Don’t Go Broke Looking For Work: How To Job Search On A Budget
This is a guest post by Kalen Smith of Money File.
Looking for work can be expensive. The job search process requires you to spend money on transportation, networking, mailing resumes and joining groups. The problem is, when you are unemployed you need to be especially careful with your money. The last thing you want to do is go broke trying to get a job. While looking for work, it is especially important that you setup a budget. Here are some things you need to consider:
Networking is an essential part of looking for work. The problem is networking can also be very expensive if you’re not careful. Here are some ways to save money making those connections:
- Avoid meeting for lunch. Going out to lunch with a potential business contact can cost £10 or more. That’s assuming you are purchasing a hamburger. Try to meet for coffee instead.
- Avoid paying for unnecessary networking events. Some networking events charge a membership fee. You need to get a reasonable return on your investment when you are looking for work. Be realistic about the kinds of job opportunities a networking group will provide. If they aren’t very high, then you should pass it up. There are plenty of free networking groups and meetings you can make it to.
- Learn to carpool. Networking isn’t just about finding a job. You can also make connections with people who will help you in other ways. Some people will help you find transportation to networking events. Take turns driving or share money for gas. This will reduce everyone’s expenses and make the job search process easier.
You need to keep the same principles in mind when you are applying for work. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t pay for fancy clothes. Many people think buying an espensive suit will help them land a job more easily. That’s just propaganda on the part of the suit companies. You still need to dress professionally, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Unless you are looking for an executive level position, some decent dress clothes at a secondhand store should suffice.
- Get resume help from someone from an employee agency. Private employment consultants can charge over £1000 for their services and are unlikely to provide better information. Work with good professionals who know how to help you with a resume for a fair price. Resume writing is subjective anyways and paying a premium price won’t guarantee results.
Inevitably, you are going to have to pay to get a job. Although you can’t eliminate all your expenses, you can reduce them. You don’t have to go broke looking for work. Many people create budgets for their personal lives, but aren’t as careful when actively looking for work. They seem to believe they can justify spending money if it can get them a job. Although that is true, that money needs to be spent effectively and you need to make sure you get a reasonable return on your investment.