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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Gear you’ll need to work in Construction

So you got a job in the construction industry…

The first question your employer will ask is: “Do you have PPE?”

Your answer is “YES.”

He or she will then give you a run down of the PPE required for the job and on the specific site you’ll be working on. Some employers provide PPE for their employees as well.

What is PPE? Personal protective equipment. These are the safety requirements set out by the construction company and site you’ll be working on. These are things you’ll need to purchase before starting work if your employer does not provide PPE: hard hat, steel toe boots and high visibility clothing (high viz). Extras you may find helpful, but may not necessarily need or want: heavy duty working gloves, protective goggles, ear plugs, and a sun brim to attach to your hard hat (highly recommended for traffic controllers!). If you’re starting as a formworker, or other specific trade, you’ll probably need to purchase your own tools (hammers, levels etc.).

Most all your gear, including your hard hat, can be purchased from a hardware store close by. To name a few, there’s Bunnings, Home Hardware and Masters. Search for a location in your neighbourhood. For steel toe boots I would highly recommend skipping Big W and Kmart and going for a good quality pair that will last you a while. You’ll likely be on your feet all day so having a strong, sturdy pair that will protect you is a worthy investment. The site you’ll be working on may also require, that for safety reasons, you only wear lace-up boots, so ask your employer before purchasing.

For high viz clothing (and boots), do a simple Google search for ‘workwear’ in your area. Totally Workwear has multiple locations across Australia with good clothing brands like KingGee. You can get by with high viz from Big W or Kmart as well. For those in Sydney, there’s a stall in Paddy’s Markets (Haymarket) that sells high viz at a good price. They also happen to have a full range of high viz for women which can be helpful. Paddy’s Markets close between 5pm-6pm, and are also closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so make sure you make the trip out on the appropriate day.

Now that you’re suited up, you’re ready to go!

Is there another industry of work in Australia you’d like learn to break into? Let me know below!

Packing, credit cards and the cheapest DIY teeth whitener

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my last week at work. Busy, busy, busy. Aside from the hustle and bustle of distributing my workload to my fellow reporters, I’m looking forward to the Wednesday ‘Bon Voyage’ lunch at Moxies my department planned for me. Always great to be able to take a break from the ol’ cubicles. 🙂

I’m slowly starting to pack (meaning day-dreaming about it) and been considering a few efficient options. I’ll be bringing my pack with me, along with a backpack and a few purses. I’m considering buying travel Space Bags. They don’t require a vacuum to suck the air out and it could save some much needed space (reviews are mostly positive). I was also thinking of bringing a mini wheeled luggage for my shoes… yes. 🙂

This week I received 2 credit cards in the mail that I’ll be bringing with me: the MNBA Smart Cash WorldPoints card, and the Capitol One Aspire Travel World MasterCard. The MNBA has no annual fee, and you get 5% cash back on gas/groceries for the first 6 months and 3% thereafter. You’ll also make 1% cash back on all other purchasing made with the card. If you’re interested in applying for the MNBA, do it through GreatCanadianRebates.ca. They’ll give you a $60 rebate upon approval. The Capitol One has an annual fee of $120 (womp womp) but gives you a bonus of 35 000 points after your first purchase (equivalent to a free cheap flight)! This card also provides emergency medical (up to 22 days), trip cancellation, baggage loss and more.

How is a cheap DIY teeth whitener relevant to this blog? It’s not. But I am a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding (this coming Saturday) and having pearly whites in photos is something that to me seems vital… so I thought I’d share. This ‘whitening’ recipe is cake! You’ll love it.

Buy it

Baking soda… standard Arm & Hammer’s fine.

35% food grade hydrogen peroxide… DO NOT buy any hydrogen peroxide. You can find this at your nearest health-food or supplement shop.

Dilute it

In a separate bottle pour 1 oz. of hydrogen peroxide and 11 oz. water… label the bottle ‘diluted hydrogen peroxide.’ You can store the full strength bottle of peroxide somewhere in your pantry. You’ll be using the diluted mixture every time you whiten your teeth.

Mix it

2 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon diluted hydrogen peroxide… always add the diluted peroxide to the baking soda, not the other way around. Start with 1 tablespoon of diluted peroxide, mix, and slowly add more drops until the mixture forms the consistency of a paste.

Brush it

Brush your teeth with the mixture for 2 mins… keep the mixture from touching your gums as much as possible (may burn for those with sensitive gums). Also, don’t swallow the mixture. 🙂

Rinse… after 2 mins, rinse your mouth by brushing and gargling with water. It is extremely important that you rinse until there’s no taste or trace of the mixture in your mouth. Rinse ‘til you’re blue in the face.

Dump it

Clean up… you can throw out the remaining mixture left over and you’re done!

Not only is this cheap, but it has less ingredients and whitens your teeth FAST. The 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide will assure that you won’t be ingesting anything harmful (it’s often used as a fruit/vege cleaner).

Job searching in Australia

I decided that I’d rather search for a job when I get there. A lot of people have been telling me that it’s best to just figure it out once I’m in Australia rather than have everything planned out before arriving.

Getting an amazing-paying job to benefit my resume is NOT on my priority list. I want to travel and soak in the culture, and whatever job I find (whether it be retail, childcare, office-work etc.) that will cover my expenses and other miscellaneous costs is fine with me.

I decided it’d be best to leave with a 4 or 5 resumes/CV’s, all customized to highlight the type of work experience that compliment the type of job I’ll be applying for. I’ll also be freelancing on the side. Won’t bring in much money but every little bit helps! 🙂

Here are a few options I’m/you may be considering:

Hospitality: hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, cafés etc:

If you’re looking for work in a bar, you’ll need an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) Certificate. A simple Google with what city you’re in will do the trick. I’m told that the course can take as little to complete as 3 hours and ranges from $85-$130 AUS, depending on the level of certification.

This would seem like a good job to work out flexible hours, hang out with the locals and meet other backpackers. And the tips! 🙂

Office/Admin:

If you’re used to an office-type work environment, then this type of work may be something to consider. Keep in mind the type of hours you’d like to work… whether it be the standard 9-5 or part-time/casual.

It may take a little longer to get an office job compared to work in a bar, but you could find plenty of postings on sites like Seek or Gum Tree. You could also check out a local employment agency to help filter out your best options.

Nanny/Au-pair:

I’ve been seriously considering this type of work. The least I’ll do is put up a post on Gum Tree as a casual babysitter/tutor.

An au-pair position provides you with free accommodations (and most times an added weekly allowance) in exchange for child-minding, housework, cleaning etc. This would be a great position for those wanting to stay in one city for a longer time.

It would also help to be First Aid/CPR certified if you’re interested in working with children. I’d recommend you get this before leaving to Oz. For a basic certification, it costs about $150 CAD and takes up one weekend (mine was Sat/Sun 9-3p).

Farm-stay/Harvest work/Fruit picking:

This would be an awesome opportunity to meet other backpackers in the same boat. Apparently you could make a lot of money if you’re willing to work through the hard physical labour. Most places offer cheap accommodations (approx. $150/wk) or bus transportation from a specific location to the farm everyday. Harvest Hoppers seems like a good site to check out these opportunities. You could also check out the listings on Gum Tree.

For 3 months work, doing a farm-stay/fruit-picking would also make you eligible for a 2nd Working Holiday Visa if you choose to return to Australia after your first year.

Retail:

I wouldn’t mind working retail one bit: flexible hours and generally easy work. It’d be great to socialize with others I work with and meet customers. This would also provide the minimum $ needed to cover rent/groceries and other costs.

What type of jobs have you worked will trekking abroad?