So I've been back in Australia a week now. Spent a glorious weekend doing absolutely nothing but hang out with the boy, watch movies (including the Dark Knight Rises for the 2nd time), sleep and relax. Come Monday, Nate had to go to work and I was left with nothing to do, seeing as how my cafe job would have to wait another week since they had already made the schedule (which didn't include me). I decide to apply for a few jobs since I'm going to have to pay for SE Asia somehow.
I decided to go for the promotions jobs since they're rather easy, flexible and pay decent. I applied for three and the next day, I got a call back asking if I wanted to come in for an interview that day. At the time, I was actually out trying to find Nathaniel his birthday present. His birthday isn't until the 22nd this month but I decided it would be a fabulousss idea to get us some bikes so we can go bike riding! Although this plan doesn't seem super brilliant right now, as I look at the weather forecast and it's supposed to rain the rest of the week. Like it does everyy week.
Anyway, I go on gumtree.com and find tons of bikes around the price that I want. Yes, I'm getting my boyfriend a used bike for his birthday. Sounds pretty lame, but the idea is that we'll go on lots of fun bike rides together - that is, if the rain EVER stops. So my one problem - actually one of my MANY problems, is that I do not have a car. So my idea is that I get a bike within about 10km of my house so I can just ride it back home. The first place I go - and yes, this blog is now ending up being about my bicycle hunt rather than my "big kid job" - I end up really liking the bike and so I buy it. It fits me fine and if the seat is raised, it will fit Nate too, so I figure it's a good bike to start with. So I pay for the bike and was meaning to ask this girl - or any person for that matter - if I'm supposed to be wearing a helmet. I don't know if that's a stupid question, all I know is that in California, you don't need to wear a helmet when you ride your bike. In Hawaii, you don't even need to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle (random, I know).
So I text my friend Ash and ask him if I need to wear one. No response. I jump on the bike and see an older guy riding his bike and he's wearing a helmet - granted he's also wearing super short bike shorts with a matching shirt and helmet, so I figure this guy is just super hardcore. A minute later, I see another guy riding his bike without a helmet, so I'm like, wooo I'm in the clear! So I'm cruising down the street, headphones in, jamming to my music, thinking about how much I looove riding bikes and how free I feel and how it's going to be soooo awesome being able to ride my bike everywhere and then of course - I look over my right shoulder and I'm legit getting pulled over by the cops. Of course.
"Do you have some ID on you?" he asks. "Am I doing something wrong?" "Do you think you're doing something wrong?" "Am I supposed to be wearing a helmet?" And at this point, the cops are just laughing at me. Obviously I'm not from around here. I explain that I literally had just gotten the bike 5 minutes ago and that in California you don't need to wear helmets, etc etc. They didn't ticket me or anything (luckily). I just couldn't believe I got pulled over within MINUTES.
Anyway, I got one bike down, one more to go! So actually, as I was about to ride away, right after I texted Ash, is when this sports marketing agency called me about coming in for an interview that day. So I went in a few hours later and things went really well. There were a ton of people in there so I wasn't too hopeful I would get a call back, but a few hours later, they called me asking if I would come in the next day - today. They had explained that it was a sales job and that we represented a lot of major sports clubs in Australia, such as the AFL (Australian Football League), Special Olympics and so on.
Today, I went in and along with a couple interviews, actually went and job shadowed them. Didn't really seem like my kind of thing, unfortunately. Sales has never super interested me. We went back to the office and I spoke with another employee and she explained how the entire company works. Overall, there's a LOT of room for growth and you can do really well if you try hard and are motivated. And I actually think it's something I can do and be good at.
Unfortunately, this isn't the ideal job to get when I only have two months here until I start traveling for a month and then go back to The States. And they actually offered me the job at the end of all my interviews. I had a feeling I might get it because I was getting along with everybody I had met, and in my head, I said if they offered me the job, I would tell them I would have to think about it first. Of course when it actually happened and she excitedly offered me the job, I just said "awesome, sounds great!" which could definitely (and was definitely) interpreted as an acceptance.
So now here are my issues: Do I take a job where I won't be able to make a lot of money right away (when I'm trying to save money right now for traveling)? That also has reallyyy long hours? But it will definitely pay well in the future. But if I go home, then there won't be a "future" and then 2 months could potentially be wasted. Granted, I'll probably learn a lot, but it's not really fair to me or the company to spend two months here to just quit after not even getting anywhere. And so if I decide NOT to go home, then that means...I won't be going home. And I DO want to go home. I have friends visiting for a month in December that I'm supposed to show around California. And that was just always the plan - to go home for the holidays. But if I stay, it could turn into a really good job because it IS a really good opportunity. But then Nate's visa expires in March and he might not be able to stay in Australia either way. And also, am I really ready to have a big kid job? I still wanted to keep traveling. i wanted to go teach English in Italy or Spain or somewhere in Europe. I don't know if I'm ready for real responsibilities. But I DON'T want to be working at random cafes/restaurant the rest of my life. And working at a million different restaurants doesn't exactly improve my resume.
Decisions, decisions. Training starts on Monday so I have a few days to figure it out. To grow up or not to grow up...
