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Financing Your Career Change - Part 1 - Counting the Cost

The prospect of planning for a career change can feel pretty intimidating – especially from a financial standpoint. The planning process confronts us with our financial fears and challenges our mindsets about money. Even just thinking about a career change can generate all manner of fear-based thinking...

  • “How will I be able to afford to pay my mortgage if I earn less in my next job?”

  • “Will I be able to recover financially if I start in an entry-level role again?”

  • “What if finding a new job takes longer than I expected?”

  • “How will I take care of my family if I am the main income earner in my household?"

  • “What if I have to go into debt or deplete my savings?”

Because it is very hard to face these fears, most of us delay the decision to switch careers by opting for the status quo instead - we clench our fists, buckle down, and hope against hope that our situation will somehow change on its own, even though we know better.

The good news is that you don’t have to let financial fear keep you stuck in your current situation. There are tangible steps you can take to ease the financial burden of finding more rewarding work.

The best place to start this process is to clarify your future career prospects with the help of a Career Coach. That way, you will have a better idea of the financial costs involved in making a change. These costs may include (1) tuition and reduced income while going back to school, (2) changes in salary, benefits and insurance if you are transitioning into an entry level role, (3) start-up costs for launching a new business, or (4) moving expenses when relocating for new work.

Once you have a better idea of the financial investment you’ll need to make, you be in a much better position to set realistic financial goals and identify the changes you’ll need to make in order to realize those goals.

At this point, I’d highly recommend either meeting with a certified financial advisor or using a money management tool to walk you through the steps to reaching your goals. A great resource to start with is Stretch Your Dollars: Budgeting Basics, through the Government of Alberta. This all-in-one handy toolkit teaches you how to set achievable financial goals, take stock of your income and spending habits, create a sustainable spending plan, and identify the lifestyle changes you can make to succeed in your next steps.

In my next blog post, we will be exploring some of the internal barriers that can keep us from pursuing our career and financial aspirations - particularly, the unhelpful money mindsets that many of us struggle with. Because career change and financial planning go hand in hand, we must learn to identify and reality-check these mindsets so that we can move forward.

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