How am I supposed to secure better employment while working full time?

I (22) recently wrapped up my Masters degree in a competitive professional field. I’ve managed to secure plenty of work experience during my education so I’ve built up a strong CV and work history out of the gates.

Unfortunately the job isn’t sustainable, the pay isn’t sufficient for me to live on in the current economic climate (£22k P/A). As prices have risen I have become more and more stretched, barely eating, not heating my home, there’s little more that I can cut out to stretch my money further. My position has no prospects of advancement, the structure is entirely horizontal and all at the same pay-grade.

Seeing as I have a shiny new qualification I’ve been putting in my applications and received some really positive results. 10-15 interview offers a month, even some job offers, though unfortunately none that I could take at this time.

The issue I’m running into is time. How do I attend interviews while I’m scheduled to be in the office physically 5 days a week, 8 hours a day? I have no time to take out on account my hospital visit. I have no savings and can’t afford to take time off unpaid. I can’t work from home and only get a half hour for lunch. I’ll often get a call asking for me to attend an interview the following day, during working hours, and I keep having to decline because I physically cannot be at the interview locations at the requested time. When I ask about altering the times I’m just told that other candidates will be attending as asked and they won’t consider changing the dates.

I feel trapped between improving my situation at risk of losing my one safety net, or languishing in a position that isn’t providing for me. I know a better employer won’t just fall into my lap.

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