Getting a job in Admin

If you’re traveling to Australia, having experience in an administrative role (ie. reception, data entry), your chances of getting a job in the same industry should be fairly easy. Any type of experience in an office will work in your favour. For those without any administrative experience, you’ll still be able to find a job, just not as easily as the experienced candidates.

A quick Google search will show you a wealth of any major city’s recruitment agencies. They may be able to help you find a job in administration, but don’t rely on them solely. If you have an interview with a recruitment agency be prepared with an impressive-looking resume/CV and wearing appropriate office attire.

They’ll then take you through an interview and (possibly) a computer quiz to test your computer competency (usually Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc). Also keep a mental note of names of companies they mention that they think you’d be suitable for, and apply to them directly. You could also ask them if they do sick-calls. If they do, this means they could call you at 7am to see if you’re available to cover someone who’s called in sick. This alone gave me temp work at various places in Sydney, including a posh mental institution/hospital, as well a VW dealership. The down side is the short notice. The upside, you get paid and you get a look at numerous establishments. The agency I used was CoxPurtell.

For those who prefer to cut out the middle man, search Indeed and Seek under the appropriate admin category for job opps. Another important point is to talk to people. Tell people the kind of job you’re looking for. Chances are they may know someone who can help you or are looking for someone to hire.

Your likeliness of getting a job in admin will also depend on your visa status and what the company’s looking for. If you’re on a Working Holiday Visa, your chances of securing a job will be more likely at the beginning of your visa. If you have 2 months left on your visa you’ll be less likely to be hired because a company doesn’t want to invest time and money in training someone who can only work for them for a short period of time. A Working Holiday Visa also stipulates that you can only work for one company for 6 months, then you’d have to move onto another. To better your chances look for contract job openings, as well as companies that are open to sponsorship.

Once you have an interview in sight, make sure you have the obvious things crossed of the list: office/business attire (need not be expensive, just ironed!), a copy of your resume/CV, and a list of reliable references.

Good luck!

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Getting a job in hospitality

The Australian hospitality industry is one boasting vacancies for both inexperienced and experienced professionals. A job in hospitality can include working as a motel or hostel receptionist, a hostess in a restaurant, a barista in a cafe, a bartender at a pub or club, and much more. There’s also great opportunity for good money to be made.

For those looking to work in a pub, club, bar or restaurant, you’ll need to get your Responsible Service of Alcohol or RSA. Some may also require a Responsible Conduct of Gambling or RCG. Attaining an RSA and RCG can be done in one day. Do a simple Google search for ‘RSA course’ in your neighbourhood. I paid $190 for my RSA and RCG at the Sydney Bar School for those in or around the CBD. I also did the cocktail course which may be helpful for beginners but unnecessary.

At the end of the course you’ll complete a multiple choice/fill in the blank test (trust me when I tell you this test is a joke). Then you’ll be presented with a certificate that will hold you over until your RSA/RCG comes in the mail. This looks like a simple identification card. If you’re planning on working in the catering industry, you’ll need your RSA (maybe your RCG) as well. One agency that gave me temp work right away was Nosh in Ultimo, NSW. They cater special events including sporting events and fashion shows.

Do a search on Gumtree for any jobs in hospitality. You could also look on Indeed and Seek under the hospitality category. Don’t be afraid to print off a few copies of your resume/CV and hit up a few spots that catch your eye. Ask to speak with a manager. If they’re hiring, chances are they’ll hire you on the spot or ask you to come in for a trial run. Regardless of your experience level, when they do ask, you say you ARE EXPERIENCED. Also, be certain to walk in looking polished, presentable and wearing appropriate attire. Hospitality is very much a first impressions-type industry, so the more put together you look, the better your chances.

For hostels and motels, your best bet would be to call or hop in with your resume/CV. Many hostels offer an opportunity for travelers to sleep at the hostel for free in exchange for a few days work a week.

