinvent yourself! I am really scared, I hadn’t planned on reinventing my career at that age of 50. I am also somewhat excited to find a job. Its a time to network, learn new skills, explore different options and ultimately find a new direction and position in today’s workplace.
If you are reading this post and entering into your marriage let this be a lesson to you please!