Berakit-rakit ke Hulu Kemudian Terombang-ambing di Lautan (Pengalaman Mencari Pekerjaan di Australia)

Hi guys,


As I’ve promised earlier, I’m going to share my corporate job hunting experience in Sydney, Australia. The purpose of this post is to answer questions on how possible it is to land a corporate job in Australia through a working holiday visa.ย When I write this post, I have yet landed any corporate jobs successfully in Australia and am still actively looking for opportunities through professional recruiters or directly to companies. Due to cultural backgrounds and nationalities, my experience might be more relevant to people with Asian backgrounds from developing countries. Wait, why Asian backgrounds? Are the employers here racist? No, it’s not about the race. It’s just about the culture. We Asians are usually less vocal in expressing and defending our ideas.


Back in Indonesia, I worked in consumer goods companies in sales department. I was lucky to have worked in 2 large global companies and with AMAZING people. I learned a lot from my AWESOME managers and mentors in these companies and couldn’t be grateful enough to have worked with them. ย My job was my passion and I enjoyed it so much. So, WHY on earth did I decide to leave the job? Because ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to work and live abroad. So, I took the chance and the biggest risk by coming to the land down under.


With my super AMAZING team, mentor and manager ^o^

I arrived in Sydney on 1st February 2017. Even before arriving in Sydney, I already started applying for corporate jobs online and have received constant rejections. However, also before arriving in Sydney, I had been contacted by headhunter for job opportunities already.

The first company that gave positive response to my job application was a large UK based FMCG company. I applied online and received an email to an online numerical test. After I completed the test, the company did not contact me until I arrived in Australia and gave them my new phone number. So, after 2 weeks of my arrival in Australia, I got my first face to face interview with a company.

How does the job interview look like in Australia?

In general from all the interviews I have been so far, it’s basically similar to the job interviews I have gone through with FMCG companies in Indonesia. They’re asking detailed questions on technical things. Of course they give common questions as well like my career plans in 5 years, my organisational skill (how I manage priorities), my achievements at work, the most difficult task I have come across and my strengths/weaknesses. They also ask lots of behavioral questions on how I handle certain situations because they want to see how independent and strong I am in expressing my ideas and defending my thoughts.

How many interviews and what kind of companies I have been interviewed with?

2 face to face & 1 phone interview with 2 FMCG companies; 1 interview & business presentation with market research agency; 1 interview with marketing activation agency.

Kenapa semua belum berhasil? Yang ini saya sengaja tulis dalam bahasa Indonesia karena saya nggak mau hiring managers nya baca tulisan ini. Lol!

Di FMCG company pertama saya berhasil di interview pertama tapi gagal di final interview. Di interview pertama, mereka fokus bertanya soal teknis pekerjaan dan pengalaman yg sudah saya lakukan di Indonesia. Interview hanya berlangsung sekitar 30 menit dan besok sorenya saya sudah ditelpon lagi untuk interview final. Sayangnya, di final interview saya gagal, karena menurut mereka saya kurang strong dalam mengutarakan pendapat dan meng-handle challenge dari senior. Seperti yg kita tahu, biasanya di Indonesia kalau orang yg jabatannya lebih senior biasa akan menghadapi orang yg selevel utk bicara, diskusi atau debat pendapat. Nah, di Australia ini walaupun kita masih junior, kita harus kelihatan berani dalam berpendapat dan ber-argumen walaupun lawan bicara kita adalah orang yg jabatannya sudah lebih senior dari kita. What I admire from the hiring process in this company was that the hiring manager still gave me a phone call to give feedbacks on my interview, even after I failed the interview. She first asked how I felt about the interview and then gave me clear understanding on why they decided not to proceed with me.

The second FMCG company that interviewed me by phone was a US based company. It was for a position in Brisbane. After 20 minutes of talking about my experience, she realised that I only hold a work and holiday visa. The company doesn’t sponsor so it had to finish there ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


Di perusahaan berikutnya yg merupakan market research agency yang datanya paling dipercaya di retail & FMCG industry di Australia, saya harus melakukan case study dan presentasi hasil case study nya menggunakan power point. Presentasi hanya berlangsung sekitar 15 menit namun secara total durasi interview selama 1.5 jam. Mereka fokus bertanya soal pengalaman kerja saya dan cara saya mengerjakan case study tersebut. Mereka juga bertanya bagaimana jika client meminta saya mengerjakan berbagai project dalam waktu singkat dan tidak memungkinkan utk dikejar semuanya. Dengan bodohnya saya jawab akan saya iyakan semua karena saya biasanya tidak pernah menolak pekerjaan. Dan benar saja, beberapa hari kemudian headhunter yang mengenalkan saya ke perusahaan ini mendapat feedback dari interviewer saya yg mengatakan kalau mereka tidak akan melanjutkan proses dengan saya karena saya tidak mampu meng-handle client yang demanding.

