How to get your ideal job

Face it. Jobs can be hard to get, and there are a lot of people to step up to the mark over you, each believing they have good reason to be chosen. So, why should I give you a job over the other ten people with quality attributes? As an employer, I can give you many examples of methods people use to apply for a job, which help me determine whether or not I will hire them. The most common way to help me immediately decide I will not hire someone is when they come into my business, drop off a resume, and walk out. This is completely impersonal, and all I have in my hand is a piece of paper. I have no clue who they are, how they hold themselves, or what they believe is their biggest value to my business. You’re looking for a job to make money, but the owner is looking to add value to their business.


The better way to do this method is to study the business and its peak periods. Perhaps call ahead and let them know you’d like to pop in and have a talk with the owner. When you go to the business, make sure you are wearing your best clothes. You want to come across as professional and show you’re making an effort.


Simple dos are:

• Wearing a nice, ironed shirt, preferably with a collar.

• Ironed black pants or a dress.

• Tidy your hair and have a haircut, if required.

• Cover tattoos, remove piercings and other unnecessary jewellery.

• Wear clean shoes, preferably something without the brand showing — just a standard black shoe.

• A smile!


A first impression counts more than anything. When you arrive at the business, make a little small talk with the employee at the counter before asking to speak with the manager. If they’re unavailable, schedule a time. You want to have their undivided attention so you can sit down and have a quick chat about your resume. The key here is not to read off your resume but to tell them, in one minute, who you are.


Some of the important topics to include are the type of work you’re looking for, why you want to work with them, what value you intend to bring to this business, and if you intend on making a career out of it. Consider the owner’s point of view when speaking

to them. What would you want a potential employee to say to you if you were hiring?

The closing of this conversation is if there’s nothing available, you understand, but if they are looking for an extra hand, then you’d like to do a form of work experience for them. This is beneficial in two ways. First, it shows you’re keen to work, and in doing so, you can gain some experience in the industry, which will add to your resume for other potential jobs. Second, they may recommend you as a motivated worker for other businesses. This method not only builds your confidence after putting yourself in a position for instant rejection, but it also puts your face and name to the piece of paper. Anyone else who applies for that job electronically is disadvantaged to you. In the age of business where customer service means more than anything, employers are eager to meet people and know who they will be putting on the frontline of their business.

After you have done the resume drops and had the talks with the managers, be sure to follow up with these businesses every one to two months to keep the relationship going, and don’t forget to offer to work for experience. However, if you are taking up this offer, be sure not to get taken advantage of. If you find you are doing full-time hours or have been in the workplace for a long period, such as two months, then it’s probably time to move onto something else. Learn what you need to be competent at it and carry those skills over to a new job.


Now, what if you have been asked for an interview? The first thing you need to do is prepare for what you may be asked. You will look silly when asked why you want to work at a company and you tell them you’re just looking for a job. You need to research the company’s objectives, what they do, and why they do it. Do some research on the staff and CEO. From this data, you will be able to establish how you can add value to the company and where you can fit in. A good business runs with a good culture among the staff. Study theirs and see how you could fit in, such as going online and looking up the business’s reviews. You can also check out business employment websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or SEEK.


With your research, the next step is to practice an interview and your answers. Get a friend to write down some interview questions or look online for great, challenging ones. This way, you can rehearse your answers to match up with what you studied about the company. This will help you sound genuine, well researched, and prepared for the role. Once you have your answers pitch-perfect, write two or three questions for you to ask after the interview. Most people leave without questions, which leaves the impression you aren’t interested in the company, so demonstrate your commitment and ask questions. A couple suggestions would be to ask about a basic, daily run-down for your job role, or what the company’s objective is in the next five years and where they see themselves in the future. We love it when people take interest in us, so it makes sense to research a company potentially providing a living for you.


Next is the interview day. Make sure you have the appropriate clothing, whether from your closet or a store. Funny story: I overdressed for a factory worker job. Everyone turned up in very casual clothes, and here I was, wearing a suit. I looked like the CEO of the company, so I owned it and showed I was willing to do the work to progress through the company. They loved it, and it sent a positive message about my pride in myself and my ability to make an effort. Get yourself looking like the CEO!


Turn up at least fifteen minutes earlier than the booked time, so you show you are keen to get in there and show what you can do. A strong worker impression is an excellent start to an interview. Not only does it demonstrate your punctuality, but it also shows you have respect for their time and can start the interview at their convenience. It’s so important you never show up late to an interview. It’s disrespectful, and you will nearly wipe out your chances. If you find yourself in this scenario, as soon as you realise you will be late, call up and let them know, and if it’s a problem, you can reschedule with them, if they will give you a chance.