The amount of money you make will definitely depend on the establishment and the neighbourhood you’re working in. If you’re hired on a casual basis as a caterer, for instance, chances are you’ll be paid a consistent base rate. If you decide however you’d like to get into bartending, or waiting at an upscale restaurant, you’ll likely make a good portion in tips. Do some research on the reputable restaurants in your area and walk in with your resume/CV saying you’re experienced. For those looking to work in the Sydney CBD, do some research on restaurants in Darling Harbour, The Rocks and Circular Quay. Plenty to be made there!

Have I missed anything? What industry should I tackle next? Comment below! 😉

1 week/$100 (Day 7)

The Challenge?

Had a great sleep. That couch is wicked! Walked along the boardwalk last night with roomies JP, J and K, then headed to Wollies for some groceries. Got back to the flat around 10:30PM to find a group of pretty looking lads in the living room who work with JP. Went with them to a night club with free entry. Had an awesome time. Dime spent: nil. Snoozed.

***

Booked my flight to Melbourne for $35 with JetStar. It flies out at 10PM… for that price I don’t mind. Just need to find somewhere to couch-surf. Mom emailed me asking if the plane’s safe to fly with because the price was soo cheap. Told her the aircraft was made of the finest quality Twizzlers and cream cheese frosting. She was assured.

Also remembered I have family in Melbourne! Gonna ask my mom to email me their address and contact info. Give them a shout when I get there and see what happens. Would be awesome considering I know absolutely nothing about my grandfather and his side of the family.

***

10AM. There’s been a Street Football Festival going on in the harbour for at least a week… a floating soccer field on the harbour! Pretty sweet. It’s part of an Australia-wide charity event that goes toward helping the homeless and disadvantaged through a community magazine called ‘The Big Issue.’

Gonna meet the ladies this evening for a little soccer in the park. Can’t wait.

***

Just got back from hanging out with my friend R. We just sat on a deserted beach (Curl Curl) and ate Bounty Chocolate Bars, gummy snakes and Turkish Delights. Lovely. May be seeing each other in a couple days (before I leave) depending on our schedules. We’ll see. I want a burger.

***

Dang that burger was delicious (Summer Sunset burger from Grill’d). The cute Manager at Grill’d was working today. Dinner AND entertainment. I am a happy camper.

***

Met the ladies in Erskinville for a little kick about. Felt awesome to run a little and let out some sweat. The field was also a hell of a lot better than playing in Sydney’s Tech Park. Great time with old friends.

Time to head home for some Chai. Looks like I blew the $100, right? Final thoughts on this week to come… stay tuned. 🙂

Track of the Day:

ILLY feat. OLIVER DAYSOUL– The Chase

Coin:

Burger (Grill’d)- $12

Groceries (water, peas)- $2.73

TODAY’S TOTAL: $14.73

WEEK’S GRAND TOTAL: $147.61

1 week/$100 (Day 6)

The Challenge?

Just bumped into the kid who’s currently playing the role of acting landlord of my old flat I’m squatting in… CRAP. Met on the bridge and I stopped to say hi. No point avoiding the obvious. Said he was doing well and told him I was looking to catch a flight to Melbourne. He wished me a good trip and we went our separate ways. Phew.

Everyone on the dock’s looking up right now…

*** 

A couple of nights ago I met up with R, an English lad I was supposed to hang out with before leaving home for Xmas. We had a really great night. Walked along the harbour, went to a cheap Irish pub and then ended up at a backpacker’s dive and danced it out. Really fun night. He’s sort of a male version of me (education, hobbies, interests etc.) except machine-version. Works non-stop and looks to be a social effing animal. I’d like to hang out again… we’ll see. Also… didn’t spend a dime!

***

3PM-ish. Sitting on a patch of grass in The Rocks. Went to watch The Hobbit this AM. I enjoyed it. I’ll stay tuned for the next installment. Young Bilbo Beggins’ sarcasm definitely made that flick. I’ve coined him my next husband. I could hack the shire nooooo problem. 🙂

View from the Rocks.
View from the Rocks.

