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Using Your Current Job to Fund a Career Change

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 7 Nov 2014 | comments*Discuss
Current Job Career Change Employers

Rather than rushing to hand in your notice before you’ve got your career change up and running, why not think about trying to run the two concurrently for a while, at least until you’re sure it’s a viable option?

Although this does mean you don’t get that wonderful ‘it’s now or never’ moment of throwing yourself in at the deep end with your new career, it does make more sense financially, especially if you have a mortgage to pay and a family to support.

How you go about using your current job to help Fund Your Career Change certainly depends on what you are aiming to achieve. Here are some suggestions for making your current employment help you fulfil your career change ambitions.

Additional Training

If your chances of succeeding in your chosen career change will be enhanced by undertaking additional training, or indeed if you are required to complete some sort of certification or accreditation (such as those for holistic therapies), why not look into completing this at an Evening Class after work?

If the training you need is only available in working hours, perhaps you could look into seeing if there are intensive courses that you could complete by taking annual leave?

Support Skills

If your career change involves Starting Your Own Business or becoming self-employed, the types of support skills that you may take for granted in your current employment are unlikely to be available when you work for yourself. It is a good idea to see if there are at least some basic training or evening classes available for bookkeeping, IT or sales training before you hand in your notice.

It is also advisable to make sure that you are competent enough to deal with your printer, laptop or other items you will need to rely on for your everyday work. You can take additional training – ask at your local Business Link office or library to find our about free or low cost courses.

This is also the perfect time to see if any of these types of training courses are available at your current place of work, although do be aware of any fees that may need to be repaid if you leave within a certain time frame.

Early Days

Although you are likely to be absolutely exhausted, working full time and starting your own business is certainly possible. In the early days of your business, before you have won any major contracts or clients, you can use the security of your current job to help fund the difficult first few months. There is a tricky balancing act, certainly, the make sure that you are fair to your employers and yourself, but some judicious use of your annual leave, lunch breaks and any possible flexible working arrangements may help you through the early days.

Be Fair To Your Employers

This is a difficult call to make because it very much depends on your relationship with your employers, what your new career change involves, and how strict your moral code is! If you are setting up a business in a totally different sector and you are sure that you can complete your current daily tasks effectively, then there is essentially no reason to tell your employers what you’re doing. Just be aware that anything you share with your trusted colleagues can have a nasty habit of being passed on to someone higher.

If, however, your employer has treated you unfairly or you have had a difficult relationship with your boss, you may feel like you can push the moral boundaries a little more. You must be careful and act ethically, but a couple of months running your new career alongside your current employment may be the difference between making a go of it or failing early on.

Do be aware of any details in your employment contract that restrict your career change in anyway, although this is unlikely if you are moving to a different business area or commercial activity.

Is Freelancing a Option?

If you are considering working as a freelancer in your field, read our article The Pros And Cons Of Freelancing to find out whether it is the right move for you.

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[Add a Comment]
@Kaz. There are plenty of NVQ courses in this field. Check out your local college prospectus. As for help with funding, this will depend on your circumstances and how much redundancy money you receive. You may find that you can work in a caring organisation whilst studying which should help with finances.
ACareerChange - 10-Nov-14 @ 11:42 AM
I have worked as a Police Staff member for 25yrs and think I will be facing redundancy shortly. I am 48yrs old and in good health.I would like to change career to be a carer for elderly people, possibly in their own homes.Are there any courses/training available to enable me to progress this and would any funding be available?
kaz - 7-Nov-14 @ 7:56 AM
I heard that you have 2 open days at MOSI this weekend for those interseted in getting into teaching.What times are these events on please?
Na - 29-Feb-12 @ 11:10 AM
At present I'm a Paramedic in the London ambulance service and I'm thinking about a career change to become a midwife. I need to earn a salary as I have a mortage so what options are open to me, can I transfer any of my present skills and qualifacations.
traz - 30-Mar-11 @ 1:57 PM
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