How to Get a Decent Job in Sydney – Tips & Tricks

Hi guys,

Sebenernya saya bukan WHV warrior yg punya pengalaman paling bagus soal mencari dan bekerja di bidang hospitality di Sydney. Seperti yang sudah saya tulis di postingan sebelumnya, saya punya beberapa pengalaman pahit dalam pekerjaan2 saya sebelumnya disini. It takes me a lot of courage to share my bitter experience from my jobs here. It’s such a shame that I couldn’t do the things that, I thought were simple and easy jobs, well enough. I’ve also read some other Indonesian WHV warriors’s amazing experience telling how fast they could learn to do their jobs in such a short period of time and even finally became a supervisor. Tapi biar bagaimanapun juga, saya tetap ingin berbagi tentang apa yang sudah saya pelajari dari pengalaman2 pahit saya disini. Somehow I believe bad experience is actually a better teacher, right?

Disclaimer:

These tips & tricks will be most relevant for female WHV warriors who are looking for hospitality jobs as wait staff, customer service or any customer facing positions. Not applicable for kitchen hand/chef/cleaner etc. Lol :p

Jadi, kita mulai aja dengan kisah saya di restoran Itali kemarin. Long story short, I was again, kicked out! Anyway, in the last few weeks saya juga sudah tidak happy kerja disana karena chef2 Itali yang ganteng dan suka ajak saya ngobrol juga sudah dipecat oleh head chef nya. Jadi saya tidak punya teman ngobrol lagi karena yang lain cuma suka ngobrol dengan bahasa mereka sendiri. Saya pun sudah beberapa minggu kepikiran ingin quit dari resto ini, namun saya agak santai dan picky dalam mencari pekerjaan baru karena biar bagaimanapun juga, pekerjaan di resto Italy ini lumayan simple dan gajinya juga cukup OK. Dan karena supervisor nya juga baik, saya jadi agak bingung bagaimana caranya saya mau ngomong quit. Tapi ternyata Tuhan memang punya rencana baik buat saya. Seperti gayung bersambut, akhirnya saya dan salah seorang waitress Itali lainnya ter-eliminasi dan digantikan oleh orang yang akan dijadikan supervisor baru di restoran ini. Saya tidak perlu bilang quit dan somehow saya merasa lega keluar dari restoran ini 🙂

Terus, kenapa koq saya sekarang PD banget mau sharing tips & trick getting a decent job in Sydney? Karena job hunting saya kali ini agak lumayan, guys. I was jobless for 10 days but this time, being jobless was not as bad as before. I got a lot of interviews and trials almost everyday and I actually became more picky in choosing which one I want to do. And the most memorable experience in job hunting this time was getting an interview and trial with Merivale group! Merivale is one of the most prestigious companies that owns various restaurants, bars and clubs across Sydney. Walaupun akhirnya saya tidak berhasil mendapat job di Merivale group, saya merasa belajar banyak dari interview & trial selama 2 jam di salah satu restoran mereka. Saat ini saya sudah bekerja sebagai waitress di sebuah cafe yang sangat cosy dengan gaji $22/hour nett.

How did I look and apply for jobs this time?

  1. Apply online/SMS

I have to admit that 99% of the job interviews and trials I got in Sydney (including in hospitality) is from applying online. I use either email or SMS/MMS to send my resume. Seperti yang sudah diceritakan oleh teman2 WHV lain, website2 yang kita gunakan untuk mencari pekerjaan di Sydney adalah: Gumtree, Seek dan Indeed. For casual jobs in hospitality, you can always rely on Gumtree. There are also hospitality job ads on Seek and Indeed and usually they would offer better salary since the ads are paid so the companies that post the ads are bonafide. I think I only got one trial from Seek for a Cafe All-rounder position at Bourke Street Bakery. The other ones I got, including the one with Merivale, are from Gumtree.

2. Walk-in/drop resume

I would say this method does not work well in Sydney, unless they tell you to do so in the job ads. I only got one call from drop in resume which was from the Italian restaurant I worked at before.

How does my resume look like?

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Write a short headline to describe about your strengths, qualities and visa status. Write what most employers want to look at, i.e.: friendly, strong customer service skill, good English (and any other languages), etc.

How to land a trial from the interview:

From my experience doing interviews with some potential employers and especially Merivale, these are some of the characteristics they look for in wait staff:

  1. Confidence

Speak clear English with lots of confidence. Work on your intonation to create friendly and happy voice. You have to at least look like an outgoing person who’s not afraid to chit-chat a bit with customers. This is what the Merivale & my current cafe managers told me when they interviewed me.

When I was going through a group interview with Merivale, I was with 20 other interviewees from many nationalities. There were only 2 Asians, but the other Asian girl was actually a New Zealander. So, basically I was the only one that comes from Asian country. They asked us to introduce ourselves: name, age, nationalities, hospitality experiences and if we were a drink (alcoholic drink), what we would be and why? I said I would be a red Sangria because of its daring colour, its sweet and refreshing taste and it’s made of mixed of fruits which represents lots of passion in life. I believe I gave a good answer since the interviewers responded me with enthusiasm and of course, invited me for a trial at one of their prestigious restaurants, Mr. Wong 🙂

2. Be happy and friendly

SMILE A LOT! Like, really a lot when you talk with and serve customers. No matter how grumpy the customers may seem. You still have to put on that happy smile on your face whenever you interact with customers. When my current manager interviewed me, he asked what my strengths were. One of the strengths I mentioned was that I am friendly and he was happy to hear that. He said, most people would say they are hard working and diligent. So, he was glad that I mentioned something different and thus he invited me to do trial on the next day 🙂

3. Flexible availability

Most of the time, the employers want to hear that you are available during any day of the week and ready to start immediately. Unless they already state in the job ads that they only need you on certain days and time of the week. But still, ready to go ASAP is crucial.