***

Saw an awesome balloon ARTIST on my way home today on Pitt Street…

***

6:45PM. Went to see M and O today. M definitely remembered me… it was great. J Changed soo much in 2 months. I brought M a few shirts from home… one with a moose holding a hockey stick. Doesn’t get more Canadian than that! Went to the park for a couple of hours and had a chat with O about other uptight moms—good times. I want a chocolate chip cookie.

***

Bought two fresh cookies from Subway but didn’t feel like eating them. Dropped them off with a homeless beggar on Pitt Street. He shot me a smile. 🙂

***

A Finnish girl moved into my old bed today. She’s so nice I can’t even hate her. Parkin’ it on the couch tonight. Also decided that—for now—Thailand is a no go. No point in spending money I don’t have.

Track of the Day:

TOKYO POLICE CLUB– Nature of the Experiment

Coin:

Movie: $16

Cookies: $2

Groceries (tuna, alfalfa, water): $3.82

TODAY’S TOTAL: $21.82

WEEK’S TOTAL: $132.88

1 week/$100 (Day 5)

The Challenge?

Sitting by the Harbour. So far the cheapest flight I found to Thailand was $1000. Pricey. Thinking of heading to Melbourne and Adelaide instead.

Feeling a lot better since Saturday’s binge feast. Tomorrow I’m going to see O (old boss) and M (her 16-month old) followed by a Skype date with former roommate J who’s in Taiwan.

I’m thinking—economically speaking—that the best thing to do would be to stay in Oz, move in with my Filipino friend A, make money and then travel outside Oz. I’ll be meeting up with A today. Hopefully I could convince her to look for a place around the North Sydney Beaches… we’ll see.

Couch-surfing (CS) looks awesome. I hope someone gets back to me about Melbourne. That would be sweet (UPDATE: CS-ing right now in Melbourne and loving it). Why not couch-surf in Thailand? It’s possible. Although Asia is cheap enough.

Feel like being shamelessly annoying right now. Just put my text alert volume to the highest possible decibel and texting friends with random messages. Cookoo! cookoo! ’s chiming every  0.7 seconds. These looks I’m getting are making my day. 🙂

***

Sitting by Circular Quay in the only available space I could find shade. Eating some greens mixed with a can of tuna. Also been wearing the same pair of shorts for 3 days straight. Exciting stuff.

This afternoon was AWESOME. A soccer mate asked if anyone was interested in going ice-skating. Helllllll YES! K and her friend A picked me up from Redfern Station. Another interesting conversation ensued while I was riding the train. An idiot saw me and decided to introduce himself. Apparently God thinks my type to be short, bald, drunk, stumbling South American men…

Short, bald, drunk, stumbling South American man: What up shorty.

Bettina: Sorry I don’t feel like having a conversation right now. Thanks. (smile)

 

SBDSSA man: Damn. You bitch!

B: Yes, thank you.

(Bettina exits left)

 

*** 

K, A and I headed to Canterburry Ice Rink. Had the best time. Cost of the outing came to $22 but well spent! Even if that means going over the $100 budget. 😦

Canterbury Ice Rink
Canterbury Ice Rink

***

Met up with A, talked future plans, ate some din, a little chit chat about boys then went out for drinks. We decided that if we were to move in together it’d be better to go for somewhere closer to the CBD. It’d be easier for me to find work and her to attend class.

We met up with our Irish friend F who we became friends with when we both first landed in Sydney back in August. It was great to catch up and I couldn’t say no—although I tried—to the free-flowing free drinks coming my way. Thanks laddy (PS: Century Bar on George Street in the CBD… $3 drinks)!

 

Track of the Day:

KINGS OF LEON– Mi Amigo

Coin:

Dinner (Mad Mex) – $11

Drinks- $6

Skating- $22

Groceries (peas, tuna, beans)- $4.82

TODAY’S TOTAL: $43.82

WEEK’S TOTAL: $111.06

 

 

1 week/$100 (Day 2)

The Challenge?

