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Hidden Costs of a New Job: How to Make the Switch

Business woman confident in a new job

Switching jobs is usually associated with a bump in pay, and therefore more financial freedom. That said, it’s often surprising when a new job derails the budget by introducing surprise expenses that weren’t considered in the job description.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball to look into the future and see costs before they surprise you?

Get All Worked Up

The trick is to anticipate a ramp-up period. At your old gig, you likely had some seniority, influence or clout. Unfortunately, your new team won’t know how much value you bring to the table until you get a few projects under your belt. That respect may take months, even years to earn, but better pay often follows.

This means you might not get the take-home income that you originally signed on for, and that can be discouraging --- unless, of course, you’re prepared. In addition to your emergency fund, start saving now so that you have a financial cushion to soften the blow ramp-up time can bring.

Not sure where to start? Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here are 4 ways to prepare financially for a new job.

  • If you are carrying debt, talk to creditors before you leave your old gig. Alert them of the coming change, and negotiate for the lowest monthly payment available, at least temporarily. Better yet, have a professional do the negotiating for you. Call a licensed credit counselorto learn whether you qualify for a debt management program, which could simplify this step.
  • Look for supplements in the transition period. If you are still working your old job, there are many ways to earn extra money on the side to beef up your savings. Just be sure not to neglect your current responsibilities. Your relationship with the former boss must stay amicable if you want to keep a flow of income once you start training. Many employers will allow you to keep working part-time at your old job while they find a suitable replacement. This can work to your advantage since some new jobsrequire a training period where little or no compensation is rewarded.
  • Save. It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of saving the income you do have before taking on a new gig. A different commute may require more gas money. New attire may be needed. Business lunches at restaurants may be neccesaryto get acquainted with team members. Other possible costs may include a new trade association membership, new technology, and new benefits that may have higher premiums.
  • Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Recognize ahead of time that some professional partnerships simply don’t work out. Your great new gig may not be what you thought it was, or your boss may change his mind a few months into your employment. While these situations are rare, they can be devastating financially if you’re not prepared. The answer? Save more ahead of time. Then, you’ll be in good shape no matter what happens. A year into your new gig, look back on performance reviews to re-assess this risk. If by then you feel confident in your employment, use that extra cash to invest in retirement.

Changing jobs is often a great move financially, and you’ll likely be happier once you settle into your new groove. Until then, stay on your toes. Stick to that budget, stash away more than usual, and brush up on professional certifications.

Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today

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