If you’ve been at your current job for a decade—or far longer—you may think you’re ready to try something new. And you’re not alone: the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that Americans change jobs an average of 11 times during their lifetime1. Making a switch can be thrilling, but it can also raise as many questions as hopes.
“It’s a matter of taking a look at your current job situation and seeing what’s best for you, not just financially, but also in terms of balancing your work environment and quality of life,” says James Heilman, first vice president at SunTrust Investment Services in South Miami, Fla.
Consider the following four points when contemplating the big change:
Before settling on a new career, find out what kind of background you will need to make it happen. This may be as simple as doing some online research and having exploratory conversations with people who work in the industry. Or you may need to go back for a few classes or even a degree. That can mean spending a lot of time and money before you start seeing any payoff from your new profession. Ask yourself, “How will I support myself during that process without taking on an unmanageable amount of debt?”
A new career can mean a change in income, and often a substantial pay cut, particularly if you are wandering far afield. “You need to be sure your new income is enough to support your budget,” says Heilman.
Develop new spending and savings plans based on your anticipated income so you can identify (and resolve) any shortfalls before you take the plunge. You may also want to consider boosting your emergency fund before switching careers. Heilman suggests saving at least three months’ worth of expenses to help you through the transition.
Do some research to see what benefits you can expect at your new workplace. If employers in your new career typically offer fewer benefits, you may need to budget more money for health insurance and retirement savings. Take this into account when budgeting, and determine how you’ll have to change your lifestyle to accommodate these new expenses.
4. Personal life
Any career change will lead to changes in the rest of your life, so be prepared to take time to make adjustments. Heilman suggests making a five-year plan to give yourself some direction. “Sometimes you have to take a step back to put yourself in the right direction. That’s something you should be prepared for and acknowledge,” he says. “The grass isn’t always greener, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you make the switch,” cautions Heilman.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics [http://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsfaqs.htm#anch41]
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
Investment and Insurance Products:
© 2014 SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC.
Equal Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.
SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust at Work, SunTrust Mobile Banking, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Fund Select, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and Sure Pay are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust Solid Theft Protection and SunTrust SummitView are service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking and trust products, including investment advisory products and services, are provided by SunTrust Bank, member FDIC; securities, insurance (including annuities), and other investment products and services are provided by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.; investment advisory products and services are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.; mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.
SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, toll free 1-800-634-7928 CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NH: licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender. © 2014 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust and SunTrust Mortgage are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. How can we help you shine? is a service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc.
"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., an SEC registered investment adviser and broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products, and other investment services.
SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups are marketing names used by SunTrust Banks, Inc. and SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.