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Considering a career change? You’re not alone. The average worker switches professions three to five times during a lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While an exciting move, the transition does carry financial risks. It may mean a pay cut, investing in higher education or being out of work for a little while. Can you afford it? Here are some key considerations before making the big leap.
Be Honest About What’s Not Working
We all have bad days at work, but does it mean we’re more suited for a whole other career? Before throwing in the towel and taking on a completely new path, identify what’s actually making you unhappy. “You definitely want to do some soul searching,” says Nicole Williams, best-selling author and career expert. “Sometimes it’s the manager you work for, sometimes it’s the hours you work. You may be able to fix those things instead of doing the 180-career change which can actually cost you a lot of money.”
Do Your Due Diligence
If you realize you still want to jump ship, you’ll want to start gathering research and crunching real numbers starting with your projected salary. “Find out what you’re realistically going to make in those first few years in this industry,” says Williams. Sites, like salary.com and payscale.com, can offer some general figures, but even better, Williams recommends asking someone you trust in that industry about what they earned during their first few years.
If the switch means taking a potential pay cut – and you’re okay with that – you’ll want to adjust your budget sooner rather than later, especially if you foresee being out of work during the transition for a while. Start by taking a long look at your monthly spending. If your current expenses eclipse the average starting salary in your new career or don’t leave...