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4 Financial Considerations To Keep In Mind When Making A Career Change

Derek Cirino - Sep 11, 2020

As if the first day at a new job isn’t difficult enough, making a career change comes with a slew of important decisions in the months – or even years – leading up to the big day. Whether you’re moving across state lines, diving into a completely new industry, or simply transitioning to a new career path in the same company, there will be numerous changes to your everyday life– one of those changes being your finances.

If you’re approaching this major life transition, you should be aware of your financial health, ways to develop it, and how it will change as you begin a new career. Read on to dive into four of the most important details to keep in mind before accepting a job offer.

1. Home relocation
When a new job requires you to move across the state or even the country, you’ll need to contemplate a different living situation. Oftentimes, this means selling your existing house and moving to a new one. Or, for moves that are last-second or shorter-term, this might mean exploring renting options in your new city.

Research the cost of living in your desired area to determine the affordability of owning a home vs. renting an apartment. For permanent moves that involve buying a home, reach out to your new employer to see what they offer regarding relocation assistance. These offerings often include financial relief for transportation, moving services, or even temporary housing.

2. Associated moving costs
Expenses, both big and small, inevitably add up, regardless of the distance from your old home to your new home. Long-distance moves may call for a moving crew, renting equipment, and standard traveling bills, like gas, tolls, etc. Research shows that a local move averages around $1,250 while a long-distance move can average almost $5,000.

Plus, buying a home in itself racks up quite the bill. There are countless items to factor into your moving budget. From inevitable charges like down payments and closing costs to elective add-ons like home warranties and cosmetic renovations, your monetary situation needs to be primed for this major investment years prior.

3. Change in salary
Not every career change is because of a salary increase. In fact, one survey found that the No. 1 reason for making a career change was not money-driven at all, but simply for their overall happiness. In other words, a significant number of people would be willing to take a lower salary in order to find the right job and company for them.

Another important factor to consider in a salary adjustment is negotiation. A career change of any kind is a major decision, and you’ll want to be confident that your new salary is worth the time and effort. Employers understand the importance of your desired salary and often appreciate a candidate who can respectfully negotiate, so practice your negotiating skills to be sure you’re getting the income you rightfully deserve for your new career.

4. Emergency fund
The unavoidable expenses and the unknowns make it all the more important to build up a healthy savings account before your big move, especially since the expenses listed above can last long beyond moving week. Plus, if you’re taking a pay cut, you might need a safety net while adjusting to a new lifestyle, making it even more critical that you build your nest egg.

It’s recommended to start saving years before a move if possible in order to avoid falling into too much debt or having to make many sacrifices for your new job and lifestyle. Practice living off your new salary before moving to make sure it’s doable for you and your family. Cut back on spending and allocate the extra funds toward your savings account to cushion the financial burdens of this transition.

Before you make any big changes regarding your career, weigh the pros and cons, and deeply consider the financial implications. Your money situation will impact each and every aspect of your daily life, so clearly outline your career and financial goals to make the smartest move for you and your family.

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