Have you ever been in a job and felt trapped? Maybe you felt like you were stuck there because you didn’t think there was anything better out there. Maybe you didn’t think you were good enough for a new position.
Feelings of bitterness and hopelessness quickly follow those types of feelings. I was stuck in a job for a couple of years longer than I wanted to be, and I too felt like there was no way out.
Usually, when someone feels trapped in a job, there are some financial concerns that are associated with your feelings of entrapment—and rightfully so. If money were no object, it would be really easy to just up and leave and find something else.
Let’s face it, though. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to the financial side of managing your career. And unless you’re super well off, money will always come into play in your decisions.
This is why it’s so important to manage your money in a way that’ll work the best for you because how you manage your money can have a direct impact on your career in a number of different ways.
Here are some ways that managing your money well can directly affect your career.
You Don’t Have to Take a Position You Don’t Want
Have you ever been in a position financially where any type of promotion would be welcome just to give you a little breathing room?
Keeping a good hold of your finances would completely get rid of that situation. It would allow you to not only take the career path that you want to take but also in the right time as well.
Whatever your passions are, managing your money well will give you the ability to pass up what you don’t want and only take what you do want. You can work your current job while browsing your employer’s job openings on your terms. You could even get to a certain position and then stay there if you decided that was far enough.
When you are managing your money well, there’s no reason to pursue any career you don’t want. There is nothing that says you have to keep getting promoted at work. If you are happy where you’re at and you’re good with the money you’re being paid, then you are free to do what you want.
You Can Completely Switch Courses
Have you ever been on an entire career path that wasn’t right for you?
Imagine having the freedom to completely switch career paths without having to worry about being able to pay the bills.
Consider this situation. You’ve managed your money well, your debt is minimal, you never spend more than you make, and you have a great system for saving. In this situation, you’re completely free to abandon the career that isn’t right for you and start at the bottom somewhere else. The worst that might happen if you’re managing your money well is the amount you’re saving could drop for a bit.
I wish that were my situation about five years ago.
For the first couple of years as a restaurant manager, I loved it. It was a lot of fun being in the environment talking with people and the pay was great.
What I didn’t realize is that it wasn’t sustainable. The late nights would start to get to me and it was impossible to get enough sleep, especially after the birth of my second child and my wife finding a great new job. I started to become so angry all the time that it was hard for my wife to even recognize me. That’s when I knew it was time for a new job.
It took me another two years to find a different job, though. Why? Because I had to think about the money. I was not managing my money great at this point. We bought a house, bought things for it, bought a new car, and took on an additional $839.00 in monthly payments. Not a great time to do that if you’re looking for a career switch.
If I had been managing my money well, I would have been comfortable taking a necessary pay cut to switch paths a full two years before I actually did.
Managing your money well gives you the freedom to do things your way and change course if you need to.
Have you ever had a desire to just stop working for a little bit?
Sometimes I would love to take time off to travel or focus more on something else without having my job always on my mind. If you’re managing your money exceptionally well—only spending on what you value and putting aside money for goals and to fulfill other things you value—this may be doable for you.
Tim Ferris calls this concept “mini-retirements.” Essentially, instead of working for 40+ years to save for one retirement while you’re old, you work for a few years, save your money, and then take some time off to do what you want. This way you are retiring often and can enjoy your youth with it as well.
Admittedly, if I had known about this concept in my early 20’s, I would have been managing my money a lot different. I would have been shooting to have mini-retirements every few years.
However, this concept doesn’t work for everyone. Some people may find it hard to go back to work after taking a year off to travel or do whatever else you want. I wonder if I’d be in that boat as well.
The point of mentioning this though is that you would be free to take time off if you wanted to. If you want to take a mini-retirement, you can make it happen by managing your money how you see best.
You Don’t Have to Tolerate Being Treated Unfairly
Have you ever been underpaid, treated unfairly, discriminated against, or promised something that never will come to pass in your career?
Managing your money effectively means that you don’t have to stick around and continue to be treated that way. This happened to me at my first job in my 20’s.
I was trying to get into a salaried manager position instead of making just under $10 an hour like I was. At this point, I was almost married so the extra money would have been good. I was told to “keep doing what you’re doing” and the promotion would come. It never did. I was forced to switch stores and was never told if there was anything I needed to work on to improve despite asking for feedback.
What did I do? Stuck around (facepalm).
Like I said, I needed the money but it was because I hadn’t really been managing my money very well. If I had been, I could have looked for another job somewhere instead of looking for the security in something I thought might happen but knew it probably wouldn’t. In hindsight, I may have been able to get a better paying job elsewhere. However, because I wasn’t managing my finances well, I needed to stay in that position even though I was being misled.
Having the freedom to choose a different position or company because you aren’t being treated well is a huge perk of managing your money well. If you are underpaid, you can find a job that will pay you better. If you are being discriminated against, you can move to some other place (and report it if you can).
It gives you more options if you’re doing a good job managing your money.
You Can Try Something Completely Off the Wall
Have you ever wanted to start a business or take a job that was completely crazy?
It was once thought that having a blog as a business was not possible. Now a ton of people are making money online by providing great content that people find valuable. You can save up a year’s worth of salary and then stop working to focus on a blog or a business or whatever else you’d like to do, even if it’s crazy.
Mini-retirements were once thought of as crazy as well. Who takes a year off to travel?! Well, a lot of people do. If you google “mini-retirement stories” you’ll find plenty of blog posts on the subject of people taking time off.
The point is that this was once thought of as off the wall and it really isn’t. Neither is starting a business that seems out there.
Imagine taking your passion or hobby and turning it into something that can help you make money while helping other people out. If you are managing your money well, don’t have a lot of debt, and have cut out a lot of your unnecessary expenses that you don’t value, the possibilities really are endless.
Here’s a list of crazy business ideas that actually worked. Note that I do not condone any of the risqué or illegal businesses on that list. The point is to show you that your idea for a crazy business or job may actually work.
Another crazy idea is being led to give away a bunch of money. If you are managing your money well, you can take a career path that is mostly volunteer such as a missionary or camp counselor.
Do you have a crazy idea for a business or invention that you need to focus on that will completely change your career trajectory? Managing your money well will give you the freedom to get there.
I hope you’ve been able to notice a trend with all of these examples. So what is the main point?
You see, there’s another type of financial freedom involved here. Managing your money well not only can you give you financial freedom in the traditional sense—retire early, passive income pays the bills, etc.—but it gives you freedom to do what you want in your career.
To me, that is a great reason to try and manage my money the best that I can. Freedom to be able to choose what I want to do with my life is a huge selling point. There’s no more anxiety, no more fear, and no reason to let go of that freedom.
What are your thoughts? Did I miss any ways on how managing your money can impact your career?