What can I do if my job isn't providing me with a living wage?

person putting money into purse


Hey, I have come to the point where I don’t know what to do, and I desperately need your help! For the last two years, I have been working as a waiter at a local restaurant. My boss is a very cool guy, and I get along with most people there. The only problem is that I don’t get paid much. The salary I get doesn’t cover even half of the bills I need to pay each month, and now I am struggling with my rent. I am afraid that if I don’t pay my landlord this time, he is going to throw my family and I out. I have tried doing some gardening work in my free time to improve the situation, but there is not much work in the field.

I am hoping it will get better because I won’t be able to handle getting thrown out of my house. I have thought about searching for another job, but I don’t think anyone would want to hire me. I am already in my 40s, I didn’t finish school, and I am wondering, who would hire me? Sometimes I feel worthless and that all the work I have done counts for nothing. My wife is helping as much as she can, but we are still struggling.

What do you think I should do?

Kyriaki says:

From what you are telling me, it sounds like you need to do something about the situation and quickly. Since you are struggling with your finances, the first thing you can do is ask your boss to give you a raise. If that doesn’t work, you will need to look for another job that pays more. While this is probably going to be harder for you than someone who’s just starting out it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible.

All you need to do is take a closer look at your available options. Think about what you enjoy doing as well as what you might be able to do as a job and start actively looking for a better opportunity. Search for jobs that don’t require a degree, and find a way to highlight your transferable skills. What makes job hunting difficult today is the fact that there is a lot of competition out there, but if you manage to promote yourself effectively, you have a pretty good chance of scoring a job. You can also increase your chances by enrolling yourself in CV writing, interview preparation and personal branding classes.

Gardening work is a great choice as long as you enjoy doing it. You are saying that there is not much work in the field, but this might mean that you need to start advertising your services to more people. Networking is an excellent way to bring more people in and ‘sell’ your expertise, but if you decide that this isn’t for you, you need to connect with people in your circle and outside your circle to learn more about new opportunities. Alternatively, you can start a small business on your own.

Another possible solution is to find a place to stay that isn’t as expensive as the one you are renting now. When you do, you might want to get your wife involved in this decision and try to figure out next steps.

I hope that I have been of some help. Don’t forget that there is a solution to everything, so don’t hesitate to contact us again if you need help. In the meantime you can take a look at the following articles:

Ask for Advice

Have a career related problem, Submit It to CareerAddict and have it published and answered.