Career change costs you should consider before taking the plunge

career change

Deciding to change your career can be daunting—not only do you have to consider the financial implications of leaving a steady job and starting anew, but also the emotional toll of such an unpredictable endeavor. Therefore, before taking this monumental step, carefully weigh all potential costs associated with a career switch. Then, to save yourself from unnecessary worry or any potential setbacks further down the line, in this blog post, we’ll discuss some key factors to remember as you assess how much-changing careers might cost you.

How to estimate your career change costs before a change

Assess your career goals

Before changing your career, you may want to know what change you want. I am not even talking about your new job, but before that: why do you want to change? What is it in your current situation that you want to modify? And how is it going to make you better off?

For instance, if your reasons for seeking a career change are a better salary, this is an easy fix, as you need to find the same job somewhere else, but better paid. If you dislike some colleagues or your employer, that is the same. If you want to pursue a new passion or apply new skills you learned, maybe you can do it as a hobby or a side business while keeping your current job.

And if you want to change your profession or field of expertise, the costs of career change will be much higher.

In any case, the clearer you are about your reasons for switching careers, the more your career change costs will be reduced. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to pay a fortune to figure this out. However, a career coach can help you a lot in that case, generally for a fee of at least $100 per hour of consultation. But there are also countless resources on the Internet, like those listed here. You can also take a moment to think about everything you love and hate to determine the reason for your desire for change.j

Search for information online

Once you know what you like and dislike, finding something that matches your values and skills is more accessible.

The easiest way to do that is with the Jinn Career Encyclopedia. This tool is extremely simple to use: you type in the search bar what you are looking for, and that’s it. Next, it will suggest different articles related to your search, including occupations, skills, and knowledge. From there, you can click links to navigate from talent or expertise to work and vice-versa. Eventually, you can find a job whose description fits your requirements.

I like this method because we usually search for things we know, and never for stuff we don’t. Just like when you go to a big supermarket just to buy salt and pepper, and you end up coming back with just one spice you have never tried before, both hot and salty. Your dream job may already exist, but you have never heard about it.


This is another item that doesn’t cost a lot nowadays. A good network can unlock many doors you don’t even know existed. But the problem is that not everybody has such a good network.

It would be foolish not to take advantage of one if you do have one. However, if you don’t, your alternative is to build your network from scratch. This is quite big in terms of career change costs; it will not cost you a lot of money. But it will cost you a lot of time to connect with the right people, engage in activities to promote yourself, and maybe attend conferences… But once again, the return can be very high if you manage to build a good network.

Acquire new skills

You know your current position, and you know your desired goal. Now you need to define the path that will connect both. You especially need to focus on the skills you do not have yet, or that you do not know enough about.

But before rushing to any lesson, think again. Some jobs may ask you for specific certificates to showcase your expertise, while for others, you don’t need to. For example, it is entirely possible to learn web technologies such as HTML, CSS, or PHP on your own via online courses. You just need to build fantastic websites to show your mastery. However, it is undoubtedly another story if you want to become a doctor, lawyer, real estate agent, or any regulated profession. In that case, you must follow the country’s requirements where you want to work.

Career change costs to consider after a change

Your new salary

Career change costs are reduced if career plan is done in advance

You will consider your potential new salary before changing your career. But since this is felt mainly after the change, hence the title.

Most of the time, there is no change cost when you keep the same role but with a different employer since the move is due mainly to a better salary offered by your new employer. But in the case of a more radical career change, you could be in a situation where your salary is less than what you had before. It can even be that you have no compensation for some time, especially if you change your career to become an entrepreneur.

This is why your career change costs will always be the highest in that area, and therefore you should spend most of your career planning there. A simple way to do so is by:

  • Reviewing your monthly budget: you could find some expenditure items that can be removed because they are unimportant
  • Setting a monthly budget corresponding to what you think you could have in your new career.
  • Trying to live within this budget for 2 to 4 months. Or even better, trying to live with less than this budget.

This is not the kind of activity that can be improvised, and you will need to prepare it well in advance.

Once you have a better idea about your expenses, ensure you have enough savings to keep the lifestyle you want for a long time – from 6 months to a year. The idea is that you can pay the everyday expenses and still have some coverage in case of a hard blow like a broken car, an accident, or sickness.

Lastly, make sure you have a backup plan after your career change. This is not the kind of thing we like to hear, but the more significant the career change, the more likely you are to fail. Which is normal if you decide to go into an area you don’t know as well as the one you were before. Having an idea of a more regular job to do in case of failure – a 9-to-5 job – can help you start your new adventure, knowing that you have something to fall back on.

Your new commuting time

Your new commuting time may look less significant compared to everything we discussed. But if you think longer, you might want to look closer at this. Indeed, you will probably have other career changes, more or less significant. We saw that career change costs can be pretty high if you do not plan financially and in terms of time spent preparing for your career move. So, what would you do with this time saved if you could reduce your commuting time?  Spending more time on your career could be an answer. But you could also choose to spend more time with your loved ones.


Changing a career cannot be improvised. Career change costs are so high that poor planning can hinder career progression. In general, it is always better to request the opinion of many people before deciding. Do not hesitate to use Jinn’s resources to research before changing your career; it is free!