So I’m almost officially NOT unemployed, after three very long, leisurely months. Obviously I had to get a job sooner or later, although I preferred the latter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have a strong passion for serving tables – ha. I applied to a few jobs online and got a few responses but I’ve been looking for something that pertains to what I’m studying. I mean, it would always be ideal to get a job that goes towards what you’re trying to do with your life, and extremely ideal to NOT serve again.
Of course, serving jobs are the easiest to come by, especially if you have experience. And this definitely holds true in Australia. I decided to suck it up since it has officially been a month living here, and go drop off my resume. Like I’ve mentioned before, I live in a good area that’s close to a ton of cafes and restaurants and shops. I figured at least one of them would be willing to hire me, especially if I applied to every single one.
So I set out last Friday with 8 resumes printed. And by the way, this isn’t your normal 1 page American resume. This is a “CV”/”Curriculum Vitae” (or something?) that’s about 3 pages long and goes into deal what skills you have acquired and how you use them, what companies you’ve worked for and what they’re all about and so on and so forth for 3 pages. The first place I went was this Italian restaurant that I’ve seen always pretty packed and they said that they would call me in a few days. The next 2 places I dropped it off at gave me an interview right then and there. The 4th place I went to asked me if I could come in and do a “trial” the following week. Then I dropped two more off for shits and giggles and they weren’t hiring anyway.
I figured I may as well call it a quits for the day since it had been relatively successful. I got a call about an hour after getting home asking me to come back into one of the restaurants I had dropped off my resume. Showed up and they pretty much offered me the job – only it wasn’t a part time/”casual” job that I was looking for, but full-time. By the way, these crazy Aussie’s have this thing called “casual” work which I guess is pretty ideal for travelers – something along the lines of being “on call” pretty much the entire time..something along those lines. Anyway, as my sister, Mallory, put it perfectly – I didn’t come to Australia to work full-time, let alone working full time serving. Not down. So I kindly declined.
So now I’ve gone to 2 “trials” – which sounds weird but I suppose it makes sense. They basically just throw you in and see how you do. You get half-assed trained and they see if you sink or swim. I suppose it’s quite an effective way to hire adequate servers. Unfortunately I sank at my first trial – sorry I can’t bring drinks to table 25 when you haven’t told me which table is 25. And that I don’t recognize all of their 50 Australian wines. Anyway, the second trial went quite well and they even put me on the schedule! Mind you, it’s when I have class and now I have to get it covered (they had me fill out the availability form and I’m pretty sure I did it backwards….put an X every AM & PM I could work – which is all of them except for Monday & Tuesday AM’s. I, of course, got scheduled Monday AM), but that must have meant I did something right!
It’s at this super cute Italian café about 3 minutes walking from my house. All the food looks delicious and everyone that works there seemed pretty chill. It’s your basic café job so I would work the register, bring out food, handle cash etc. Nothing crazy. Unfortunately (isn’t there always an “unfortunately”..) the pay is pretty shitty, or as the Aussie’s say, “the pay is pretty shit” (apparently “shit” is an adjective here as well). I get it, the minimum wage here is way higher and $12 an hour might not sound bad, but they don’t tip here. And so $12 really isn’t the best of deals. Especially when other places had offered me $15 and I thought that was “shit”.
Anyway, I’m going in for another trial this Wednesday, along with an interview Wednesday morning as well. And this one is for a big kid job! It’s an Event Marketing and Information Assistant at this not-for-profit company, BrainLink, which is an organization aimed at funding money for different kinds of brain disease patients. Pretty much the PERFECT job because I’ve been working with non-profits AND it’s an event position AND not to mention it pays $30 an hour. Oh AND it’s only 8 hours a week, which is perfect for a person (me) that wants to travel a lot!
Sooo to sum everything up à if you have serving experience, you’ve got a GOOD shot at finding a job in Australia relatively easily. And I’m pretty sure being American, where customer service is our number one priority, doesn’t hurt either. Don’t let employers trick you into working “close to full time” when they actually 100% mean FULL time as in Thursday – Sunday for 10 hours a day, and no, I doubt you get breaks either (I’ve heard people don’t get breaks). Pretty much, if you’re able to be picky and don’t want to get screwed over – don’t settle. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but employers don’t really care about you because you’re expendable. You kinda just gotta turn it around sometimes, especially if you DO have lots of experience, and realize that there are plenty of job opportunities if you work hard to find them so make sure you have your priorities straight.
Obviously, my priorities are something like fun, traveling, relaxing, then maybe school, perhaps working after that ;)
You’re life is what you make it. Stop bitching about your stupid jobs and either get a new one, maybe work towards what you got your degree in or do something exciting. Obviously I’m not right on my way to being super successful and getting a great job but that’s not what I want to do right now. My first priorities are having fun and traveling and that’s what I’m doing.
A few other tips -- If you're planning on looking for work, make sure to apply for a Tax File Number (you can just google it and apply online) because it takes about 1-2 weeks to get in the mail and you need one to work, otherwise you get taxed the shit out of. Also, look up Aussie Resume Builders online. I used one through Deakin, but it gives you the format of how they want it to look, which is pretty different to how I've been taught in the states. OH & just FYI - they LOOOVE our American accents and our culture so show some personality : )