You have this clear image of your next career move, and as you think about it you feel the excitement bubbling away, and despite trying to manage your expectations and tell yourself to get real, the thought won’t leave you, it’s like a magnet pulling you forward. But let’s face it you still need to pay the bills and keep a roof over your head so how do you make a career shift when there is a temporary or permanent reduction in your income?
In this blog, I am sharing the different routes real clients have taken to make their transition into their ideal career with the aim of inspiring you into action and helping you contemplate which option could work for your unique situation.
But before we explore the different options there are two key pieces of information you need to calculate. Firstly to be clear on any savings or redundancy payments that you could use to support you through your transition and secondly what are your outgoings each month.
When reviewing your outgoings I recommend calculating this based on two scenarios. Your stripped back budget, if you were to cut your costs back to your necessities and then secondly your outgoings if you were to enjoy some of the comforts you are used to. This gives you a range to work with which is particularly useful if there is a period of retraining, or it's going to take you a while to build up your earnings (i.e. running your own business or working largely on a commission basis.) By calculating these figures not only can it make you aware of unnecessary costs such as the gym membership you never use, but it can also help you resize some of the money obstacles you have.
The second point to consider is other resources available to you for generating an income such as renting a room, a driveway or a garage which you would be willing to implement to make your dream job become a reality.
By being clear on the money realities, you are able to understand which transition route is open to you.
Route 1 – Moving within your current organisation.
This is not an option available for all. However, if you like the Company and its’ values and it is of sufficient size this could be a possibility either permanently or temporary as you put the next blocks in place.
I had a client who worked for an FTSE 100, the culture and people were a great fit for her and the commute was the best she had ever had. She had always enjoyed the people element of her job, mentoring and developing her team and wanted to make this a larger part of her role going forward. Initially, people projects fulfilled this need but over time she began to realise this wasn’t enough and she wanted to look at opportunities to work within Talent Development and Learning teams.
Although she didn’t have the experience other external candidates possessed, what she did have was the organisation knowledge, a credible reputation and would be able to provide a unique perspective about the customer's needs because in her current position she was the customer.
If this route could be an option for you, focus on raising your profile and building connections with your desired area and see if there are other people who have made a non-traditional route into the team. Think about what could be your unique offering and how you will make a difference to a team as opposed to more of the same. Find a champion within the department who can help you and see if there are opportunities for you to get involved in bespoke pieces of work that connect your current role with your desired area.
Some clients will also make changes within their organisation which are of a more temporary nature and designed to give them headspace to focus on building a new career outside an organisation. Don’t write this off as a ‘no go’ without having the conversation as a good employee is worth having on a reduced basis than not at all.
Clients of mine have successfully requested and secured part-time working and compressed hours. Compressed hours are when a person works the same amount of time but consolidate their hours into fewer days.
If this is something you would like to explore, understand if there are other people in your organisation that work part-time or on compressed hours to see what precedent has been set and start to consider how you could make this work for your own role and how you would overcome any objections you perceive your manager may have.
Route 2 - Moving to another organisation
As clients get clear on what they want to be featured in their next career they can realise that their existing place of work is a barrier and therefore they have no option if they want to progress in their career change but to leave.
If you have clarity on what you want to do, the next step in your journey is about finding the right organisation for you and building your CV to showcase how your transferrable skills and experience support this transition.
A temporary move while undergoing training may be an alternative. A client who struggled to see how she could bridge the gap between paying her share of the bills and qualifying in a new career secured a part-time project management position (her background) in a sector that suited her while having the time and energy to devote to training in her ideal career.
One step even better is to secure a position in an organisation that gives you a foot into your end destination or supports clients who would be your ideal clients in your new venture. For example, a client who retrained in nutrition found a part-time business administration role in a boutique gym. She now provides nutrition services to this gym and has access to her ideal clients - i.e individuals who are passionate about their wellbeing and willing to invest in their health.
Route 3 – Leave and raid the piggy bank!
Sometimes there isn’t a decision to be made, perhaps your role has been made redundant or the situation is so untenable that it’s making you ill and eating away at your self-esteem.
In this instance focus on how you can strip back your outgoings, explore new opportunities to generate income and look for temporary solutions to cover any gap so you are not pulled back into something similar through money fears.
A favourite of clients in this situation is to find bar work or seeing what their local supermarket has available. Or even reverting back to previous careers as a temporary measure, while they have time to adjust, recharge and get clarity on the next chapter of their career.
One of the things all my clients have shared is that there is always a way of making your dreams become your reality and sometimes you just need a little bit of inspiration, a helping hand to find your way. If that sounds like you then I would love to know more about your situation and see how we could potentially work together.
For more practical advice and guidance on making a career change with confidence and clarity take a look at these blogs: