Navigating a Successful Career Pivot Requires Intentional Planning
Do you find yourself needing to prepare your finances for a career change? We don’t always land our dream job on the first try, meaning some of us may end up building careers that don’t put us exactly where we would like to be. Other times, we might build exactly the career we wanted, only to realize we’re ready for a change. Regardless of the reason, a career pivot can be an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience, but the uncertainty of what to expect can be unsettling at times – especially financially. Just because you’re moving to a career that’s more aligned with your interests and dreams doesn’t mean that the salary will match your current one or that the benefits will be better.
If you’re on the precipice of pivoting your career, here are some tips to help you solidify your finances before you make the big jump.
TIP 1: Learn all you can about the financial implications of this new job trajectory.
As they say, knowledge is power. Take some time to do research on your ideal position and what sort of pay range you can expect in this field. Look into whether you’ll be required to take any classes or get any certifications in order to score your desired new role, as well as who will be responsible for footing that bill if so. Think about any other financial changes that may take place – will you need a new wardrobe? Will you have a longer or more expensive commute? All of these details matter.
Once you have a clearer picture of what to expect financially in your new field you’ll be able to get a better understanding of any lifestyle changes you may have to make moving forward.
TIP 2: Adjust your budget to accurately reflect your new salary.
If you’ve done your research, you probably have a general idea about the typical salary for the type of position you’re interested in. Before you make the jump, take time to live as if you’ve already changed careers so you can make sure it’s doable with your budget. Sift through your finances and track where your money is going each month. Though it may seem inconsequential, small expenses for things like coffee or Uber rides can add up quickly and impact your finances more than you may realize. As you prepare for some financial uncertainty, you’ll want to cut back on any unnecessary expenses for a while. Make a habit of asking yourself how badly you need something that you’re considering purchasing – if it’s more of a want, consider holding off until your finances become more stable.
TIP 3: Resist the temptation to dip into your savings.
Using your retirement savings to help finance your career change may seem like a good idea in the short term, but it can ultimately come back to bite you in the end. Not only do you run the risk of having to front a large tax burden, but you’ll also be taking several steps backward in your retirement planning journey. Instead, consider using your emergency savings if needed, and work to continue building up your nest egg even further.
TIP 4: Find creative ways to supplement your income.
Finding a way to bring in more income can help ease any anxiety you may be having about your financial situation as you get ready to change careers. Whether you pick up freelance or consulting work or monetize a hobby you have, such as knitting or woodworking, finding a way to bring in more money will help your transition go more smoothly. Get creative as you think about your options – having a side hustle can be a great way to try something different or meet new people.
TIP 5: Are your finances prepared for a career change?
Career changes bring with them lots of excitement and opportunity. With those positive things, though, they can also bring stress and anxiety – financial and otherwise. Doing the work ahead of time to ensure that you’re financially prepared for the change can help ease the transition as you navigate your next professional move. It can also protect you should something unexpected happen and things don’t go as expected.
Employ the tips listed above and start your new professional journey on the right foot. Good luck!