Morning sunshine. Woke up at 7AM, did some laundry, had brekky, packed my lunch (can of tuna, alfalfa and baked beans) and headed out before 9AM. Another beautiful day in Sydney. Just sitting in Darling Harbour.

Excited for this Sunday’s kick about with the ladies from Inner West Sydney soccer. Tomorrow’s supposed to be sunny so I think I might just head to Manly Beach finally. Haven’t checked out the North Sydney beaches. Need to get my tan back!

I decided Saturdays are also going to my indulgent days. Gonna eat like a little sugar fiend. Can’t wait! Today’s agenda looks like another day of plenty of reading and writing, and possibly meeting up with my German friend A who’s travelling through the city. I think we’re going to check out the casino. Just gave mom and dad a little surprise phone call. Glad to find out the NHL is back up and running… GO LEAFS GO!!! Dad said he’d buy a pair of season tickets for him and I to check out when I get back later this year. Looking forward.

Toronto Marlies game (Christmas 2012).
Toronto Marlies game (Christmas 2012).

Sitting in The Rocks and thinking about what an interesting place Sydney is. In the middle of summer you’ll still find at least 3 or 15 people wearing a parka and UGG boots.

***

Went for a long walk from Darling Harbour across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back. Sat in Gloria Jeans and continued on with Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek. A few insightful tidbits from my read:

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”

“The question you should be asking isn’t What do I want? or What are my goals?, but What would excite me?

“The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” –Bruce Lee

“Learn to be difficult when it counts. Having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it.”

“It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.”

*** 

I’ve met the absolute weirdest people in the last few days. I was reading outside between the Myer Center and Westfield on Pitt Street when a middle-aged hooker wearing white eyeliner as lipstick stopped me to have a conversation. She had worn out tanned, orangey skin, bleached-blonde teased hair and was wearing a tight, short neon pink dress with higher than average transparent heels…

Hooker: Are you from New York?

Bettina: No I’m Canadian… from Toronto (confused smile).

H: Oh.

(Pause)

H: Have you been to New York?

B: Yes. It’s a great city.

H: Does Central have trees?

B: You mean Central Park?

H: Yes! Central… does it have trees like here?

B: Yes… it’s a park. It’s a beautiful park. You should definitely check it out.

H: Like here?

(Pause)

B: Yes.

H: Oh ya?!

(Pause)

B: Yes (smile/awkward eye gaze).

(Hooker exits right)

***

Met up with A after din. Caught up in Hyde Park, went for a stroll and ended up at my flat so I could wait for my luggage and she could steal some WiFi while my roommate decided to delight us with a show-and-tell about the mysterious red blemish the popped up on her nipple. Good times.

*** 

There was a promo going on at the casino… refer a new member and you and your referee get a free $50 to gamble with. DEAL. My roommate J and I met up with A and her two German friends. J and I headed for the roulette tables… we both lost. Had a great time though! Bonus: we didn’t leave in debt. My roommate left and I hung out with the girls before heading home.

A and I said our goodbyes. We originally met in Hervey Bay… a town I highly recommend skipping unless you’re catching a tour to Fraser Island. We then bumped into each other in Airlie Beach and then again in Cairns. We practically followed each other up the east coast and back to Sydney without knowing it. Had an awesome time together. 

Farewell friend.
Farewell friend.

Time to head home for nightly tea with the roomies.

***

Looked in the mirror and noticed my t-shirt said New York City in faint blue letters… quite the observant hooker.

Track of the Day:

ROBYN-Konichiwa Bitches

Coin:

Green tea – $2.95

Groceries (bag of frozen peas) – $1.97

TODAY’S TOTAL: $4.92

WEEK’S TOTAL: $23.15

1 week/$100 (Day 1)

The Challenge?

Flight was awesome. Flew from Toronto to San Francisco to Sydney. The stopover in San Fran was only 45 minutes. The hop-off-hop-on connection made it feel like I flew 18 hours straight (approx.) from home to Oz. Quick and dirty.

