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A change in careers is a daunting prospect for any woman, but it’s one that is almost always worth the effort. If you are feeling unhappy or unfulfilled in your current career, making the decision to switch things up can be both empowering and life-changing.
With this decision, however, comes a host of complications and considerations. One of the most overlooked ones is the hidden expenses that come with changing careers. It’s not just about the change in salary — there are many other ways in which your finances are likely to be affected by this decision. As long as you are prepared for these scenarios, you can counter them effectively and move forward with confidence.
Benefits and Bonuses
When calculating how much better off you are going to be in a new job, don’t forget to take into consideration any benefits. Things like health insurance, retirement, and paid leave can all have significant financial implications. Before taking a new job, make sure you:
- Learn to identify good healthcare benefits, including knowing what is covered in terms of any prescriptions or planned medical costs (e.g: pregnancy) you may have.
- Remember that you may have to start over with your deductible when you change insurer, meaning any deductible you have paid so far will be lost.
- Check if your new employer matches retirement contributions. If they don’t, mentally subtract any difference to your contributions from your salary.
- Know how you will roll over your 401(k). NerdWallet has a great guide to this, which includes a handy cheat sheet of hidden retirement account fees.
If your job involves bonuses, make sure you understand the bonus structure and that you may not be getting as much right away. Any negotiations you made for bonuses or benefits in your old job will no longer be valid, so go in with realistic expectations.
Change of Wardrobe
A fancier job will often involve a smarter wardrobe, which can be intimidating. After all, how good is a higher salary if it’s all going to go into work clothes? Don’t panic — a smart wardrobe doesn’t have to be costly. Use a selection of simple high-quality pieces that can be mixed and matched, and search for online coupons for stores like New York & Company to make savings.
Your commute can eat into your salary if you’re not careful. If you take public transport, it’s easy to calculate the cost of your daily commute. Most train, bus, and subway systems have trip planners available online with prices, as well as monthly passes to make things cheaper.
If you commute by car, use this commute calculator by Commute Solutions for an estimate of how much you are paying now, and input the details for your prospective new job to spot the difference. If the costs seem to add up, there are many ways you can save money on your commute, such as carpooling, planning around peak traffic, or switching to public transport.
Cost of Living
If you’re moving to a new city, consider how the cost of living differs from where you are right now. This cost of living calculator is a super handy tool for figuring this out. It tells you exactly what you should be earning in your new city to maintain the same standard of living you currently have, meaning you can walk into salary negotiations with realistic expectations.
Also, make sure your new company will cover any relocation fees, as these can add up. If it doesn’t, start making a plan to keep costs low. This includes being smart about what to keep and what to sell, doing your research on moving methods, and getting quotes and estimates.
Finally, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by these costs, and remember that money isn’t everything. If your new job promises better personal fulfillment or more exciting career prospects and long-term growth, the costs of switching can be well worth it. As long as you are being smart, doing your research, and predicting these financial hiccups, you will be well-prepared for anything your new life throws at you.