There are some people who are never satisfied no matter how well they are doing at work or how much they earn. You need to know if you are one of those people and if you are, you must accept the fact that you will probably never feel that you can make a comfortable living, no matter what career you choose.
However, if you are not this type of person then it really depends on three factors:
- Your desired lifestyle;
- Your outgoings;
- What your new career is.
If you are someone who has just graduated from university and wants to live in London, in a flat with 3 friends and go out and socialise a lot then you probably need to be aiming for a salary of 30k, in order to be able to live comfortably, pay all your bills and carry on with the lifestyle you want. However, the likelihood of getting 30k as your starting salary is small, unless you join a high flying graduate scheme or become an investment banker, so you need to accept it may take a few years before you can class yourself as comfortable.
If you are in your mid to late twenties, then the general view is that you should be looking to earn as much (or more) than your age, i.e. if you are 25, earn 25k or more. However, how far your salary goes, again very much depends on what you spend your money on and what job you have. If you work in publishing for instance, it can take many years to become a top earner in the industry, whereas if you are a lawyer or architect, once you are qualified, salaries can rise very quickly.
If you have started a new career towards middle age, you should be in a place where you are financially secure and can therefore take such a risk yet still live comfortably. Or if the career change has been forced on you, due to redundancy, you may have to make some cutbacks to ensure that you can still make a comfortable living, otherwise you may just have to face up to the fact that it can take a bit of time to build up respect and a reputation in a new industry and therefore salary too.
People always end up living within their means, which means that whether you earn 19k or 90k, you’ll still find times when you are flush with money and then short of money because ultimately everyone saves when they have something to save for and then spends their money when they see something they want to buy.
You can have a comfortable living no matter what your career is, as long as you look after your money and spend it wisely.