If you have been watching the news lately, there has been a lot of discussion of many in the American workforce leaving their current jobs in hopes of “more money, more flexibility and more happiness”. In a recent trending article on LinkedIn, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz started off her article with the following:
“One of the hard truths about looking for work and career planning is that so much of the process is tied to your financial health. People with financial cushions can more easily leave toxic jobs. Those people may also feel more empowered to turn down imperfect opportunities. Unfortunately, most of the people I talk with do not have the luxury of making those types of decisions.“
It is not often talked about, but the amount of money you have set aside can have a large impact on your ability to make a well-informed career decision. Whether that be transitioning to a new role, switching sectors, taking a job across the country or leaving a job that is not fulfilling or giving you the work/life balance you want. Having enough money to last a few months while you look for something new without stressing about it allows you to find something that is a great fit, where you want to live/commute and at a compensation that works for you. Not having a financial cushion can also limit your ability to take advantage of educational opportunities that will improve your employability and ability to negotiate and command a higher salary.
One of my favorite financial literacy books is “The Simple Path to Wealth” by J.L. Collins. The author talks about multiple instances where his high savings rate allowed for him to build up and keep a significant emergency fund. When he was fired from jobs during economic downturns or left because the environment and role no longer worked for him, he had time and resources on his side. He didn’t have to stress about paying his bills for months. He could take his time looking into job opportunities, networking, and figuring out what he wanted to do next with his career. During one of these job changes, his savings was a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to stay home and spend time with his young daughter at a time when most of us would love to be able to do the same.
Now, you may be thinking that this sounds nice but also like a near impossible feat. Well, J.L. Collins and others did not start out with a massive amount of money. They had to start from zero just like the rest of us. Start with something manageable and build from there. Over time you will amass a nice cushion of savings that as it grows, your level of stress around money will decrease.
As part of your career plan, plan for the financial side of things. Save so that you can make career changes when the time is right, pursue educational opportunities that will be a value add, and allow for you to move geographies if a great job arises. Financial independence touches everything, including your ability to have a great career. If you are in a job you are not a fan of today, look at your savings and get motivated to save more while you look for greener pastures. If you are earlier on in your career with grand aspirations in your future, look to your savings and get motivated to save more, it will open up more doors for you if you have money to work with.
A Journey to Personal Financial Independence
At Morgan Franklin Fellowship (MFF), we support the concept of financial freedom – by teaching participants how to save by paying themselves first, invest for their future and grow their net worth.
Learning how money works and how to talk about money with others are the first steps towards recognizing an individual’s lifelong financial goals. Our online courses and on-demand learning events are designed to help individuals learn the concepts, rules and vocabulary of money, finance and investing.
Becoming an MFF Fellow
Our Standards of Financial Literacy program is engaging, full of interesting information, and easy to navigate. Adapted from the National Standards for Financial Literacy developed by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), this robust curriculum features six short lessons on such important topics as earning income, understanding the value of saving and using credit. When completed, this program lays the foundation for becoming an MFF Fellow.
Becoming an MFF Fellow is the ticket to access additional MFF programs and opportunities for mentoring, networking, internships and real-world opportunities. These are the opportunities which allow MFF Fellows to continue their journey towards personal financial independence.
Learn more at morganfranklinfellowship.com.