Employment and HR

10 Tips to find employment that suits your budget and lifestyle

10 tips to find employment to suit your budget and lifestyle(1)



Most people don’t want to work in a minimum wage job the rest of their lives. Having further education or skills should help people find meaningful employment that earns more money.

Finding employment that will earn you enough money to balance your budget doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you follow simple rules to get you the dream job you deserve.

You may not find full-time employment in your dream job instantly but that’s fine as long as you get your foot in the door.

Right now I’m working part-time in my dream job and they’ve already asked if I’d be interested in full-time just 2 years later.

So many people put off working an extra part-time job just to squeeze their way in but sometimes you have to give up something to get in the door.

I had to give up having days off and spending time with my family but I know that it will benefit us in the long run when I can be home quite a bit more.

The best part is I am earning a great income while doing this and it doesn’t even feel like work. Why? Because I love what I do. When you love your job it becomes more like a hobby or something you do for fun but you get paid for it.

You should find that happy place, it’s worth it.


The right kind of employment


While grocery shopping the other day I needed a price check and so I asked a guy that looked to be in his mid-twenties if he could help me out. Since the product was at the other end of the grocery store he grabbed his pricing gun and I followed beside him.

In conversation I asked him how the new grocery store was doing and he said it was picking up. I asked him how long he had worked for the company and he said 2 years but he’s always looking for new employment.

He graduated from University to work with children but is struggling to find work. I asked him if the grocery store was a union environment and he said yes.

The only problem is that he only makes $13 an hour as they don’t hire full-time employees only part-time employees unless you are employed as a manager. For now it’s all he can find and it earns him more than minimum wage.

I wasn’t shocked by that because that means the company likely doesn’t offer benefits to the part-time employees and likely other perks that are typically offered to full-time staff.

On the flip side if a management position was what he was after this was certainly a foot in the door, but it’s not.


Cost-of-Living and Earning Potential


We got talking about house prices in our area and he says at the rate he’s going he will never own a house if he can’t find employment that is full-time and pays a decent wage. Do you have lots of debt, I asked? (oh goodness I’m nosey but since he offered up other info I thought, why not ask.)

He told me no he has no other debt and just wants earn enough money so he isn’t struggling all the time. I told him that he’s not alone and plenty of people are struggling to make ends meet and living pay to pay.

Right now all he can do is rent a room for $400 a month which includes his utilities. He takes the bus to work and is juggling bills because he can’t keep up although picking up odd jobs here and there has helped keep him from going under financially, but it’s not enough for him.

You could hear the upset in his voice as I’m sure many people are who struggle to find employment that pays the bills and then some. You don’t go to school for so many years to end up right where you could have started without the education.

It’s tough.

Most grads want to work in their dream job but sadly there’s not enough employment opportunities for these grads in one city.

I asked him, “How much do you need to earn from an employer to balance your budget and move out on your own?” (Assuming he had a budget and if he didn’t that was my way of chatting more about them)


Job vacancies that pay


Apparently he had a budget although I was not surprised given the way he was talking to me about finances and earning potential if he were to find employment in his field.

He told me that he would need to earn anywhere from $15-$20/hr to move out on his own as he would have to net anywhere from $1300-$1600 a month.

The fastest place of employment he would find such an income would be working in a factory full-time. Job agencies are always crying for factory workers so he knows the opportunity is out there. The good thing about working in a factory is the higher wages, benefits and for the most part job security.

He’s never sure if they will lay him off at the grocery store and most of his friends who work in a factory have earned a solid income upwards of $70,000 for some who work over-time. No one aspires to work in a factory but for many that’s where they end up because it pays the bills.

I thought that was a pretty darn good income considering most factories only require you to have your grade 12 education. It’s a hit for those who have to seek employment in a factory after they’ve spent thousands on an education but that’s life. Some pay minimum wage and others especially auto manufacturing can pay big bucks if you get into the right facility.

We are never guaranteed anything when it comes to employment after graduating so a back-up plan is always a good start. When I moved to Canada my University education meant nothing over here (well it did but I would have had to upgrade and I didn’t bother). I decided to go back to school to study for my dream job and although I was guaranteed work in my field it was still scary.

I tried to find employment when I moved to Canada with my skills but all I could find were minimum wage jobs, the run around by a hiring service in Toronto and another employer who offered me $15 an hour.

One of the worst excuses for not hiring me was the fact that I had no “Canadian work experience” which always sounded like a cop-out to me. Canadians are still bound by the same laws of physics that us Brits are and you even speak the same language, so exactly how does this affect my employment opportunities?

I knew I wouldn’t be able to support a family on that income nor was I going to settle for that. I made more money in the UK and I knew I had the drive to succeed but I didn’t sit on my butt either, I went out looking.

When I graduated I was recruited by my current organization but some students in other fields who aren’t as lucky hope that emailing a resume is enough, it’s not.