Here we are, in the interview room, nerves are high, and you’re worried whether you practiced enough or if you will be the right person. The answer to that is yes, you did sufficient practice, and you are enough. There’s no point in worrying, as you will have done as much as you possibly can. Upon meeting your interviewer, you will need to make small talk. Don’t just talk about the weather or tell them, “I’m good, thanks.” Make a statement. Greet them, ask how their day has been so far, what they are looking forward to next. When asked about you, you can tell them how you’re doing. Mention something positive about the commute, so they get the impression you’ll enjoy coming to work every day. Try mentioning a hobby, like hiking or painting, you did recently, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a common interest with the interviewer that’ll make you stand out among the other applicants. And finish off saying you’ve been looking forward to coming and talking to them about how you can be of value to the company. We all speak differently but make a statement based on that line, when and if applicable. Be exciting, different, and engaged in what’s happening as soon as you enter the building. One thing people lack is energy, and this drains everyone around them. If you radiate positive energy and give a breath of life to someone’s day, you will be memorable.


In the interview process, be sure to answer honestly. There’s no point in starting with lies or hiding if you make it any further. You must speak about your abilities excitingly, but don’t say you can juggle six balls if you can only juggle two. You want to be honest about your capabilities. If you have any shortcomings for the job role, make it clear and if you feel you have other strengths or qualifications that can complement the position and you are happy if given the opportunity, to learn what is necessary to complete the role. After the interview and you’ve asked your questions, find out how long you should wait for an update on the position and thank them for their time and the opportunity. After the interview, you can follow up with a ‘Thank You” note, thanking the interviewer again for their time and touching on topics mentioned during the interview to show it left an impact on you. This would also be an opportunistic time to ask them to provide feedback on how to improve your interview skills. However, if you’d rather wait until you know you didn’t land the job, you can follow up with them after. Just be aware that not all interviewers will provide feedback for you. Good luck!


Your phone rings, you answer it, you’ve landed the job. Congratulations! What’s your tax file number? Bank account details? Superannuation details? Read the Fairwork document? Your employment contract terms? Now is the time to get clear on all these things before starting to ensure you understand your rights and where you stand as an employee of this business. It can be awkward if you forget to give information early on, so make sure you are aware of all employment conditions. A common thing that can happen is people don’t get paid the correct hourly rate or the employer doesn’t end up paying their superannuation. (Be aware, if you are under the age of eighteen, superannuation will not apply to you). If you keep savvy, you will be certain you are getting what you are worth. I am not saying you should be suspicious and assume the worst of your employer, but I’m asking you to take the responsibility to check up instead of being caught in a potential dispute further down the track.

Once crystal clear on what to expect as remuneration for your work, you should set your sights on becoming the most beneficial employee you can be. Being able to retain a job isn’t based on your skillset, being the nicest guy, or anything personal.


It’s based on what value you bring to the company, which can be a combination of all. The key is being able to see the standard everyone works at and make sure you strive to do more than the minimum.


My quote for advancing through the workplace is based on my own experience. “Put your standards above the standard,” which means to excel past what is acceptable in the workplace each day. This goes for everything you do. In customer service, focus on making that person feel important and listening to their questions. I aimed to have every customer I dealt with leave with a smile. When you are tidying stock, such as on the shelves, present it in a way that makes your store appear organised and in control. Don’t cruise through the day. Complete tasks to the best of your ability, but be sure to continually ask for more to do so you can push the company and your own gains forward. You should earn the reputation of being someone always giving their best. You will become known as reliable, and you will gain trust—and the responsibilities that come with it—as you advance.


Be sure to develop relationships. You can be the hard worker in the corner, but you also need to communicate with your managers and colleagues. Relationships are the second stone of advancement. If you don’t share your insight on problems or give

suggestions for improvement, you may find yourself on the sidelines. At least talk weekly with your management and even organise a monthly chat where they can review your performance so that you can get better faster. Also, consider asking if they will take on a mentoring role for you. Mentors help accelerate your learning curve, as they have done it all before you. Chances are, if your manager is at their position, it’s because they started from where you are. Most people like being asked for help, so hopefully, they will oblige. The smartest thing anyone can do is ask for guidance from someone who is living the life you want for yourself. Having this mentor relationship will help open up opportunities to further your career. If you perform and show your worth, it’s more likely you can advance when positions come up. This is not encouragement to kiss up to the boss, but to ask for help and guidance to grow through the company faster and prove to yourself, as well as the boss, you are capable of more. The more multi-skilled and understanding you are of a company, the better value you are, and if you strive for a leadership position, you will at least have the experience to understand how each section of the company works and, therefore, will be able to make smarter and well-informed decisions.


