Help, Gas Prices Are Eating My Paycheck!

How to navigate your career with rising gas prices

By: Jessica Fessler

With gas prices soaring, your commute to work just got a lot more expensive. Susquehanna Workforce Network is here to help you navigate your career during this period of uncertainty.

In 2021, gas prices in the Susquehanna region were on average ~ $2.40/ Gallon. To fill up your average 12 gallon tank, it was costing consumers anywhere between $25-$30. Fast forward to now- the cost of commuting has doubled. If you fill up regularly, you’re well aware of how quickly that can add up and eat into your bottom line.

Commuters with salary ranges under $50,000 will be hurt the most by rising gas prices. Commuters in this salary range will see their bottom line drop more than 10%. So what’s a commuter to do?

If a cost of living adjustment is not possible, ask your employer for flexible working arrangements. However, the ability to work remotely may not be feasible when you consider other factors. If this is the case, it might be time to consider a career transition that will allow you to work closer to home.

First- Determine Your Budget

Take a deep dive into your finances. How much is it costing you, bi-weekly to commute to work? How much are you able to afford at your current salary? Use your current salary to gage the percentage of your income spent commuting, including tolls (We’re looking at you, EZ-Pass).

Know Your Worth

Now that you know how much you’re spending to get paid, evaluate your options. A career transition doesn’t have to be a lateral move. Look at salary ranges that include your current salary & magic gas number on the lower end of the salary range. This will help guarantee that the position(s) you invest your time applying to will meet your needs.

Review Your Job Function & Industry

All skills are transferable! Let’s use an administrative assistant as an example. While organizational skills and interpersonal skills may lead the charge in terms of ability, you might be lacking industry experience. Don’t let industry experience disqualify you. An admin assistant position in healthcare will require a different base knowledge than an admin position in construction. These details can be make or break your resume when compared with candidates who already work in that field.

Susquehanna Workforce Network works with a variety of education providers to design industry specific courses. These no-cost job training opportunities will provide you with the industry specific knowledge you need to bolster your resume.  

Are you a commuter effected by the recent increase in gas prices?

Our Career Coaches offer assistance to those with barriers to employment in addition to job placement services. 410-996-0550 or 410-272-5400