While flying I was thinking of a way to get to my flat without paying for a cab. Cab fare from SYD would cost me around $35. Taking the Airport Link Train would cost me $15 but would only get me to Town Hall. I wouldn’t be able to carry my 2 packs the rest of the way by foot. Decided I’d figure it out when I got there.

Ready for take-off.
Ready for take-off.

Turned out United Airlines left my larger pack in San Fran. Baggage claim services assured me it’d be delivered (free of charge) to my flat the following day. Worked out PERFECT! I grabbed the Airport Link into the city for $15 and walked the rest of the way. I had another pair of pants and a tee in my small pack anyway. Plus I got $100 compensation from my Capitol One Aspire MasterCard under the included baggage delay insurance. All worked out. (TIP: A lot of private companies offer shuttle services to and from the airport for the same price. Give it a Google). 

***

Arrived back in Sydney on the bloody hottest day ever… over 43 degrees (C).  Hung out with my roomies, caught up with an old flame, took a couple of melatonin tablets and went off to bed. Snoozed.

***

Weather cooled since yesterday. For no apparent reason whatsoever this has to be my favourite day in Sydney to record. Over Xmas I decided I’d come back here, look for farm work somewhere in southern Australia to get my second year visa, then settle again and work… EFF THAT.

At THIS moment… I feel one year in Oz will satisfy me. Things could change (UPDATE: I want to stay longer). Right now I’m living at my old flat rent-free hoping my former landlord doesn’t hop in to catch me frying eggs in my PJs: “fancy seeing you here Canadia.” Might be a tad uncomfortable considering I have yet to hand back my key (forgot to before leaving in December). Opps!

My plans now? Possibly stay in Sydney for a bit… rent-free. How? Couch surf, work in a hostel or stay with O (my old boss). Before leaving for home she mentioned I could crash at her place if I needed a bed. Sweet. Plus my friend from the Philippines is looking for a flat so maybe I could crash there. Plenty of options.

Plans for the next week are to remain in tourist-mode until I’ve had my fill. Screw finding work, screw finding a new flat, screw pricey bonds. I love travelling and my closest friends know me to be a wanderer … might as well.

*** 

Today’s weather reminds me of springtime in Niagara Falls, ON. Cool and breezy… lovely. Tonight I’ll look up a few free things to do—or things that are going on in Sydney. Right now is Sydney’s festival time so there’s loads of things to look out for. Just winging it and keepin’ it simple.

Also going to keep up with my IWTK posts. I can feel it will lead to something great in the long run… looking forward to it. 🙂

*** 

Sitting in the Westfield food court. Grabbed some Guzman Y Gomez. Beef burrito bowl with guacamole… yummmmm. Grab a loyalty card if you’re a Mexican food fiend like myself.

A man and woman are sitting to my left. They’re colleagues. Actually… she’s his boss, and she’s politely bit*hing to him about his less than mediocre sales as of late.

To my right are a group of middle-aged Asian women who just ordered gelato from the Italian café behind us. They are looooving it. Just shared a few laughs with them and took a few pics of them with their waffle cones. They just called themselves ‘ice-cream addicts.’ Enjoying life.

Boss woman to my left just gave her employee some sage advice: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.

Time for a post-meal read. Today’s feature: Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek. Highly recommended.

***

Almost 9PM. Sitting at Darling Harbour on a beautiful night. Live music playing in the background and a giant rubber duck floating by the dock. No idea why… possibly part of what’s going on with the Sydney Festival. The kids are looooving it. Really makes me want to buy a bow and arrow, shoot the rubber ducky and watch it slowly deflate as the kids wail in the background. I’m evil. 

Darling Harbour, Sydney
Darling Harbour, Sydney

Time to head home, make some din, then off to bed.

Track of the Day:

DRAGONETTE-Live in This City

Coin:

Lunch  – $12

Groceries (dozen eggs, baked beans) – $6.23

TODAY’S TOTAL: $18.23

WEEK’S TOTAL: $18.23

Who the heck is Bettina?

