Can you afford to change career?

Can you afford to change career?

Many people feel trapped in jobs they don’t like or with people they cannot get on with or feel frustrated with poor promotion prospects. Is this you? Surely, life is too short to accept the status quo - if you are unhappy or unfulfilled, then its crucial that you do something about it!

But what is the first step?

You need to determine how much you need to earn and for how long, in order to live a life that you feel happy with.

Many people will automatically think this means earning more than you do now, but actually with some careful rearrangement and planning, it may be possible to reduce your income (maybe only temporarily) in order to make a start on your new career path. This may certainly be the case if you are considering self-employment where some expenses can be tax deductible and costs like commuting are reduced.

So we suggest that you engage a financial planner to help you compile a lifetime cash flow forecast to take account of all your current and future income / expenditure as well as current assets and debts.

This will tell you what you need to earn, for how long and whether you can afford to take a career break - for children or re-training or a degree course etc. It will also tell you whether you could work part time to develop your skills concurrently in another area.

You should be realistic about your future life goals because it may be necessary to make compromises in the early stages of a career change. For example, you may love your new (possibly lower paid) work but no longer be able to afford so many manicures or meals out. It’s all about priorities and what is important to each individual person.

Before handing in your notice to a “secure” employer, you should also think about the long term financial implications of your actions. For example, how will your pension be affected - are you in a great scheme that you can’t afford to lose?

Careful consideration should be given to your relationship with your life partner. Have you discussed your concerns, unhappiness, ambitions etc? Do you have their full support? Can you reorganise the necessary income between you? Having a partner who is resentful of your plans may not end happily, so considering how to bring them onside in your plans is also important.

If you are thinking of a complete change of career, you should also consider your personality and the type of work you are best suited to. For example, jolly, gregarious types might find it very difficult working on their own from home and shy, quiet types might find the idea of an open plan office very scary.

Once you have taken all of the above into consideration and worked through the financial issues with other concerned parties, we think you should just go for it!

Change is inevitable - so decide what you need to do to make you happy and then make it happen!


Julie Lord is CEO of Magenta Financial Planning and is always happy to provide basic financial information to help people to get a better handle on their finances and the possible solutions available to them to improve their future security and happiness.

t: 01656 760670


Magenta Financial Planning is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.