“Get a Job” Tips:

When it comes to applying for a job, it can be quite daunting when approaching management and trying to impress, and the competition can be extensive with many more qualified or more of a standout when presenting their resume. To heighten the likelihood of you gaining employment, you need to make an impression. Talk to the people in charge because they’ll be the ones deciding your future. You want them to take a second look at your resume and have a face and character to the paper compared to the pile of resumes from faceless applicants.


Resume Drops (Recap):


• Have a well-laid-out resume and review everything on it. You’ll need to be able to talk about yourself in depth for a couple of minutes.


• Dress smartly. Pick something that makes you feel confident and comfortable because how you feel is how you will present.


• Greet people, especially employees, as you enter the establishment.


• Ask for the manager or find a time when they’ll be available and come back later (it’s of high importance to deal with the manager directly and personally). Greet them, shake their hand, and ask to borrow a few minutes of their time to speak about a job opportunity with them. Hand over your resume and without looking at it, begin your introduction.


• Talk in terms of the business owner: your work history and how it applies to that workplace, what you enjoy doing, and how you can bring value to the company (excellent customer service, positive energy, efficient work habits, etc.). Use these examples to highlight your strengths and why you would be great to be employed in the business. You can also provide when you would be able to start.


• Thank them for their time, and let them know you hope to hear back from them.

Even if you’re unsuccessful, keep trying. You stand out from the rest and have gone that little bit further than you normally would! You’re striking impressions, and you will get better and better at speaking about yourself.


Applying Online


How is it possible to stand out on online applications when you can’t approach the manager or recruiting officer in person? Don’t worry; it’s all simple and doable. Here are some techniques to follow to get you to stand out.


Applying online is the easiest thing to do: find a job on SEEK or any other job website, hit apply, enter some information, and you’re done. However, this is lazy, easy, and disadvantageous to yourself. Imagine the number of other people out there doing that very same thing. How do you stand out on job applications like these? First, make sure your resume is tailored for the job you are applying for. Do your research. Look up the recruitment officer or hiring manager’s name and address them in a cover letter. Mention the job you are applying for and write out the spiel you would normally say in face-to-face interaction—talk about your relevant skills and experience, why you think you’ll fit into the company, and how you’ll benefit them.


Once those are submitted, the second step is to call the company and ask to speak to the recruitment officer or manager. (Some companies will not accept unsolicited calls, so do your research.) If they aren’t there, ask for them to call you back or vice versa.


When you have the right person on the phone, let them know

you wanted to chat (just the same as the resume drop), you’ve sent in your resume, and you just wanted to give a brief introduction of yourself, express how keen you are to work for their company, and ask if they would like for you to come in personally to drop off a hard copy to keep on file. Again, you are standing out. You did what was required, then took a step the majority of applicants would not do. It’s like the phrase, “If you say nothing, that’s what you’ll get.” It’s important to get your voice heard to let them know you’re interested and have value to offer to the company. Voicing this and doing it in a way that’s different from others gets you noticed and, if not hired the first time, put on a shortlist as the next potential candidate.


Interviews (Recap)


So, you’ve got an interview coming up. What if they don’t like me? What do I wear? I’m not even sure about this company. Are they friendly? Thoughts are running wild through your head. It’s cliché to say relax, but all is well. You need to make an impression, yes, but rest assured, the interviewers expect you to be nervous. It’s a normal reaction when one is being judged and must prove themselves to another. Just remember what we went over and these key points:


• Study the company and understand what they do and what they are involved in. Do they fund charities? Do they have new innovative technology? This is useful in two ways: if they ask, you can answer, and at the end of the interview, if they ask if you have any questions, you can strike up a conversation about what’s happening currently in the company. This will leave them with an impression you really are interested in the work and are up to date with the company and industry news.


• Dress professionally. You need to feel confident to be confident. We all have our favourites we like to be seen in, so if it’s professional, wear it. You will feel your best mentally and physically.


• Get a friend or write on paper test questions, as well as your answers. This is how people on stage, politicians, and entertainers all appear so well in control of the crowd. They practice constantly behind closed doors, thinking of every scenario and finding a solution for everything before they even get on stage. If you already know your answers to any possible questions, you will answer definitively and confidently, and your nerves will likely dissipate as you go. Foresight helps to avoid anything that may throw what you

are trying to achieve, so look ahead and practice everything beforehand.


