This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Safeguarding Your Career Switch

The night before I moved to California, I got a flat tire. The day before I moved to California, someone backed into my car. The first night that I moved to California, I got a parking ticket and my car was towed.

So, you know. I was really beginning to question my move to California.

I switched careers in 2010. It'd always been a dream of mine to move to New York or Los Angeles to pursue a career in creative writing, and while you don't have to live in either of those places to be a writer, I felt there would be more opportunity. I went with it.

It's been a hurricane. A blur. I've gotten boring gigs, awesome gigs, and I've been stressed about all of those gigs. I've wondered whether I was making mistakes and then confirmed the fact that I was making mistakes.

But two years later, the storm has calmed. Both emotionally and financially, I'm in a better place now than I was before I made the switch.

So far, it's been a success. Who knows what could happen from here, and I've been wary of writing about this for some time. I'm not typically superstitious, but I have to admit, I don't want to jinx it.

But part of that silly fear of jinxing is that I'm careful. I was very careful about ensuring that my career switch would be as painless as possible. I did everything I could to take shelter from the crap storm that inevitably ensues when you leave a decent-paying, stable job to pursue a crazy dream.

Here's what I did.

I was financially prepared

Before I made the decision to move, I talked to people who had once tried it - leaving Texas to pursue a creative career in Los Angeles or New York. They all said the reason they moved back was that they couldn't find a job, and they ran out of money. So I vowed to live below my means, and I began to save. A year before I moved, I wasn't certain it would happen. It seemed so far off, so unattainable. I thought about forgetting my goals entirely to instead travel for the rest of my life, working at my not thrilling, but still decent, job. And really, that's not a bad Plan B.

But eventually, conviction set in. As I began to save more money, I started to realize that this could actually happen. By 2009, I was getting close to having saved $10,000, and the dream started to look like a possibility. I researched what my lifestyle would cost, and I took into consideration the likely chance that I wouldn't be able to find work.

I had a backup plan (and still do)

I tried to pick up as many side jobs as I could; most were writing gigs. While I couldn't find full-time creative writing jobs in my hometown, I did find a couple of creative gigs in other parts of the country (including LA), and there were a few copywriting gigs in my city as well. I was typically working upwards of 60 hours a week. None of those gigs paid particularly well, but it was more about having some sort of income when I finally left my job and moved. Even a few hundred dollars a month would help.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs