Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2014 Contents B29
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Once you have decided that you
want to change careers and you have
identified what you want to do, you
may find that this reinvention could
involve a temporary cut in pay. This
is a real concern and you are right to
be worried, but it does not mean you
have to give up hope-it is still possible
to pursue your passion!
It might take awhile to acquire new skills
and come up to speed on a new job func-
tion and a new industry. But in time, your
salary can recover and even surpass former
compensation levels, especially if you tie
your passions to your work.
Some of the questions people ask
How do you live and prepare for this
What are some of the planned and hidden
If I want to change careers in a year, what
can I do now to prepare?
Cash Flow Projections
1. Do your research:
Let's assume you already know the new
career or field you want to enter. First, you need
to do your homework and determine how much
you can realistically make in the first few years of
your reinvention. There are a couple of ways to do
There are numerous websites available with salary
data; my favorites are www.salary.com, www.salary-
expert.com, and www.payscale.com.
More importantly, however, talk to professionals
already working in your desired field, and get spe-
cific information on how much you can expect to
make moving into the field and what the long-
term prospects are for total compensation, job
security, and advancement.
2. Determine your training and professional
Before you can prepare your reinvention budget,
you should determine how much you are going to
need to invest for training and professional devel-
opment. Do your homework and ask a lot of ques-
Ask those in your target field how much they
spent on training and where they received it.
Research professional associations in your new
field and see how much they charge for training
and certificate programs.
3. Professional association memberships:
Professional associations provide ideal networking
opportunities to ease your transition into a new
field, so be sure to include the membership costs
of joining one or two associations.
Also, be sure to include attendance at a profes-
sional conference, as this can be a great way to
network and build relationships with senior indi-
viduals in your new industry.
Are there any hidden technology costs that you
will need to make this transition? Will you need
a new computer or laptop at home?
If your career change involves starting a business,
the impact of these purchases could be reduced if
they qualify as business expenses, so be sure to
familiarize yourself with related income tax laws
or consult with a good CPA.
5. Volunteer to get experience:
Is there a way to position yourself for your rein-
vention so you can be hired more quickly? Can
you volunteer or intern to gain valuable experience,
which will help you land your job sooner?
6. Have a backup plan:
If you have a backup plan or Plan B, you'll feel
much less anxious during the reinvention. Work
with your career coach to develop a time line for
your reinvention as well as a backup plan, and
match that up against the financial resources you
have available to fund the change. Is there sufficient
wiggle room? What will you do if the transition
takes longer than planned? How will you begin to
7. Monitor your numbers:
Develop a tracking mechanism for keeping an
eye on your goals and financial numbers. Know
what you are spending to reinvest in yourself, how
much you are making, and how much you are
spending. It is hard to ignore the facts when they
are in writing. One good way to do this is to peri-
odically go back and compare your actual expenses
to those you estimated in the Cash Flow Work-
8. Think long term:
Before you make your career change decision,
be aware that a shift to lower income can affect
your other financial goals, most notably retirement,
in ways that may not be obvious. Further, if you
are less able to save for retirement, you could find
that you need to work longer. On the other hand,
you might be not only willing, but happy, to keep
working to a ripe old age - as long as you're in
your target career.
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