Your Career Change Plan

Many people want to make a career change but don't know how to make a career change. One reason many people give for not making a career change or job change or for staying in a job they don't like is "I have a family, I have responsibilities, I can't just quit my job to do what I want." I am not suggesting that you act irresponsibly, or put your family's welfare at risk. You can have a job you love and you can make the transition in a responsible way. You can have work you love and enjoy the standard of living you choose. Doing what you love does not mean behaving foolishly or frivolously.

What does money have to do with it?

It all starts with your financial situation. How much debt do you have right now? Besides your home mortgage, how much other debt do you have? Debt is a huge burden and a drain, not only financially but mentally. You carry the stress of knowing that you MUST work just to pay your debts along with your everyday expenses. It's a hard way to live. So anyone, whether contemplating a career change or not, should pay off all non-essential debt or come up with a plan to do that as soon as possible. By non-essential debt I mean anything besides your first mortgage on your home.

Freedom to choose

Once you are debt-free you will have much more freedom to choose what you want to do and to make a career transition plan . Learn to live within your means and you will have far less stress and worry. Just knowing that you have options and you are not bound to a job you hate, you may not hate it so much. If you still want to make a career change, then you will need to save some money. You will need to make a financial plan for your new career. Start by answering the following questions:

1. Do I have 6-12 months of living expenses saved up to cover any gap in income while I make a career change or job transition?

2. Will my new job/career require training or education that I don't have? How much will that cost and how long will that take?

3. If I want to start a business, what start-up costs might I have?

4. Can I rely on financial help from others during my career transition? (parents, spouse, others?)

Refer to my " Step by Step process to change your career " page for specifics.

Get your partner's support

For those who are married or share a household where your career and income choices will affect others, would be wise to involve your spouse/significant other in this discussion. It is very important that you have your partner's full support, both emotionally and financially through this process.

Change is scary!

Beware that just bringing up the topic of quitting your job or planning to do something else may cause high anxiety in your spouse/significant other, even if he/she works and has an income. There could be many reasons for this, but basically you are starting to make big changes and change is frightening. Share your enthusiasm for your new career with your partner. Let him/her see how important it is to you and how excited you are to be moving toward a life of fulfillment and joy in your work.

Happy work, happy life

Remind your partner that the happier you are at work, the happier you will be at home too! Involve your partner and get their agreement with your plans. If you have children, share appropriate information with them, depending on their ages. A parent who is happy, feels productive and loves what they do is an excellent role model for children.

"I can't imagine anything more worthwhile than doing what I most love. And they pay me for it." -

Edgar Winter