Financing Your Career Change
- Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Do you want to make a career change, but feel trapped by your financial situation? Many people are certain they can't afford to transition into a new job or career, but there are "do-able" strategies that can make it financially feasible.
Financial Tips for Career Changes
1. Research the financial side of your career target. Do your homework to find out typical salaries or income levels for your job target in your geographic area. Use online tools such as those found at www.salary.com and www.careerinfonet.org. Also, conduct informational interviews with people in your chosen field to gather additional "live" information about salary ranges for this type of work. If you are considering an occupation that includes self-employment (such as being a therapist, real estate agent or medical transcriptionist), you will want to make sure that you understand the business side of what it takes to earn a living in this field before starting an education or training program.
2. Begin saving now. A career transition may include additional training or education and/or a period of time in which you will have reduced earnings as you get started. Creating an emergency fund of six to twelve months of expenses will help relieve your stress in making a transition that entails financial costs.
3. Reduce your spending and debt. Take a close look at your spending to see where you can make some cuts. If you really want to make a career change, focus on all the benefits of being in work that is a good fit for you. Keeping that picture in mind will reduce the pain of cutting out your $4 a day specialty coffee habit and bringing your own coffee from home. (These changes don't have to be permanent. Think of them as a means to helping you achieve what you really want to do with your life.)
4. Start your new job part-time. A great way to "reality test" your new career is to begin it part-time while you're still earning income elsewhere. It is much less stressful to try something new when you are not dependent on it for paying all your bills. Managing your time will be important to make sure your current job doesn't get short-changed, and your sleep and health doesn't suffer. Write out a weekly time management plan to see what might work for spending at least a few hours a week getting your new job launched.
5. Learn how to market your new business. Many people have a self-employment idea that they are excited about doing. They tend to focus, however, on the enjoyment of doing the work itself and overlook or minimize the necessity of marketing their business. Without good marketing, the business will fail financially. To make it as an entrepreneur, you need to become a student of marketing (even if that isn't your "bent" or natural preference). You can learn to market yourself and your business in a way that fits your personality! Google "learn how to market your business" to explore options for becoming saavy about marketing strategies that fit you and your business. You can also find self-employment marketing help through community education courses and the Small Business Association.
You Can Do It!
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