Today I got a call from an old friend. During our catch up session, she told me about her oldest child and her new baby and how she is struggling to find a job during the down economy.
She told me that she has interviewed for several jobs, and even been offered one. I was shocked to hear that she declined any offers given her current situation. She explained to me that although it would be great to have a job right now, she simply can’t work for a $10 per hour salary.
Sound picky or even lazy? At first I thought so, but after hearing her reasoning, I had a different outlook. A 30-hour a week job, at $10 per hour is only $300 per week BEFORE taxes. An income of $300 (less taxes) can’t support a 35+ mile daily round-trip commute at $4 per gallon, finance childcare at $150 per week, and cover office apparel and lunch cost. While she might turn a tiny profit, she would be spending much less time with her children, and the extra income would prevent her from receiving some of the government assistance she currently receives for her children.
I mentioned to my friend that I thought there are programs available that help with childcare assistance, because I remember kids using this “scholarship” when I worked as a pre-K teacher. I told my friend that she should ask her case worker about the program.
(How much does raising a child cost? Find out.)
Social work is an important profession that is over worked and underpaid. Maybe if case workers didn't have such a large work load they would be able to fully serve their clients, and share information about these important programs that could make a huge impact in careers of people like my friend.
As of now, her solution to the issue is to move to a larger city so that she can hopefully find work to support her family. I think it’s great that she is willing to work and is out looking for a job, and I hope that she find exactly what she needs for her little family.
(Find tools and advice for getting your own career on track here.)
Image Credit: Torsten Manger on Flickr