Sadly not everyone is in a career they love. You should be working to live, not living to work. And it’s even harder when you’re a mother with a whole extra set of responsibilities on your plate. But, a career change might be essential for your happiness.
The thought of quitting your current position in hopes of switching career paths can be quite tricky—and financially daunting if training is required. With it estimated that almost three-fourths of the US workforce in their 30s are considering or being open to a career change, that is a lot of people who are, for one of many reasons, living without job satisfaction to be able to live.
For many people working a job, they can have untold consequences on their physical and mental health. There is a higher risk of;
- Weight gain
- Compromised Immune System
- Poor Sleep
- Detrimental Effect on Personal and Professional Relationships
- Lowered motivation in all areas of life
- Decrease in fitness levels
So, while your job might be paying the bills, is it worth the payoff if it makes you unhappy?
But what if you can’t afford to change careers and leave employment that is making you unhappy? The fact is you can start making small, inexpensive lifestyle changes to build up to a new career path. Whether that path takes you 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years, the effort you extend to changing your life will be worth the sacrifices you could end up making and the changes you accommodate in your life.
The only impossible journey is the one you never begin – Tony Robbins.
How To Plan for a Career Change…
First of all, you need to plan how long it will take you to reach your new career goals. Factor in your existing commitments and financial obligations if this affects your current employment and you are unable to leave your job immediately.
Have a set date for when you need to have started the transition to your new career, and make sure you take into account all of the following;
- Training and qualifications required and set calendar dates as dictated by enrolment in person or online.
- How much notice you need to give your current employer before you can officially leave.
- How long, if any, will your savings last for once you are no longer earning money.
- What potential expenses could come up during your change or training, and can you afford anything unexpected to crop up during this period.
- What is the lowest salary you are willing to accept? It may be that the starting salary is lower than the salary you are expecting, and as such, you may need to consider other options such as side gigs or moonlighting to support your income.
Financing A Career Change
Before you make any changes you cannot undo, you need to make sure you have fully researched the job roles you wish to pursue. Know the training and education required, if any, the expected salary compared to your current salary, the benefits, challenges, hours you will be expected to work, and more.
Once you have a better idea of the type of lifestyle you will be moving towards, you can plan how you will afford it based on securing the job role you are preparing for.
Find The Right Balance
Changing careers does not necessarily mean moving to a different part of the country or trying to make it in an entirely different industry. Sometimes, all you need is to update your skills and aim for a better, more rewarding position within the same sector or business. And, to do so, you don’t have to change your entire lifestyle. Options such as an online analytics degree allow you to find the right balance, study at your own pace, and start moving up the career ladder without having to deal with huge changes or taking chances.
Of course, most people look at saving money as something they cannot do to make any changes. And while savings as such might seem impossible, breaking it down can help you identify how and where savings on your expenses can be made.
Can you move to a smaller property or move in with family members while you save? If possible, this can be an ideal way to start your saving fund to allow you to make your career change sooner rather than later.
Take a long hard look at your finances and evaluate every single penny you spend. Can you justify the expense, or is it a luxury or a necessity? Get impartial advice from someone outside of your household to thoroughly help you comb through your expenses if you are struggling to streamline your spending.
Many things you pay for can be cut out, such as swapping an expensive gym membership for home workouts using youtube videos—cable services in favor of on-demand streaming services. Swapping providers for better rates etc. will help you identify savings.
Next, start squirreling away any savings you have identified as if you were still paying it. For example, if you stop a gym membership, but that cost into a savings account. If you cut your food bill by $50 per month, add that $50 to your savings. Consider rounding up your spending too to add a little bit extra to your goal. Be realistic, and don’t leave yourself short when squirreling away money to avoid having to dip in and out regularly.
Liquidize Your Assets Ahead of Your Career Change
If you own many high-value items, then liquidating them can help you free money held in them. Many people have sentimental items that they can’t part with despite being expensive with a good resale value. Other people are less attached to purchases and, as such, can instruct a company such as Diamond Banc to liquidate them to get cash quickly for the item or a loan against the item.
If you juggle a huge workload, adding to what is already on your plate with a side gig may seem overkill. However, it is a means to an end, and putting timescale or financial goals to your side gig can make it easier to incorporate into your life.
It could be you take on an evening job, weekend job or something you can do in your lunch break. Address what transferable skills you have and identify either a part-time job you can take on or creating a side hustle from home. And obviously consider your current schedule and time commitments. But you’d be amazed at how much you can earn at home online without ever having to set foot outside your front door. This is ideal for moms with kids to work during naptime or after bedtime.
Not technically, saving. However, addressing how much debt you have, how much you are paying off, and what you can save each month by paying them off can be a great way to enable starting savings and reaching your goal of a new career.
Options include debt consolidation loans, contacting your lender to discuss your options, lowering your interest rates, or diverting savings towards clearing debt levels to free up monthly income.
Have you heard of the snowball method to pay off your debts? List everything you owe from the smallest amount to the largest. Then, while still meeting all of your minimum payments, use savings to pay off the full amount you owe on your smallest debt. Once this is paid, focus on your new smallest debt and divert all additional funds to clearing this as much as possible.
Another option is a debt avalanche. Instead of paying the smallest debt you owe, using the same principle, pay the one that charges the most interest first. This is generally more interest than your money would be earning in a savings account, meaning technically, you would be saving money on interest payments by clearing this debt.
Financial Support for Your Career Change
The cost of retraining can be huge, but there may be financial incentives for retraining in certain careers in some cases. Especially tho where uptake is low and significant training is required.
Alternatively, if you need to enroll in further education for your new career, such as a position in the medical field, there may be grants or loans available to you to enable you to give up work and start your training.
This isn’t available for all career changes. Still, it is worth looking into whether or not you can get financial assistance at the local, state, or federal level or directly from employers and earn while you train. You may need to make some cutbacks if there is a considerable drop in income; however, using some of the savings methods outlined in this post can help you to adjust to a lower income with relative ease.
It is important to remember that there are always options open to you should your current employment career be making you unhappy. And while there are no quick fixes, making small but constant changes can help you get where you need to be no matter how long it may take you.
So now you have a better idea of what it will take to make your career change a reality, choose something that you’re truly passionate about to live a most fulfilled life.