A career move can often mean achieving better work-life satisfaction, truly owning your life and happiness.
So why is it that we devote so little energy to achieving greater results for ourselves?
According to Thomas J. Denham, managing partner and career counselor of Careers in Transitions, only 40% of Americans engage in career planning.
The fact is that we spend more time planning our vacations than our careers (which affect us every moment of every day). What’s wrong with this picture?
But you know the answer — often times, the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of professionals (especially parents) dreaming about making a career change is money. We wonder if we can afford a career change, we worry about stability. However, if you start planning now, you can make your next move much less stressful and more attainable.
Make the decision to take control of your work-life satisfaction by proactively taking control of your finances, with these tips to help you get started:
1. If you don’t already have one, create a household budget and live successfully within your means. This means not charging anything new to a credit card, paying your bills on time, and sticking with it for at least 3 months to ensure that your budget is feasible. Take a hard look at where you can cut the budget. Ask yourself – is it worth compromising the happiness of my family for what I’m paying for this item? Do we truly need this?
2. Save that cash. Start saving now, even if it’s a very small amount and stick with it. Don’t let yourself cheat. Stash it away and pretend it’s not accessible. Soon you’ll start finding ways to further cut unnecessary expenses to help you save more.
3. Pay down debt. If at all possible, pay down debt more aggressively. Consider calling your credit card companies to see if you can negotiate better repayment terms and interest rates. The worst thing they can say is “no”, and then you’re no worse off than you were before.
4. Consider taking on contract work. If you aren’t working full-time and have the ability to take on contract or project positions, this is a great way to test out a career change as well as make some additional money, while opening the doors to possible opportunities.
5. Seek professional advice. Once you start budgeting, living within your means, and paying down debt, you will be on the road to financial freedom, enabling yourself to seek out greater work-life satisfaction with peace of mind. There are many great finance resources available online, but we highly recommend visiting Jean Chatzkey’s blog (https://www.jeanchatzky.com/) for advice specific to women and working parents.
Allison O’Kelly is founder and CEO of the national talent acquisition and career development firm, Mom Corps. Visit www.MomCorps.com for more information, or follow her on Twitter @AllisonOKelly