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Need to Change Careers? 5 Ways To Prepare Yourself for It

Posted on December 23, 2019

The average person will change careers five to seven times during their life. Changing careers can be a huge upheaval in somebody’s life, and not one to be taken lightly or without careful planning. People change careers for several different reasons. Maybe you are sick of what you are doing, the type of people you are working with, or looking for a new challenge? Changing careers is one way to grow as a person and improve your life.

Don’t just impulsively make the decision to change careers, take your time and make sure it’s the right choice for you. If you foresee a career change in your future, here are some key ways to prepare for it and make sure you are safe.

What Costs Will Need to Be Paid

two women writing on a whiteboardIf you are looking to change careers, you need to first approach it from a financial point of view. What commitments and bills do you need to pay for, and if you do change careers, can you still pay for them? For example, if you have a mortgage, a car payment, and a family to care for, switching to a career with a much lower income might not be feasible.

Pull out your trusty budget and list out expenses you have to pay for, things you would like to pay for, and the items you can easily cut. By knowing your expenses, you can be better informed if specific career changes are feasible for your lifestyle. If you are transitioned from a trained and skilled career to something you aren’t as skilled in, you might need to expect a decrease in income.

If you aren’t sure how to build a budget or how to plan your expenses, we’ve got the tools to help. For Pioneer members, you can get help from the pros at GreenPath Financial Wellness for free! They can guide you on creating a budget and how to pick out which expenses are essential.

Another area of costs to consider is any training or education you might need to acquire. This could include going to college, a trade school, or taking online classes, all of which cost money. If you do have a significant cost to cover, you need to know how you are going to pay for it.

Grow a Savings to Cover You

Changing a career could lead to a period of time without an income. Whether it’s because your current career is ending in the future or you’ll need to take time to go to school for it, you need to make sure you can survive during that time.

If you have some time before you start working on getting a new career, save up some money. Cut some costs, focus on saving money, and maybe even find a way to earn some extra cash on the side. Having a strong savings account can make sure that while working on getting into your new career, you are protected financially.

Research What Career You Want To Go Into

hand holding a pen and looking at dataBefore quitting your current job, you need to make sure you know exactly what career you want to go into. It would be really risky to leave your current job for a new career, just to find out it’s not for you. So before making your leap of faith, you need to do a lot of research into what career you want to go into.

Some great ways to research different careers includes:

  • Career aptitude tests
  • Interview people in a variety of industries
  • Job shadow people with careers you are interested in
  • Read up about working conditions and salaries
  • Look up what people like and dislike about the career

What Experience Will Your New Career Need You Can Get Now?

The hardest part about getting that first job in a new industry or career is gaining relevant experience. Some technical skills you might not be able to get at your current job, but other experiences you can. For example, if your new career requires leadership experience, find ways at your current job to gain it.

Another way to gather experience quickly is by either doing work on your own or getting an internship in your new chosen field. This is a great way to gather the technical skills you need and could even lead to getting a great first job in your new career.

How is Your Credit Score?

man handing a credit card to another personAn area often forgotten with job hunting is your credit score. Many employers look at potential employees’ credit to get a gauge at how responsible, trustworthy, or risky you are. Especially with careers that involve handling money or have a high amount of responsibility, your credit score can have a huge impact on getting hired.

It’s wise to know what your credit score is before heading into job interviews just in case it is a factor in getting hired. If you are a Pioneer member, you can check your latest FICO credit score by logging into your myPioneer account, selecting additional services, and then choosing FICO Score.

Perhaps your credit score is a little lower than you would like? Two great ways to build your credit can happen through Pioneer: getting a Pioneer Credit Card or opening a Credit Builder Loan. Both are great tools for getting your credit score raised. Just remember that it takes time though, so don’t expect immediate results. Give yourself a lot of time to raise your credit to a good level.

Open a Credit Builder Loan!

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