Not Making Enough Money?

At Employment Services (formerly LDS Jobs), we'll help you become gainfully employed through education and networking with local companies.

Do you feel as though you cannot seem to get ahead? Making ends meet can be difficult, especially in economically troubled times. Not being able to meet your family’s financial needs can be depressing, embarrassing, and stressful. You may feel you could earn more in another job or that you could get by if you were not in debt.

The following are common concerns and suggestions for those who are seeking to improve their financial situation:

Should I Seek Better Employment?

Seek to advance within your company. Before you search for a position with another company, find out if the company you currently work for has advancement opportunities. You may discover a position within the company that offers higher income and better opportunities than your current position. Plan what you can do to move forward in your career. Consider how you are performing in your current job. Identify ways you can make a more solid contribution through your work. As appropriate, share your goals and progress with your employer.

Identify your transferrable skills. As you seek a new position, whether within your current company or elsewhere, keep in mind that you may already possess the skills and qualifications you need to thrive. Identify the skills, talents, and abilities you have. Think about how these attributes have helped you to achieve specific accomplishments. Consider how you can use your strengths to help you qualify for a new position.

Seek out other job opportunities. If you are working for a company that you feel does not have the job advancement opportunities you need, you may want to consider looking for a new job. Look for one that has less-expensive benefits, pays a higher salary, or is closer to home so transportation is not as expensive. Search for a position where you can use your skills and abilities.

If you are not sure what career you would like to pursue or if you would like more information about an industry, company, or position, informational interviewing can help you narrow down your search. Remember that most people find jobs through networking.

As you prepare to look for better income, remember not to use your current company’s time or resources in your job search.

Learn skills that can help you search for a better job. Learn at The Career Workshop how to demonstrate your skills and talents more effectively to a potential employer. The workshop can also teach you how to negotiate your salary once you receive a job offer.

Should I Get More Education?

One way you can increase your earnings is to get more education. As you increase your knowledge and skills in a field, you will be more valuable to employers. Look for opportunities to continue learning and sharpening your skills. You can formally enroll in classes, learn vocational skills, take training courses, attend workshops, and read books.

Continue to learn while you are working for a company. Learn the skills and responsibilities that will help you do your job better and qualify you for other positions in the company you would like. Set goals and make a plan of how you will accomplish those goals. As appropriate, share your goals and progress with your employer.

Employment Resource Services and Self-Reliance Centers offer The Career Workshop to help you set educational goals, plan how to achieve those goals, and direct you to resources that can help you be successful.

How Can I Manage My Finances More Effectively?

Some people make relatively little money but are wealthy, while others make large amounts of money but are in grave financial danger. This is because income does not determine wealth. Instead, money management determines wealth.

Observe your finances and spending habits. Identify how you spend money, what you spend it on, and why.

Explore Church resources. Learn more about budgeting, eliminating debt, and planning for the future.  

Prepare a budgeting plan. Establishing a budget can help you plan how you will more effectively use your funds and control your spending. The Family Budget Worksheet can help you organize your income and expenses.

Kay Przybille’s article, "Stretching Your Dollars," (Ensign, June 2009, 36–37) can give you practical ideas for saving money and working within your budget.

Create a plan to eliminate your debt. Get rid of your debt more efficiently by first paying off those debts that have higher interest rates or the earliest payoff dates, then paying off debts with lower interest rates or later payoff dates. A  Debt-Elimination Calendar can help you organize your debt and make a plan of how and when you will pay it off.

“Power Tools for Family Finances” (Ensign, June 2009, 34–35) identifies tools that can help you eliminate debt quicker, including financial calculators.

Avoid new debt. Regardless of how much you earn, find a way to decrease your expenses and live within your means. As you get out of debt, stay out of debt.

Find a mentor. Look for someone who uses his or her money wisely. Learn his or her good spending and saving habits. Ask for advice.

Keep trying. Creating a workable budget does not happen all at once. Exercise patience and persistence as you continue to perfect it. Improving your money management can help you cut back on expenses and give you a few extra dollars. In a year’s time, what seems like a small savings can be significant.

Maintain an eternal perspective. As you work on improving your financial situation, keep an eternal perspective. Identify your priorities and make sure you have them aligned with gospel principles.


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