Sometimes it’s difficult to know when to leave a career, and the process of making such a transition can be scary as well. However, while there may be some risk involved in making such a transition, there are ways to help minimize some of that risk.
Making the move to a new career can be a huge step in your career life. However, there are certain steps that can be taken to smooth the transition and that once in place, could raise flags to help you know that you’re ready.
Establishing a reserve fund
It’s prudent that before leaving a role with a steady paycheck to move into an untested career, that you have some sort of financial backup in place. Therefore, before handing in your notice, consider using the months preceding your career change to put in place a financial reserve to support you in your transition. The amount of this fund is up to you, as you know your spending habits and levels best, but consider at least enough money to get you through a year’s worth of expenses even if you don’t make one penny in income.
Understanding your expenses
To create that reserve fund, it helps to understand expenses. Tracking expenses over that period before a career transition can be critical to familiarizing yourself better with these costs and from where exactly they derive. Then you can rely upon this data you’ve compiled to make forecasts about future expenses and how your costs could be affected –
both positively and negatively – by the transition.
In doing so, you can see how costs might be affected in areas like transportation (since your commute might change), clothing (for work attire), income taxes, work supplies, healthcare and retirement benefits, and other work-related budget areas.
Reducing debt or even becoming debt free
It can be harder to take a chance and attempt a career transition when you’re still carrying loads of debt. Working toward doing things like paying off student loans, owning vehicles outright, and paying down or paying off credit cards before making such a transition can make the move less stressful. It can also allow you to free up extra money ahead of time to put into a reserve fund, purchase necessary supplies for your endeavor, supplement your educational background in your new career area of interest, as well as cover potential relocation costs. This might also mean that your expenses are lower (not having to make payments on debt) during a time in which income levels could largely be uncertain depending upon your type of career move.
The author is not a licensed financial or career advisor. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.