Financial factors when choosing a career

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Maybe you took time off to be with your kids and you’re returning to the workforce. Maybe you’ve been unemployed or underemployed for a while and think a career shift could help you land a job. Maybe you just want to shake things up. No matter the reason, consider these important financial factors before you decide to head down a particular career path.

1. Match your skills to the job

You won’t get hired if you’re not qualified. If you’re looking to make a drastic career move, you may need to look at education and training options to help you get the skills you need, or take an entry level position in a new career path even if you are at an advanced level in another.  

2. Know the salary ranges in that field in that geographic area

Companies often base their salary offers on what their competitors are paying their employees. Do some research on salary ranges in your area by using websites like to find out what others in your field are making where you want to live and work. 

3. Consider deductions

Remember that the number you’re quoted for an annual salary doesn’t add up to your take-home pay. Federal and state taxes are deducted, and in some cases insurance premiums, retirement contributions or transportation programs will come out as well. Use our paycheck calculator to help you get a more accurate picture of what your paycheck will look like. 

4. Follow your dreams — within reason

The life of a gourmet chef or TV producer may seem glamorous, but it takes many years of hard work and sometimes low pay to get there. If you have a family to support or major school loans to pay off, you may need to put your dream job on hold, or work on it in your spare time.

5. Budget for your search

Gas to get to job sites, ink to print out resumes, a new pair of shoes for the interview… job search costs can add up quickly, so make a budget to anticipate expenses and help you stay within your means. 

A new career may ultimately mean more pay, but remember not to spend your money before it’s earned. Check out our website for more tips and advice on how to make the most of your paycheck and to learn about the products and services available to you. 

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