Perusahaan berikutnya yg mewawancara saya adalah sebuah marketing agency. Durasi interview hanya sekitar 20 menit. Disini saya gagal karena saya tidak bisa menjawab pertanyaan: personal development (not career related) goals within 12 months? Personal achievements (not career related) that you’re most proud of? I was too focused thinking about my career experiences and achievements that I didn’t expect such questions. Saya tahu kalau pertanyaan2 ini yang membuat saya gagal karena di akhir interview, mereka mengatakan kalau mereka suka dengan orang yang punya kehidupan di luar pekerjaan.

Apa yang saya pelajari dari job interviews yang sudah saya lakukan selama di Australia?

  1. Be independent and vocal. Don’t hesitate to express your ideas and thoughts in forums and in front of people of more senior positions. Also be prepared to defend yourself and your own ideas.
  2. Be sensible about taking the tasks. If the timeline is too tight for all the tasks, manage with customers or your manager to give more time in order to give better results.
  3. Relax! Your career is just a part of your life and you still have some other parts to enjoy and have fun!

Jadi sebenernya apa sih yang penting untuk bisa dapetin office jobs di Australia?

EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE and EXPERIENCE, guys! Belum pernah ada company yg interview saya menanyakan saya kuliah dimana, mereka cuma mau tahu saya punya gelar bachelor’s degree. Saya pernah tanya dengan seorang profesional headhunter yang meng-interview saya apakah kuliah master di Australia akan membantu saya utk mendapat employer yang mau men-sponsori saya kerja disini? Dia bilang tidak juga. Karena dengan master degree biasanya itu hanya akan membantu saya mendapat gaji lebih tinggi. Tapi soal employer mau sponsor saya atau tidak, itu semua tergantung company dan government policy yang berlaku.

So, what’s next? What am I doing now and what if I don’t manage to land a job with sponsorship here?

Well, just let it happen. Right now I’m still actively looking for the job that I want while working at the Italian restaurant. I quite enjoy doing this job because I get to learn barista skills and also look forward to learning how to make cocktails, I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just wanna do and learn things I can’t learn in Indonesia. I am also improving my English of course, since I work with Italians, French and take care of customers in the restaurant. Kadang2 masih ada aja professional headhunters yang telpon saya untuk approach saya. Sayangnya banyak yg tumbang di tengah jalan karena memang susah mencari company yg sponsor di bidang pekerjaan saya, yaitu di sales. Kemungkinannya adalah mencari temporary jobs tapi bidang sales biasanya adalah permanent jobs. Jadi susah juga deh. If I don’t succeed landing the job here, I think I’ll make another leap to another continent and get my master’s degree, as I planned initially ๐Ÿ™‚

Kira2 begitulah perjalanan saya yang masih juga belum berakhir. Jujur, saya agak lelah guys. Saya sempat menyesali keputusan saya untuk datang kesini kalau mengingat kehidupan dan pekerjaan saya di Jakarta. But surprisingly, I also learn a lot from my casual jobs here! Somehow my experience working in the restaurant helps me know myself better and I want to improve myself here and there! Dan apa yg terjadi di restoran juga mengkonfirmasi alasan2 perusahaan2 tadi menolak saya. Tapi ini akan saya ceritakan di postingan berikutnya. Karena udah malem yah ini. Sudah waktunya bobo karena besok siang saya kerja lagi sampai closing jam 10 malam ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Meanwhile, this is the song that best represents my current life journey: The Fools Who Dream

Good night guys (^_^)


5 thoughts on “Berakit-rakit ke Hulu Kemudian Terombang-ambing di Lautan (Pengalaman Mencari Pekerjaan di Australia)

  1. Jessica says:

    Nice post cha! Enjoyed the writing and explanation..
    Meski aussie dekat, tetep penyesuaian dgn different culture ya..
    Keep up the spirit! You’ve tried ur best, won’t have any regret after!


  2. SJ says:

    Wow! I really impressed dengan keberanian nya. Yeap, its true, salah satu nasihat orang dulu, waktu lah yang akan menjawab semua.

    Best luck and tons of happines for you!


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