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Caregiving is something that we don’t usually plan. It happens unexpectedly when a family member gets sick no matter the age, or when they are too old to take care of themselves properly. 

Being a caregiver has a massive impact on a person’s life and can cause different mental states. But life goes on, and you should get back on track afterward. Here are some tips if you want to start a new career after caregiving.

Recognize your Emotions

It is common that the caregiver’s life focuses on taking care of their loved one. And it can reach a point where they don’t have a life of their own. The whole situation can bring a lot of pressure, stress, loneliness, and even depression. People also start dreaming about being free of their responsibility, which makes them feel guilty afterward and generates more negative feelings. 

On top of all that, it can get worse once the loved one passes away. After all, denial is the first stage of grief, but the sooner you accept what happens, the sooner you will move forward. So, the first step in starting a new life after caregiving is to recognize these emotions and accept them. Only then will you be able to learn how to cope and continue your life. 

Plus, you aren’t the only one who is going through this experience. Thirty-two percent of people leave the workforce for family caregiving responsibilities. So, attending a support group could be a good idea to overcome your grief. 

Start Rebuilding your Social Life and Network

As mentioned above, you probably change many aspects of your life while you were caregiving. You probably stopped going out with friends or just having a relaxing night with your partner. Now is the time to start doing those things again. You may feel guilty about enjoying life, but remember that you are alive and that you should enjoy it while you are healthy. 

Start calling the friends that you lose contact with to hang out. You can also reconnect with family members. Another area that you should tap on is your professional network. Now that you are ready to return to the workforce and maybe start a new career, your old network could be of much help. They can guide you to what paths you could take if you don’t know where to start.

Meet with some friends and do some kind of informational interviews. You could ask questions about their career like how much money they make and how satisfied they are with their job. Even if you don’t find something you like, going out again and meeting with people will help you restart your life. 

Identify the Skills You Practice While Caregiving

Caregiving is an emotional rollercoaster where you have to keep up with your responsibilities no matter what. Many times you do your daily tasks under a lot of pressure and stress. And more often than not, you do what you have to, even when you only want to lay in bed and cry all day. 

So, identify what skills you practice while you are caregiving. Working under stress and pressure is only one of the many things you probably learned. During this time, you probably used your interpersonal skills more than ever before. Caregiving generally teaches you to be patient, communication, time management, and negotiation skills. These transferable skills will help you choose a new career, and you can add them to your resume when looking for a job.

Explore Options

Caregiving can be a life-changing experience for many people. It is only normal that you want to make a drastic change after it is over and start a new career instead of going back to your old one. But to choose something, you have to do extensive research to make sure you make the right choice. 

You can start by researching a hobby you’ve always enjoyed or something you always wanted to try but never had the chance before. This is the moment to explore, so you are free to think about any path no matter how crazy it sounds. And if you are afraid you are too old to start a new career, think again. It is more important to have the correct mindset. If you have the will, you’ll probably be successful.

For example, the tech industry is an excellent choice. You can enroll in a coding bootcamp and become a full stack developer in a few months instead of spending years in a bachelor’s degree. Either way, after exploring many options, you should be able to answer the following questions for your final list:

  • What is the average entry-level salary?
  • How difficult is it to break into the industry?
  • What is the outlook for that career?
  • How will you get the qualifications and education you need, and how will you afford it?

Get the Education You Need

Now, this is the most crucial part of starting a new career. You won’t be able to enter a new industry if you don’t have the right qualifications. Depending on what you choose, you have different options. You could go back to university or enroll in an online course or a coding bootcamp. 

The university route is always the most expensive one and will probably take the most time. But, if you can afford it and don’t mind the years to get a degree, then, by all means, it will be worth it. And online course varies in time and cost depending on the skill you want to learn. It could take as long as a standard university course. 

And coding bootcamps take a few months but never more than a year. They are quite affordable. Choose the option that better fits your needs. 

In Summary

Being a caregiver isn’t easy, and sometimes it is harder to get back to your life when it’s over. But like everything in life, it is a process that takes time. If, after some time, you decide you want to get back to work, but with a new career, then you can do some things to make it easier.

You can start by rebuilding your social life and professional network. Then identify the transferable skills you used while being a caregiver. With this, you can begin exploring different options and choose the path you like best. The last step will be to plan how to get the qualifications you’ll need.