• Before going to the interview, call that friend you practiced with on the phone; you may be tensing up with nerves and be in the opposite mindset for an interview. Call your friend in the car before walking in or hold your phone up to your ear and pretend to have a conversation about going for an interview (seriously!). Don’t be nervous, as anyone looking would assume you’re on a phone call if they even bothered to pay attention. This method will recalibrate your mindset and put you back in control of your nerves and into a talkative, confident mood.


Putting all these actions together would be advantageous to you in several ways. Many people go to interviews and wing it, but not you. You will use foresight and preparation to anticipate what will happen, so you are the one in control of your interview. The key to success in anything is preparation. Spend time practicing and studying, so when the time comes, you can handle anything. Study online for the most common questions you will be asked in an interview and plan for around ten to fifteen questions.


Embrace the nervousness you feel. It is very normal, and it helps us function, grow and can spark genius within you to react as needed in the situation. When you feel nerves coming on strong, breathe deeply and rehearse everything you planned in your head. Embrace your feelings, then make all you envisioned a reality.


Your First Job


When landing your first job, it’s key to use this opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t just work for the money; it’s the experiences you gain from work that help you move up in careers, or they open up the opportunity to professionalise and become self-employed.

When you show up on your first day, your employer wants to see a keen worker, so ask questions. Questions are the key to understanding, so if something doesn’t make obvious sense to you, do not shy away from asking. A silly mistake is worse than a silly question. Keep in mind, though: when you first begin a job, you will make mistake after mistake, as that’s how we learn in the workplace with things being hands-on. Don’t let this overwhelm or upset you, as it’s always expected, but be sure to investigate why it didn’t work out and strive to correct this, even taking as many notes as possible. The key is having a mindset of continuous improvement and communicating this with your supervisor or manager.


By starting your first job, you will need to fill out a few forms. If you are over eighteen, you will also need a superannuation account. If you are under eighteen, you don’t get paid superannuation. If it’s your first job, most of the time, your employer will create your super account. If you get a choice, do your research into a superannuation with the lowest fees. A quick Google search for superannuation comparison rates will do the trick and take control. This way, you can also monitor your super account better and see it grow.


The checklist for your first job is:

• Apply for a tax file number online.

• Ask for a tax file number declaration form from your employer to legally pay tax.

• Superannuation account.

• Ask for monthly feedback and how you can improve.

• Six-month review.

• Twelve-month review.


A job is a real-life education, so taking this view as opposed to just a source of income can make it a far more enjoyable and rewarding experience. Realise each small thing you do has a more significant effect in the future. The people you talk with and the way you do it can have an impact on your future if you cross paths again, especially in the workforce. Jobs are opportunities for personal growth.


When it comes to leaving your first job, some can find it daunting if they’ve built a great workplace. Don’t let it hold you back if you’ve got what you needed experience-wise and a new, great opportunity has come up. The key to keeping the peace is to communicate. The longer things are left, the worse it can get. It’s important to discuss what your intentions are as soon as you set them so that your workplace can easily replace you in the time required. Things aren’t necessarily going to be tremendously rosy during this period, but at least you’re doing the right thing to your boss or the company, as you would like a good time of notice if you were in that position. Hopefully, the result is the support of the management for your future endeavours.


Developing Your Skillset


It can be hard to land your first job when you have very minimal skills and nothing to add to your resume. It’s fine if you don’t feel you have any value to add onto a resume just yet. You can go out and gain experience; there are many opportunities to grow your skills.


The first, simple steps are to identify the kind of work you would like to get into. Search for workplaces in your area that offer that kind of work. Visit these places personally and ask if you can do some volunteer work to gain the experience. You will offer to do free work and even be happy to step back to watch how the employees perform in exchange for doing some organisational work or sweeping the floors. Many may be sceptical about this, but some are very happy to offer you the opportunity to learn and help out, so keep asking. You should look to develop key skills, such as customer service and interaction, work ethic, understanding of safety requirements, and development of workmates. You can add these to your resume and know, at the same time, you possess the real skills to follow through on them with confidence.


The internet offers many online courses for you to develop on and gain certificates, which can be highly regarded and make you more of an attractive candidate. Look for something of your interest and begin on the entry-level certification. The bonus of doing it online is you are doing it all at your own pace and making use of your spare time when you are available to focus on learning. The key to avoid losing interest is to knock off at least one question on the assessment per day and get into a habit. When you are inspired, you will be able to perform more and get more done. You will have a more educated mind prior to coming into the workplace, which will make you an asset to the company and make work more manageable for yourself.


An alternative to online education is to seek out a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in your local area. You can have one-on-one help vs. online self-paced learning, and it may make homework a lot easier to complete when you have face-to-face help for your study. Knowledge is power, and it progresses you forward in work and life. So, save that extra bit of money when you can and learn new things to get ahead of the pack. It will help your resume stand out and help you add further value to the workplace you get yourself into. Certificates also may make it easier when asking to volunteer in workplaces, as it shows you are interested and have taken the time to pay to study further and may be less of a liability with your new knowledge. It will give you an edge over other people applying for the job.


Get a Good-Paying Job


In most cases, to get a good-paying job you can enjoy, it will take higher-level education. You will need to work on some form of certification through school or self-paced online. It’s important to remember if you want to strive for something career-wise, you shouldn’t let money decide your path. It may cost a considerable amount to begin with, but if you think you’ll enjoy taking that certain path, then it’s worth investing in to reap happiness and financial reward. Becoming frustrated and unsure is easy to do, and this is only remedied by pushing on. Only through repetition and perseverance can you learn a new skill or begin to enjoy what you can put into action. Education in the theory form, as well as the physical, will become financially rewarding if you put in the time and show pride in what you do. This may even open up the opportunity to start your own venture in business.


“Keep the Job” Tips:


Making an Impression in Your Workplace and Moving Up the Rungs


When you have acquired the job, it’s important to realise it is more than a job. It’s an opportunity to excel and get rewarded at the same time by progressing through the company and furthering the development of financials and skillsets. When it comes to customer service, make it more personal and learn customers’ names and their frequent purchases or other information that is part of the company’s service. When interacting, you should look to make an impression. You have the opportunity to connect and make that person’s day through a variety of ways. First, give them your undivided attention and listen to what they have to say regarding the product or their day. Make eye contact, show interest, and act on what they ask you to do. When given instruction, it helps to repeat back to the person what they are saying as a way to confirm you are listening and understand what is needed from you. Throughout this process, if repeated, you will make genuine friends out of customers, and you’ll find they will pick your company over any other because of the welcoming atmosphere you created, like dropping in to talk with a friend. In addition, you may be luck

enough to have a customer pass on how great of an employee you are to the management. You’re featured in a great light to the boss, and it gives you a lot more value than the hourly pay rate you’re working. If you provide more value, in time, you will eventually be reimbursed the value you give, so keep on giving the best you can.

If work is quiet, look to see what you could do to put yourself and co-workers ahead in your required worklist. Get ahead of your workday to present yourself the opportunity to focus further on customer service. If the boss walks around and sees you going above and beyond your required duties instead of standing around, it is another chance for brownie points. Plus, you’ll stress yourself less by knowing you are working in an organised workplace and on top of your responsibilities.


As you look at the normal standard, it’s always good to see how you can put your standards above those. This will help you achieve more daily and put you ahead of the pack of workers who show up and do the bare minimum required. This will showcase you in the light of a true leader, and it is more likely to bring opportunities to climb the ladder to further your qualifications. Take pride in what you do, and always look to do better each day. Don’t go to work primarily to make money; go to work to make a difference in the company’s revenue and customer satisfaction. Do


it for yourself because you have so much good to give. If you chase money, you will become dissatisfied with your workplace and lose some zest for life. You will spend most of your life at work, so why not make the most of your time there and make it fun? Even if it’s not your dream job, there’s potential to learn new skills and meet new people. Someone may well be your next boss at your dream job, so treat everybody respectfully. You only get one chance at life and a new workplace, so make the most of your time and be the best value of yourself.


Take a Risk/Preparation


When it comes to doing something new that excites you, but you don’t have experience or are unsure about pursuing in that direction, it’s important to remember the only way to learn more is to start. There’s never an ideal time; you just have to do it. Even if you have the experience, you will keep finding excuses as to why you can’t do something, so take a risk.


Preparation is key. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” If you’re going to jump into it, then be sure you plan and prepare accordingly. Let it consume you and force you to digest as much knowledge as you possibly can about topic to give you the edge you want on your performance. Prepare, but don’t let it paralyse you from acting. Sometimes, you need a base knowledge to move to the next step and work out the rest as you go. You learn even more from action than you do from planning, so plan, follow-through, and adjust your course the way you wish to go.


Do this:

Be sure to communicate with your employer on a range of things:

• Ask how you are progressing (each week).

• Ask how you can do better.

• Ask for more tasks or responsibilities as you become confident.

• Always seek to improve yourself as well as ways for the ways the business to improve and become more efficient

• Do more than the average. My quote is to “Put your standards above the normal standard.” In my first job, this mindset brought me a ton of experience and opportunity. This is how you get noticed.


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