In the third episode of Hard Earned, we join Emilia Stancati, a 50-year-old who has worked as a waitress for most of her life, as she searches for a better-paying job.

A recovering alcoholic, Emilia tries to overcome her lack of confidence and reinvent herself one more time as her financial situation worsens.

"I'd like to think that I'm ready for something new, but I don't know ... I don't know if it's my thing, but I need a new job."

Meet the Hard Earners - The working-class people at the heart of our six-part documentary series [Al Jazeera]

Hilton Kennedy III, a US citizen raised in Mexico, juggles two full-time jobs, working between 80-90 hours a week to support his pregnant girlfriend.

He lives with 18-year-old Diana Gonzalez in a one-bedroom garage at a trailer park in the heart of Silicon Valley. But with Diana pregnant with twins, he is trying to get a promotion at one of his jobs to find a better place where the four of them can one day live.

Meanwhile, Takita fears recrimination at her husband DJ's work for his union activity. Having joined the 'Fight for 15' campaign to raise wages for retail and fast food workers, Takita knows neither of them can afford to lose a job.

As his situation at work worsens, DJ considers enlisting in the army.

"They're going to make you miserable so you want to quit," Takita says. "You don't want to go to work everyday like, 'My boss is going to mess with me,' or, 'I can't see my family'."

A surprise on the housing front leads clerical worker and Iraq war veteran Jose Merino to think about his future with his girlfriend Elizabeth Bonta in a new light. We follow them as Jose and 27-year-old high school counselor Elizabeth prepare for marriage. After spending more than anticipated on Elizabeth's engagement ring, they are not sure if they can afford a wedding reception.

As we follow our characters' hardship and occasional good fortune in Hard Earned, we see how these couples and families are proud and determined to make it on their own to secure a better more stable future.

Source: Al Jazeera