Financing a Career Change: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

So, you’re in a well-paid job. And you’ve even worked hard to get to there.

But…you’re just not happy.

Now, the positive news is that you’ve got a new career in mind. However, there’s also a problem. A big problem.


This is the struggle that most (if not all) would-be career changers experience. Let’s tackle it head-on.

Having experienced a career change myself during a time when my wife and I had just bought our first house and we’d had our first child, I understand the concerns and dilemmas that people go through when considering such a dramatic change.

The questions you ask yourself, and the order in which you ask them, can make all the difference. These three questions will help you with your decisions:

  1. “What would this new career path give me that I’m currently not getting?
  1. “What impact would this change make on other areas of my life?”

It’s important to not simply think about your answer in terms of the actual work that you’ll potentially be doing, but to also think about what such a change would give you outside of work. What about the impact on your relationships? Your health?

Write your answers down. If you have a partner, discuss your answers with him or her.

If your answers further encourage you to make the change, only then will you be motivated to confront the third question:

  1. “How can I make this change happen?”

Start off with some research. What will the actual financial cost be?

–          If it’s a case of retraining, how much is the training course?

–          What could your starting salary be? Get your calculator out and do the maths.

Seeing things written down in black and white will really help your decision process. You may even find that you won’t actually be worse off. But find out.

If changing career does mean taking a salary drop, or returning to college, review your finances.

–          Do you have any savings that could contribute towards the career change?

–          What could you do without, or cut back on? Do you really need the Sky subscription or the exclusive gym membership?

–          How could you reduce your monthly shopping bill?

In the current climate, many people have already made such changes to their finances, but only because they had to. But this should at least tell you that it is possible.

What about the current recession? It’s easy to think that it’s sensible to ride the storm, be grateful for what you’ve got and stay put. But at what cost?  Go back over your answers to the first two questions.

Perhaps your answers to the above questions may surprise you, but the important thing is that you give it a go and answer them, rather than simply dismissing career change without thought.

I’m told that our biggest regrets in old age are the things we didn’t do, rather than the things we did.

Mark Anderson is Career Coach at KickStart Career Coaching. He works with 25-40 year old adults to help them find work that not only pays the bills but gives them fulfilment!



Categories: Articles for Job Seekers


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One Comment on “Financing a Career Change: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself”

  1. December 17, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Very good article Mark – useful advice and encouragement for people considering changing careers and I believe we’re going to see a whole lot more of this in the recession. I’ll be sharing this on my Facebook page, thanks

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