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Looking For a Career Change? 6 Tips to Make It Financially Work

A hand drops a coin into a piggy bank

When you’re looking for a career change, one of the largest obstacles may be finances. Whether you think your new role will come with a drop in salary, or requires additional experience and training, making a professional move can be costly. Of course, everyone’s situation is unique. Making a career change work financially will be different for students, full-time professionals, parents, and everything in between. However, a few proven tips and tricks can be applied and modified for nearly any situation.


woman talking on a video conference in an intern group office


Consider these 6 tips for making your career change financially viable:


1. Take on a part-time or virtual internship

If your schedule allows, a part-time, virtual internship is a great way to prepare your CV for your career change. Consider interning 10 or 15 hours a week in the field you’re hoping to enter. This experience on your CV will show potential employers you already have experience, and that you’re motivated and passionate about the field. Of course, in today’s increasingly virtual workforce, many companies also offer remote placements, making the option even more flexible. If money is tight as you’re making your career change, pursuing a few additional hours a week is a great way to ensure you can keep your full-time role throughout your transition.


2. Find a free course

Depending on your situation, you may be making a switch to a career field that requires a slightly different skillset than the one you’re leaving behind. You may need to develop new technical skills, or hone existing transferable ones, in order to make yourself a qualified candidate. This can be an expensive endeavor if you head back to school, or take on a full-time intensive bootcamp. However, a cost-effective way to gain new skills is to take on one of the many free, online courses available to professionals. Most of these courses are taught by experts in a field, and can be completed on your own schedule, at your own pace.


3. Ask for advice

Advice is frequently given free-of-charge, and it’s one of your most valuable resources when you’re looking for a career change. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that professionals in your new field possess. Ask professionals for their guidance and advice – many will be more than happy to  help you! Consider cold reach-outs to those you admire within the field. You might be surprised how many people respond! Follow experts in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter, and engage with them as much as possible. You’ll learn a lot by keeping track of hot topics in your field, and getting to know its major players.


4. Budget for a salary change

When you’re looking for a career change, it’s likely you’ll take on a lower-level role in your new field. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it’s best to prepare for a scenario in which you’ll experience a salary change with your new job. With this in mind, budget and save in the weeks and months leading up to your career shift. In fact, if possible, it’s a good idea to start saving as soon as you begin considering the move.


5. Consider flexible sources of income

There are many ways to earn a little extra cash using the skills you already have. Depending on your specific situation, you may consider blogging, offering writing and editing services, or even teaching a course online. If you’re a recent graduate and haven’t yet started working full-time, consider a summer job or part-time role to finance your transition into your new career.


6. Freelance

A great way to earn a little extra income when looking to make a career change is to take on freelance roles in your chosen field. Of course, this option isn’t always available, but if there’s a chance to do a bit of work on the side and you have the time, go for it! Not only will it improve your CV for when you decide to go for that first full-time role, it can help you build up savings in case you have a transition period without work.


Learn more about our flexible, part-time internship programs here!



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Blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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