Returning to school mid-career? 3 things to consider before quitting your job
With a vision to create a flexible workforce, the Singapore government is fostering opportunities to upskill individuals across a wide range of disciplines – regardless of age or background via the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy. This program will enable Singaporeans aged 40 and above to receive up to 90% subsidy for approved courses.
But before you type up your resignation letter in order to pursue further education, here are three key issues to consider when thinking of going back to school:
Does your education reflect real world demands?
While continuing education can greatly enhance your employability, it does not necessarily guarantee employment, so you should carefully do assess the economic landscape in depth and plan your career strategy accordingly. And do keep in mind when choosing your courses that as Singapore’s economy evolves in favour of innovation and digital technology, not all skillsets will enjoy a level playing field.
One example of an in-demand skill, though, is in the growing sophistication of cyber security threats. IT practitioners with know-how in digital forensics are likely to be in great demand, not to mention, highly paid due to a small pool of talent. Keep your eyes peeled for talent gaps, as a rewarding second career may await for those who react quickly and equip themselves with the necessary skills.
Is it a good time to quit?
As paranoid as it may seem, good timing is essential to further your career. A poorly thought out plan when quitting your job and going back to school can overly complicate your re-entry into the professional world.
Keep in mind that when employees resign before their contract ends, they could potentially lose out on their annual bonuses or commissions from pending deals. and that sudden resignations can put a huge burden on your co-workers. Don’t burn all bridges with your company, as their contacts can be a huge help with future job opportunities. So, do consider the time it takes to complete a proper handover.
Do you have enough savings?
As a mid-career job seeker, your living expenses are understandably higher than when you were at university. From credit card bills and loan payments to hefty insurance premiums and housing costs, financial experts advise that mid-career professionals should have enough to cover at least nine to twelve months of expenses instead of the usual six months.
This is because the financial obligations of this working class is much more volatile, often bearing the additional responsibilities to support a family. Additionally, if you are intending to make a career switch, you may not be able to secure an immediate pay hike. All this must be factored into your expense planning, so you will have sufficient reserves for your current lifestyle after the switch.
Once you’ve considered all of the above and made an actionable plan, only then should you pull the trigger on resigning. Best of luck!