Budgeting for a Career Transition

Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

Not very many people would set out to buy a new home or new car without first setting a budget. Yet, when many people decide to find a new career opportunity, they completely forget to set a budget.

There’s a reason that old sayings like, “It takes money to make money,” become old sayings. They’re usually true.

For those who are currently unemployed−and I know there are a lot of you out there right now, and I feel for you−you need to be realistic. Look at your monthly expenses and at your savings, and figure out how quickly you need to find your next position before your money runs out. You might want to put your head in the sand like an ostrich, but it’s better if you meet reality head-on and know exactly what your situation is.

Then decide how much money you feel comfortable setting aside toward job search expenses, including money for professional memberships, professional networking meetings, business lunches, new business attire (if necessary), personal grooming (you’re not going to cut your own hair, are you?), continuing education coursework, certification expenses, gasoline, etc. 

Other things to invest in that might help you land your next position more quickly and easily include: professional resume writing, professional cover letter writing, career coaching,  job search consulting, company research, and a recruiter email campaign. When making any investment you need to weigh the return against the initial cost. How much money will you save in lost income if you are able to cut your job search time in half?

Many people think these are things they ought to do by themselves. When we became followers of Christ, we all started to build a tower–a tower to reach God. The key to this passage above is building our tower, including our lives and careers, God’s way so that he can complete the good work He started in us. What are you willing to part with to more faithfully follow the Lord? If you don’t know, ask the Lord. His advice is always perfect.

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