Nearly half of women feel their careers are lagging

Here are 4 tips to master a career change

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According to Chatelaine, 44% of women between the ages of 35 and 45 think they are behind in their career compared to where they thought they’d be.

Our sister brand spoke to 1,000 Canadian women aged 35 to 45 as part of their This is 40(ish) project about their careers, money, relationships and more. And what they learned is interesting. Around 50% of women are working full-time, the largest percentage of which (29%) make between $30,000 and $50,000. Only 38% of women believe they’re earning the salary they deserve, while a whopping 54% feel that they’re paid less than they’re worth. You can guess how many believe they’re earning more than they deserve.

Luckily, a career change in your 40s is totally possible, and could be the kickstart many women need to find professional satisfaction. But if you want it to be successful,  start preparing for it at least six months in advance of giving your final notice. “Income is always impacted,” says Rona Birenbaum, a certified financial planner in Toronto. “That requires a plan.” Here’s the 40(ish) guide to throwing a career curve ball.

1. Save, save save!

Well before the day you storm out of the office for good, start beefing up your savings and cutting back on discretionary expenses to get ready for the big day. You’ll want to have at least a few months of living expenses socked away and that means writing up a budget. “Concentrate on the basics,” says Birenbaum. “Make sure you can pay your mortgage and cover all of your basic living expenses. That’s key.”

2. Be realistic

If you don’t have all these financial pieces in place, stay with your current job for the time being, cautions financial planner Tatiana Terekhova. It pays to not act impulsively. This is something Terekhova knows from personal experience: When she changed careers 10 years ago, she set aside $40,000 to make sure the new company she created would have enough time to grow.

3. Budget for your benefits

Pay a visit to your human resource department and make sure you understand the benefits your current employer provides you—medical, dental, disability and others. If you are going into business for yourself, you’ll have to replace them and you will want to ensure you budget for this.

4. Meet with an advisor

Finally, arrange to visit your financial advisor to review the plan. “If you’ve missed anything, the advisor will catch it,” says Birenbaum. “It’s an extra level of financial protection.”

5. Ready? Give’r

It’s time. Put the finishing touches on your resignation letter and let’er rip. If you’re looking for a creative way to let your bosses know you’re ready to move, you might consider a Kanye-inspired video send-off. This one’s a classic:

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