Even if you are an adult hoping to change careers for whatever reason sometimes you have to look at your budget and figure out if going back to school is the better option.

It may be tough living for a while and you might have to sell your house for apartment living but in the end it may be worth it when you find employment that earns you money that balances your budget.

This guy at the grocery store told me that he doesn’t own a cell phone nor does he have cable. He hates renting with roommates and he wants out as soon as he can.

I asked him what he was doing to secure new employment and he told me that he was applying for jobs online. I nodded my head, offered him some tips without coming off as a weirdo in the grocery store and wished him luck.

I knew that if he wanted to earn more money so his budget wasn’t so tight he’d have to do more than just hand out resumes via the internet.


Finding employment


So, I thought about other ways that someone find employment that suits the monetary needs of their budget and came up with a list of tips for those who are struggling. I know it’s not a complete list but it’s certainly what I would do or what I’ve done in the past and it’s worked.

Without a budget you won’t know your numbers and you need at least ball-park numbers to move forward with your plan of action. For your future budget assume you are living the life you want and fill in the appropriate numbers.

Example: If you know renting a one bedroom apartment in your area will cost about $900 plus utilities add that in your budget.

If you want to drive a car add in a car payment, insurance costs and maintenance. You can ring up any insurance company and ask them for feedback or pricing for this area of your budget.

  • Once you know exactly how much money it would cost you to live then you will know how much money you would need to earn from work.

It will also help you when it comes to negotiating a salary with a potential employer if they were to offer you a job. It helps to think about not only the skills you can offer to an employer but how the employment would suit your life from a financial standpoint and emotionally.

  • Update your resume

Before you start seeking any job you MUST update your resume. If you aren’t sure if your resume is up to snuff hire a professional resume writer who will help you build a top-notch resume highlighting your skills and experience. It will be worth the money in the long run.

If you don’t have the cash to hire someone there are many resume building websites online that are free, just Google It!

  • Network in your field

This is not an option, it’s a must. If you want to score a hot job in your field you need to mingle with the people who are already working in it. Find out who they are through phone calls or even connect with them on Linked In.

  • Set up job alerts

If you belong to job boards on the internet utilize the job alerts features and set up alerts to contact you via email when a job that suits your skills comes on the market. The last thing you want is to find out you missed an employment opportunity.

  • Search the Job Bank

Searching the online job bank is a great way to see what’s out there. There are more websites available than the local government job bank as well. Workopolis, Monster, Indeed and Jobs in Canada are three popular job boards you can check.

Don’t be afraid to see if there is a specific job bank for your career choice as well. There may be internal job sites you can get access too at a place you want to work. Give them a call and ask Human Resources.

  • Volunteer in the industry

Make some phone calls to your school or potential employers and see if they have any upcoming volunteer opportunities that you can get yourself involved in. You need to get your name out there and this is a great way to start.

Tip: Make sure you smile and are always friendly. Leave your home-life at home and bring your happy face to work.

  • Find a mentor in your field to guide you

If you know someone who works in the field you want to get into ask them if they will mentor you or maybe meet with you once a month for coffee so you could ask him/her questions that might help you find employment.

Tip: Don’t be shy asking for help with your career.

  • Make phone calls and on-site job visits

Sitting behind a computer isn’t going to score you the dream job you want if you don’t get off your butt and make some visits or even pick up the telephone. These are two dying forms of employment seeking opportunities that must be utilized.

Employers would love to put a face to a resume so don’t be shy and introduce yourself if only its to make an impression on the front desk clerk. They too have a say about the first impression you gave to them.

  • Seek employment out-of-town

You can’t always expect to go to school and find your dream job in the same city. This may mean you have to move away from friends and family but if you want to make it big then you have to get out there and just do it. No one is going to hand you employment on a platter so think about how moving to a bigger city may help impact your job prospects or even smaller towns that are in need of your skills.

  • Consider going back to school

If all else fails and it has already been a year or two and you still can’t secure employment in your field of expertise maybe it’s time for you to think about going back to school to learn new skills. This is what I did and I’m 110% glad I never gave it a second-thought.

These are some of the tips that came to mind that I utilized when I finished school or what I have done in the past after graduating.

It’s not easy finding employment as a new grad or even if you want to change careers. You must however have a plan so think about what you want and then go out and get it.

What other tips can you offer for those seeking employment or starting a new career?

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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/Gualberto107

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  1. Hi Mr. CBB!
    I agree, the most important thing when it comes to finding employment is to find one where you can love your job. I also found that money shouldn’t exactly be the main thing to look for. Personally, I work in a job that pays well but I am miserable every day that I wake up and I find myself wondering whether it is worth it or not.

    1. Lots of people are in the same boat. I was too in the UK so when I came to Canada I made that decision to go back to school. Yes I was older but I knew that if I didn’t do it now I might not ever. I’m happy I did… money isn’t everything if you’re not happy. Best of luck mate.

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