I was inspired by a post over at Bog Of Debt and I figured, why not share a little more about myself? So here it is folks… some random facts about me:

Who names their kid Bettina anyway? Good childhood friends thought my name was Fettina for the longest time before I had noticed and corrected them. People who knew my name was Bettina would call me Fettina anyway… they thought it was funny having a name that sounded close to the Italian translation for veal cutlet. Good times.

I looked liked a boy for most of my childhood. Mushroom cut, hand-me-downs from big bro, a unibrow and outfits worn with running shoes and socks hiked up to my knees. Thanks mom.

I love turtles. Nemo got me hooked.

My favourite deodorant has a kangaroo giraffe on the label and it smells like a tropical-flavoured Push Pop. Delicious.

I miss eating Push Pops, Pop Rocks, Sodalicious, Warheads, Nerds and Fun Dip. The good ol’ days.

I love anything caramel, butterscotch, or maple flavoured. Toffee, taffy, donuts, ice cream, maple syrup, caramel chews etc.

Mmmmmm… baconnnn. I was a raw vegan for just under a year. At the time it felt right but b/c I wasn’t monitoring myself I fell into a crap load of nutritional deficiencies. After slowly turning back to meat, fish, eggs, butter and BACON I never looked back.

I love anchovies. They’re salty and briny… yum. Eat ‘em straight out of the jar.

I cured my severe eczema/psoriasis. Doctors gave me steroid/cortisone creams that thinned out my skin and left it more sensitive the following winter. So after 20 years I took it upon myself to look for other natural solutions. I cut out the pasta, bread and all packaged foods and voila… crystal clear.

Pasta. My parents think I won’t get married because I don’t eat/cook pasta.

My parents continue to guilt-trip me. My parents believe the sole purpose of my existence is to give them grandchildren to take care of and distract them (my mom and dad) from each other.

My favourite show growing up was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy and Angel together forever.

I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkle, The Turtles, Elvis Presley, The Mamas & The Papas, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Katrina & The Waves, The Bee Gees and The Monkees. I remember being so excited to find that the hotel we were staying at in Jamaica (when we were kids) was playing old episodes of The Monkees. Made my nights!

I tend to wander. I get distracted very easily when I’m out and about in a large crowd. When I go with a group of friends to large exhibitions or clubs, I end up following something interesting and lose my entourage. I don’t mind… and they’re used to it.

I’ve acquired an obsession for sheep feta. I’m a farmer’s market junkie. After trying one vendor’s fresh sheep feta, it instantly became a daily must in my large hodge-podge of a salad.

Celebrity close encounter. It happened by fluke that someone approached us selling meet-and-greets for Maroon 5 while we were in line. We said yes, paid the extra $20 and got to see the boys before the show. Awesome show too. It was in a small venue in Toronto called Lee’s Palace.

I own an LG Gossip. Strictly used for calling and texting. No surfing, email checking, BBM’ing or App’ing. But it only costs me $20/mo tax in! 🙂

I love kids!  Possibly b/c they’re not my own.

I am obsessed with nut butters. Especially chunky peanut butter. Almond butter is second on the list. Others I’ve tried are macadamia nut, walnut and maple walnut. When I’m in a funk I grab a jar, a spoon, and head to town.

I have an extensive stamp collection. I don’t collect them anymore but as a kid I’d hop into the post office often to look for new stamps. I have stamps from all countries and of all varieties (my favourites are the ones with Franklin the turtle on them).

My grandmother is my soul mate. My grandmother passed away less than a year ago at the age of 100. She was the most inspirational, beautiful person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Barbies were never my thing. I tried to like them as a kid, but having an older brother to play foot hockey, tackle football and soccer with totally distracted me from the norm.

Some of my favourite movies. I love too many of all different genres: 300, Love Actually, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Zoolander, Fast Times at Ridgemont High…

Celine Dion. Defined my childhood. For all those times you stood by me. For all the truth that you made me see. For all the joy you brought to my life… 

Ellen DeGeneres makes my day. Period.

I love seeing live bands. And the music scene in Toronto is awesome!

I have a crush on Jonah Hill. Along with Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling.