The Job Search

So now I’ve been in Sydney for just over a week, and only really been extensively job searching for five days. It feels much longer than that I have to admit. As of yet, I haven’t been offered any employment. It’s been pretty exhausting going round and asking if people are hiring and getting turned down most of the time. Apparently Freddie and I have arrived at a particularly bad time to be searching for jobs due to Christmas just passing and the university holidays coming to an end. But that just means we need to keep positive and proactive for longer. I’m sure we can manage it.

Whenever I read anything about backpackers finding jobs here in Australia, it was almost nauseatingly positive. Apparently the economy is booming here, there are tons of casual jobs in hospitality and the major cities have sizeable backpacker communities and accommodation available. So many people do it and they all have the time of their lives. Cus they’re in Australia! And it’s just amazing here right? Well the reality is a little different in my opinion. There are jobs, but you’re competing against so many other people for them you haven’t got a chance of a call back unless you have relevant experience, sometimes years of it. You walk down the main streets outside of the city centre and there are numerous empty shops. Apparently the GFC didn’t reach Australia but it evidently did! You’re also competing with a myriad other people for that shared room in a dismal little house an hour’s commute from anywhere recognisable as Sydney. Even then the rent will put you back $200 (£100) a week, assuming you can afford the deposit and few weeks rent up front (I can’t). I’m trying not to sound cynical but today I’m feeling pretty pessimistic so it’s creeping in. Sorry.

So how has my search gone? At first, things were slightly promising. One of the first places I asked offered me a trial shift. This went fine, but oddly, I didn’t speak to a manager during it, so I went by the shop again later and spoke to one. She said the guy I’d done the trial with had broken his foot and was in hospital, so she hadn’t heard from him how the trial had gone. Then she told me that they didn’t need any more staff in that particular shop anyway, but might be able to offer me work in their other shop, a 50 minute commute away on the other side of the city.

I’m still waiting to hear back about that.

The only useful experience I have is in retail, so I asked in a couple places about that, but they said you need to apply online. So I dutifully went onto some websites, one of which said they like it when you drop off a CV in person to the shop. That’s what I did, and the girl said “Oh we’re not hiring here”. I said I’d seen the advert on their website. “Oh that hasn’t been updated in like a year” was her response. The thing about these kind of stores is that you need to also write personalised cover letters to each one, saying how working there is basically your only ambition in life and how you were born for the role. They only want to hire people to work as sales assistants if they see themselves sticking with the company and starting a career with them. I’m only permitted to work for one employer for 6 months, so I haven’t high hopes about that.

I’ve been asking in plenty of cafés for work and many do take your CV, but they’re looking for people who already have experience. I honestly can’t understand why, because it wouldn’t take long to train someone to do everything. Nowhere wants that burden obviously. If no one is gonna train you to make coffee then how will I ever learn? How will I ever get a chance to work? Lying is one option people keep recommending to me. Apparently everyone does it.

To work in a bar you need something called an RSA (responsible service of alcohol). This costs $110 and is an absolute legal requirement for working anywhere that sells booze. Freddie and I are doing the course tomorrow and will start looking for work in bars. Mardi Gras is coming up so hopefully the venues round Darlinghurst are looking for some new staff!

Anyway, I need to get back to my applications. I’m taking a break from walking round the streets in the scorchig sun handing out CVs to do some online ones today. Apparently Gumtree is the way to go!

Wish me luck, I really need it.

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