Skip to main content

Take Charge of Your Finances to Give Your Career a Boost

Take Charge of Your Finances to Give Your Career a Boost

These days, more and more women are taking charge of their careers. However, many women still find themselves stalled in their career growth.

Often, one factor is being overlooked – the status of their personal finances. When a woman’s finances are a mess, it can show up in the workplace.

[Related: A Single Woman's Seven-Point Financial Manifesto]

How can you tell if your financial problems are affecting your career?

  • You’re spending quite a bit of time at work trying to resolve your financial issues. Studies show that financially stressed employees produce between 10-15 hours less work per month than their colleagues.
  • You’ve burned through all of your vacation and sick days before the year is half over. Your health takes a toll when you’re financially stressed. You are absent from work with much greater frequency than your coworkers.
  • Your boss is paying close attention to the quality of your work, your ability to meet deadlines, and how often you take time off. She has taken your less-than-stellar performance into account when making recommendations for promotions and raises and, therefore, keeps passing you over.

However, when you have control over your finances, your career options expand greatly. You can pursue any career field you want (even if it’s a lower-paying one). You don’t have to stay in a job where you’re being mistreated. You can even switch careers.

Also, proper money management can help you advance at your current company. Learning how to handle your finances can help you prepare for the financial aspects of leadership positions.

Management roles come with increased responsibilities – like department budgets and other financial reports. It becomes easier to grasp these new financial responsibilities when you have personal finance budgeting skills as a foundation. You’re more likely to succeed as a leader.

[Related: Taking Control: Managing Your Business Finances]

So, what can you do to get your financial house in order and give your career a boost?

  • Shift your mindset away from material things to a quality of life approach. This is the most important step. No matter how much financial advice and education you receive, nothing will change if you don’t make a shift in your mindset. This is also the hardest step.
  • Take a realistic look at your current household finances. Where are you today? Are you running a deficit each month? Is there money left over after paying the bills? Make sure to include the little things in your review, like dry cleaning and the hair salon. Often money management plans go awry because we fail to account for the small items that collectively can be a big part of the budget.
  • Decide how you can do better. What can you cut out? Do you really need a subscription to premium cable, Netflix, and Hulu? Do you need to make extra money? And if so, does that mean adding a side gig or looking for a new job with a higher salary?

We all like to believe our finances and our careers are two separate parts of our lives, but, in fact, they are intertwined. Getting a good handle on the former gives you more control over the latter. And control over our careers is the ultimate goal, isn’t it?

[Related: Four Steps to Your Emergency Fund]


Sonya Smith-Valentine is a business, financial, and legal strategist providing strategies and solutions for creating financially savvy and highly productive workplaces.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


Continue learning with this Ellevate Playbook: