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How do I get a job?


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#1 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:13 AM

I haven't worked in 11 years now. For the last five years I've been studying at uni and have been volunteering for the one organisation.

My resume details my education, volunteer experience and skills that I have obtained through these. But despite applying for hundreds of jobs, I can't get to the interview stage.

I've tried different combinations on my resume depending on the jobs I'm applying for, listing education, not listing education, listing decade old employment, not listing it. But I keep getting the "thanks for your interest, we had a high volume of applicants..." emails.

I've applied for everything from entry level grad positions, nightfill at the supermarket, petrol station attendant, you name it. I just need someone to take a chance on me and give me a foot in the door.

So how do I do this? Do I keep my old employment on my resume, even if it's not relevant to anything now and makes it obvious that I have a large unemployment stint?

If anyone else has managed to break back in after years, I'd love your advice.

#2 Literary Lemur

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:26 AM

Networks are the most effective ways to get new jobs. Tell everyone you know you are looking for a job and look for ways to build your network.

LinkedIn works well in some professions.

Can you create a freelance business around your skills?

Talk to agencies, especially those that give you an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, and ask for their help.

Consider temp jobs which can give you a foot in the door.

What field of work are you looking for work in?

#3 just roses

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:33 AM

I've secured a number of jobs (contracts that led to more permanent work) through cold calling.

Can you tell us which industry?

#4 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:38 AM

I'm open to literally anything, but I do not have full time day availability. So needing part time makes it difficult too.

My degree is in Health Science, but I didn't have any placements or anything so I don't have any specific experience. It's all theoretical knowledge, with the skills you'd expect to develop: writing, time management, etc.

#5 SummerStar

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:40 AM

I started back after more than 8 years by applying for shops just before the busy Christmas period. Landed a job in a variety store in the crappiest role imaginable, clean up after the day. Shoppers can be disgusting, but it was a start and I went from there.

I knew with no work history for so long and no qualifications I had to take what I could get as a start.

Edit: with your degree I'd be looking at maybe some of the major pathology companies who usually have open expression of interest roles and they contact you when something pops up. Given the average conditions they have a high staff turn over so something would pop up pretty quickly as a starting point.

Edited by SummerStar, 11 December 2019 - 11:41 AM.


#6 Beancat

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:52 AM

Definitely networks would be my number 1 go to

What about jobs related to  your volunteer work?

Seek out new volunteer work related to health sciences.  Can you volunteer at  your children's school or extra curricular activities?

Call centre work related to health sciences, ie health insurance

Is there a reason you cannot do full days?  Can you put your children into after school care a couple of days a week?  I have found its often easier to market yourself as being available for say three full days than 2/3 of a day 5 days a week. , This way a potential employer can look at job share and cover the full week.

Can you start your own business - cleaning, child minding etc?

#7 Dianalynch

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:59 AM

have you considered a tafe course related to health sciences - eg to become a phlebotomist. you may get some rpl if you've already covered aspects of the course during your degree.

Phlebotomists often work part time, and with a degree in health sciences you'd be very hireable. from there you may want to consider further studies eg medical scientist - with a health sciences degree you could be qualified more quickly

#8 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:04 PM

 Beancat, on 11 December 2019 - 11:52 AM, said:

Definitely networks would be my number 1 go to

What about jobs related to  your volunteer work?

Seek out new volunteer work related to health sciences.  Can you volunteer at  your children's school or extra curricular activities?

Call centre work related to health sciences, ie health insurance

Is there a reason you cannot do full days?  Can you put your children into after school care a couple of days a week?  I have found its often easier to market yourself as being available for say three full days than 2/3 of a day 5 days a week. , This way a potential employer can look at job share and cover the full week.

Can you start your own business - cleaning, child minding etc?

I can do 6 hour days, 3 days a week (M-F), and have full availability on the weekend.

I do some volunteering at school, but I wouldn't of thought that would be worth mentioning? Things like helping to set up/pack away things at events etc.

I've applied for call centre work, but everything seems to want experience.

My local TAFE said I'd have to pay full fees to study anything below my current AQF level.

#9 RichardParker

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:05 PM

You need to narrow your focus - stop the scattergun approach - because the truth is that you don't really want to be stacking supermarket shelves if you have a degree in Health Sciences - and those people don't want to hire you for those roles because you're overqualified.

You need to narrow your focus to an entry level role in an organisation where your quals are relevant. Identity a few actual companies/workplaces and approach them directly with a clear idea of what you're capable of.

Could you be an admin/receptionist in one of those roles?  Do you have great MS Office skills/organisational skills?  Good admin people are really hard to find, so if someone presents who's degree qualified in a relevant area and expressly states they want an entry-level role, there's a good chance you'll find an opening.

#10 RichardParker

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:08 PM

Or offer to do a decent (3-6 months) internship at one of those organisations.  This can either lead to an actual job if they like you, or get you the actual experience you need, or provide contacts in the industry.  But be specific.  Identify exactly who you want to work for and what you want to do.

One of my friends ended up with a role with a high-profile charity by doing this.  If you're already volunteering, you're probably in a position to do an internship.

#11 Mose

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:14 PM

Is there any way you can improve your availability, even if only for a couple of months?  (And hey, you might find it actually does work, and you can keep going!)

The only reason I ask is that my observation is the longer you have been out of the workforce, the harder it is to get "flexible" work arrangements, because you aren't a known quantity by the employer (as compared with someone returning from maternity leave for example).  It's pretty challenging, because I think those families who have had someone at home for the longest time probably have the biggest adjustment to make anyway, and the system seems to make it even harder!

Not knowing what the constraints are, but I would definitely be examining whether there is anything you can trial that might improve your availability.

Good luck.

#12 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:16 PM

 Green Gummy Bear, on 11 December 2019 - 12:04 PM, said:

I can do 6 hour days, 3 days a week (M-F), and have full availability on the weekend.

I do some volunteering at school, but I wouldn't of thought that would be worth mentioning? Things like helping to set up/pack away things at events etc.

I've applied for call centre work, but everything seems to want experience.

My local TAFE said I'd have to pay full fees to study anything below my current AQF level.

this, more than your education, may be the issue.  Im surprised you have found any jobs to apply for.  Most the part time workers I know found their job through word of mouth, or a previous job turned part time.  I dont know anyone who has found a part time job from scratch.

Can you apply for a full time job at all? Even for 6 months or a year? to get some recent experience?  or full time hours for 3 days?  That would be easier than the hours you mention.  

Otherwise you may have to think outside your experience and education.  Maybe start with an evening retail job, night fill, or something.

#13 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:17 PM

Is aged care an option? I have read that it's a field with growing demand due to the aging population.

#14 But seriously

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:20 PM

I would echo those who say narrow your focus, offer yourself for free internships and use your networks. And yes, to get started you need to be more available. Even if its difficult, 6 hour days (ie, school hours) simply wont cut it when you are competing against those with more availability. Flexibility is generally reserved for those who have proved themselves

#15 Dianalynch

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:22 PM

with that availability I'd consider contract work or your own business rather than working as an employee - I'm a contractor and work around school hours, the income is lumpy but it works for me

#16 SummerStar

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:27 PM

 ~LemonMyrtle~, on 11 December 2019 - 12:16 PM, said:



I dont know anyone who has found a part time job from scratch.


This is the main way I've found my part time jobs, from "scratch". Plenty are advertised but they get alot of applications. Until this year I have mainly worked part time, each job found as an advertised part time role....they are out there.

Edited by SummerStar, 11 December 2019 - 12:27 PM.


#17 zenkitty

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:28 PM

I think the 6 hour day requirement is a bigger problem than the limited number of days.

Health related fields could be medical reception or patient attendant work.

#18 PuddingPlease

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:31 PM

 ~LemonMyrtle~, on 11 December 2019 - 12:16 PM, said:

  

Otherwise you may have to think outside your experience and education.  Maybe start with an evening retail job, night fill, or something.

The OP is already applying for retail/night fill jobs.

#19 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:45 PM

Full time isn't an option at all. And it's not me not wanting to utilise child care, or only wanting to work school hours. In an ideal world I'd happily work full time, but circumstances just don't allow for that.

I wouldn't know where to begin with working for myself, I'm not sure I have a service to offer that would align with going down that path.

I completely agree that I need to refine my focus. I honestly feel like I've spent the last few slogging through a degree that doesn't really align with anything of much though. It's not like I have a specific qualification or can register with a board of anything. My original plan was social work, however the placement hours are full time for months on end which I don't have the support to do. I went down the health sciences route with the plan to revisit a masters in social work when situations changed, but it doesn't feel like the situation will be changing any time soon. So the things that really interest me, I don't have the right combo of qualifications/skills/experience.

So the plan became, apply for anything and everything. Just get a foot in any door, and once I have some leverage behind me, then I can start to carve a path. I'm more than happy to take on unskilled work and not use my education, I've registered with/applied for nightfill type work, overnight customer service etc, to no avail.

Everything feels like a sign from the universe that employment isn't an option for me, but I need to do something, both for long term financial stability, and my mental health, and I can't just keep enrolling in different courses and ultimately ending up back in this situation.

Thank you for all the responses, you've given me a lot to think over.

#20 No Drama Please

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:48 PM

Depending on your typing speed you could try medical transcription. They often let you work part time and some places you can work from home. Your medical knowledge would be a major asset even with no experience. You could do one application and forward to all the agencies at one time, you don’t need to wait for jobs to come up.

#21 lizzzard

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:53 PM

Buy this bookand do what it says. The author was one of my lecturers at uni and his advice really works.

#22 IamtheMumma

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:56 PM

 Green Gummy Bear, on 11 December 2019 - 12:04 PM, said:

My local TAFE said I'd have to pay full fees to study anything below my current AQF level.

There is a second chance/career clause. In QLD its called Boost funding and you have to apply for it and need a valid reason to apply. But they can reduce the fees to a subsidised rate (and further still to concession rate if you have a HCC). I think unemployed for 11yrs is probably a valid reason. Worth a phone call.

#23 #YKG

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:15 PM

Can you register with temp agencies? I did that once in between jobs and had work in a variety of places, mostly admin work.

Sometimes with a large employment gap it’s hard to get back in. Keep trying, something will come up.

#24 RabbitHash

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:49 PM

I have a Health Science degree 🙂 I'm wondering about admin in health related fields? Sometimes it has to be through a temp agency but its a foot in door.

#25 Silverstreak

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:52 PM

I've worked as a typist for several years and can rootle around for some companies you could apply to, if you're a fast typist. PM me if you want some info, I'm off to bed soon, but I'll check for messages tomorrow.




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