Career Change

colorful sailboat on caribbean beach

11

Is the number of times
the average American
will change jobs
during his/her career.
Source: The Cerulli Edge March 2000

Any major life change – even a positive one – comes with its share of stress.

Changing careers is no exception. Regardless of the reasons, think about what direction you want (or need) to go in before you make a major decision that will affect you, your family and your financial future.

We can serve as a sounding board when considering your options and offer financial advice throughout the transition.

  • Ask the right questions.

    It pays to think through some key questions before making the leap to a new venture or preparing to be in the job market again.

    • Burned out? Bored? Maybe a new job function in the same industry could brighten your future.
    • Looking for more? Consider whether prospects are limited throughout the industry or just within your company to help decide between changing careers and seeking greener pastures.
    • Are you overwhelmed? Maybe a new job function in the same industry could brighten your future.
    • Seeking to learn something new? Perhaps consider going back to school.
    • Wanting to stay home with the kids? There are still considerations before going from two incomes to one.
  • Strategically pursue new opportunities.

    Think about what you want and how a change could affect your short- and long-term goals.

    • Calculate your current situation. Know the value of your salary and benefits before leaving them behind – including insurances, retirement plans and profit sharing details.
    • List your priorities for your new profession. And assess your skills and interests in the chosen field. Is a higher salary or work/life balance more important?
    • Update your resume and pursue job openings. If it’s been a while since you were last in the job market, know how the process has changed.
    • Create a financial buffer. This may be necessary to cover transition costs not paid by a new employer.
  • Consider your offers.

    Carefully review the details and negotiate salary and benefits before accepting an offer.

    • Consider everything from the value of your benefits to contract stipulations. Don’t leave money on the table if you don’t have to.
    • Compare the total package. Beyond the pay, think about the intangibles that come along with a new job.
    • Consider how an offer will affect your financial plan. Determine implications for applicable tax liabilities and how you would need to update your financial goals.
    • Research the company. Consider the company’s culture, stability, future outlook and opportunities for growth before committing to a new gig.
  • Tie up any loose ends.

    Once you’ve landed a new job, you’ll need to stay on top of tasks to ensure a smooth transition.

    • Filling out the paperwork. Update your employer contact information, where applicable and request direct deposit to maintain continuity of payroll deposits.
    • Register for benefits as soon as possible. Consider taking advantage of COBRA insurance to fill any gaps in coverage during the transition.
    • Consider your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Understand applicable penalties, taxes or fees associated.
    • Reassess your financial situations. And adjust your plan to fit your goals. And take advantage of a pay increase by boosting savings or paying down debt.