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Finding a job when your husband is in prison

finding a job as a single mom

If you didn’t work before your husband went to prison, your life is about change.

The first thing to settle in your mind is this: it is not IF you should get a job, it is HOW to get a job.  As difficult as it may be to accept, you need to find a job.

I have worked with so many ladies from such diverse backgrounds, whose husbands are in prison.  There are those who are wealthy, middle class, and those who are poor—all of whom found themselves battling the world alone after their husband goes to prison.  Most of the women I have met are like me—I was poor when Ron went to prison.  So, I became even more poor after he was imprisoned.

If you didn’t work before your husband went to prison, your life is about change.

Finding a job was intimidating to me.  I was reluctant to go to work because I thought it would make the change even more difficult for my sons.  On top of that, I was concerned that getting a job would interfere with my ability to visit Ron in prison.  I quickly discovered that there were more reasons to get a job than there were excuses not to work.  All of those reasons fell under one name—BILLS.

As you begin your search for work and an income, there are a lot of things to consider.  What type of work can you do?  Do you need additional training or education to get employment?  What barriers do you have to working (childcare, transportation, skills)?  Knowing your limitations will help you develop a plan for success.  I have seen too many women rush into jobs, only to get fired because they didn’t think it through.

single mom jobs

For me, the best choice was to create my own job.

I needed a flexible schedule, regular income, and to keep my job if I had to miss work to take care of my sons.  Since my son was frequently in the hospital with asthma, working for someone else was not an option at that time.  I knew I would not be able to make it past my probationary period without missing work to take my son to the doctor.  So, I started looking for opportunities to create an income by setting up my own business.  I started 2 very small companies – a cleaning company and a fulfillment company.

I know my situation was not typical.  Honestly, it is usually the best choice to find employment, rather than try to start a business in the middle of trying to get your life together after your husband goes to prison.

I never liked budgeting my money. If I really wanted something, I got it and figured out how to make the ends meet later. Until Ron went to prison.  It was then that I had to learn how to budget my money – and I had to learn it quickly.

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single mom budget catherine tijerina

Finding a good job

As you begin your job search, here are the top 4 ways to find a good job:

  1. Go to your Job or Employment Center. Their entire reason for existence is to connect employees to employers!  They have testing, resources, and connections to place you placed in the right job.  They can also help you determine if you need educational or skills training, connect you to childcare services, and even refer you for transportation or other assistance.  Keep in mind that employers will ask them about your attitude and demeanor, so show up at your best.  This resource is GOLD.
  2. Contact your local Community College. Community Colleges often receive funding to train people for specific jobs near them.  These training programs are often only a few weeks long, typically have scholarships available, and can result in a good paying job.
  3. Ask your working friends. Your friends will know if their company is hiring. They should be able to put in a good word for you and get you connected to the right people.
  4. Build a good resume. Nothing represents you as much as your resume. This is the very first impression an employer will have of you.  Take the time to go to the job center, or another place that offers free resume writing to have them help you or review your resume.

Working might seem like it will add more stress, but it will actually decrease the stress in your life.  You will be earning money to pay the bills, for visits, and for phone calls.  Best of all, you will be gaining confidence in your ability to take care of your family while your husband is gone.

I am rooting for you!