How one should finance a career transition to a dream job is probably THE biggest question these days given our economy. Here are questions you should ask yourself:

What is my salary likely to be?

At what rate will it rise?

If I take a pay cut, how will I manage my finances?

Will I have additional expenses such as school, commuting, travel, supplies, etc?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, then get your resources lined up.  Talk to your mentor (if you don’t have one in your dream job, then get one!) and people in the field about pay scales in the industry.  Make a three-year budget showing how you’ll cover expenses at your likely new, lower salary.

“But I may actually have to take a pay CUT in this economy!?”, you ask.  

Yes.  It’s what Dr. Phil calls the “get real” moment.  Yes, you’re going to more than likely make less money in order to pursue a dream job during this recession.

But like my client Connie said not too long ago after taking a $10,000 pay cut, “It’s harder to cover expenses but worth it because instead of hating going to work, I now love my job!”

Connie is just one of many of us who have made the transition successfully.  Can we make more money doing other things?  Possibly.   But we’re happier doing what we’re doing.  And with our passion and happiness comes money — all in good time.  

So, net/net, I would argue that now’s the BEST time to go after your dream job.  It’s not like your current higher-paying job is secure anyway.  We’re all at risk!  Why not be happy doing what you love versus being angst-ridden and always wondering when the other shoe is going to drop in the higher-paying, riskier, non dream job?

Go for the dream job.  One step at a time…..