Trial Time

Based on Australian law, the maximum period for unpaid trial is 2 hours. If trial takes longer than that, you actually have the rights to get hourly pay. I usually will be flexible if the trial is 3 hours but won’t take it more than that. My trial at Mr. Wong took 2 hours + 30 minutes training and they paid me $50 🙂 Sedangkan di cafe tempat saya bekerja sekarang, trial nya 2 jam unpaid. If the trial takes you 30 minutes or even less, most likely you don’t get the job.

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Formal outfit for trial at Mr. Wong

When you’re on a trial, of course you just need to listen well to directions. Ask lots of questions whenever you forget or unsure about something. Ini yang saya suka dari pengalaman saya bekerja dengan Westerners. Mereka mau sering ditanya dan maklum kalau kita masih agak lupa2 kalau baru 1-2x mengerjakan. Mereka selalu bilang: never assume, just ask clearly. Ask me or anyone else in the team. Ask a lot even though you think it’s a stupid question!

In some trials, directions will be clear and you just need to do whatever the senior/manager trains you to do. Some other are not that clear. I personally don’t like it when I’m not given a clear direction of what to do. So, I will just do whatever I can and not care about the outcome.

After the trial, if you get the job most likely they will ask you to come and start working the next day or the next few days. They have you on schedule right away! If they tell you they would send you the roster tomorrow or call you back, it’s a strong sign that you don’t get the job.

After my trial at Mr. Wong, I really liked that they gave me evaluations and feedbacks. They are really professional. They told me that I already had the confidence and style they looked for. Unfortunately, it seems that I didn’t have enough experience as a floor waitress, because I previously focused on handling the till and only took orders for takeaways. And Mr. Wong is a big deal, guys! Restoran mereka punya 2 lantai dan di masing2 lantai ada sekitar 100 meja. Di hari-hari sepi seperti Senin, rata2 mereka kedatangan 500 customer. Waktu melihat ukuran restoran dan mendengar load pekerjaannya, terus terang saya sudah agak menciut dan nggak yakin saya akan sanggup kerja disana. Yah, saya memang punya tekad setiap saya berganti pekerjaan disini, saya mau pekerjaan saya makin mudah dan gajinya makin tinggi. Karena saya takut visa saya judulnya berubah jadi Working too Hard Visa 😀

Dalam hati saya yakin, pekerjaan itu juga jodoh2an. Pada waktu saya datang untuk interview di cafe tempat saya bekerja sekarang, saya suka sekali dengan tampilan cafe ini yang luas, terang dan cozy. Di saat saya masuk ke dalam cafe, saya sudah memantapkan tekad saya untuk bisa mendapat pekerjaan disana. Et voila! Yes, I got the job just right after the 2-hour trial. They put me on the roster straight away and asked me to start working the next day.

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The cafe layout

Jadi kira2 begitu tips & trik buat kamu yang pengin keluar dari jeratan Asian employers atau underpaid jobs. Communication skills and confidence are the keys to open the door to a better opportunity. Jangan selalu mengeluh western employers itu rasis karena sebenernya kita semua memang pada dasarnya rasis. Just try to think and act like them, maksudnya dalam hal outgoing, friendly dan polite nya yah. Supaya mereka merasa kita akan bisa beradaptasi dengan team member lainnya. Keep trying and good luck!

Cheers,

Ariesa Lie

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Things People Don’t Tell You about Working Holiday in Australia

Hey guys,

It’s been a while since my last post, hasn’t it? 🙂 I have been wanting to write another post SO DARN BADLY! But I was quite busy trying to find a new job (YES, you got it right! A NEW JOB!) So, what happened with the Italian restaurant I worked before? Well, I will tell you about this in the next post since it’s not very relevant with the topic I’m going to talk in this post.

Recently, I have noticed that there are actually loads of positive experiences and reviews from working holiday makers about Working Holiday in Australia (WHV). It seems like 99.9% of them talk about how much money you can earn and save when working in Australia, and also how easy it is to get jobs here, and so on and so forth. I don’t think it’s healthy to only give sweets and candies to kids, as it is not fair to only give sweet dreams to all WHV prospects (people who are interested in WHV Australia) without letting you guys know the downside of WHV. Guys, believe me, EVERYTHING comes with PRICE! By writing this post, I don’t mean to discourage any of you to come for working holiday here. I just hope you will be more prepared (mentally and of course physically!) than I was before. Here we go!

  1. That so-called “accommodation”

Most working holiday makers, especially Asians, want to live in the city. And of course as the result of high demand, accommodation in the city center is very expensive. If you want to have a private room in the city, you have to spend around AU$300-400/week. Can you calculate how many hours you have to work only to afford your accommodation? For the sake of saving money, many of us (including me right now), must be willing to live in a shared room. And most of us usually have to share a room with 3 to 4 other people. Sometimes even 5! Trust me guys, it’s not the most comfortable accommodation we live here. Here’s the picture of my current room.

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For just a triple room, we pay AU$190/week. However the price may vary. For a triple room, it usually costs around $150 to $190 pp/pw depends on the building and location. Those accommodation that costs AU$120-140/week are usually shared between 4-5 people with bunk bed.

I currently live in the master room of a 2 bedroom apartment. FYI, there are 9 people living in our unit! So yeah, some people live in the living room. Here’s how it looks like.

20170717_175210 Yes, you got it right! Those people live just inside those curtains! Even living inside the curtain can cost you around AU$150/week, guys! Sometimes the landlord also rents out the sunroom in the apartment. It’s the small place with glass walls and ceiling where you can hang your laundry to dry it. Even this sunroom costs about $200 a week! (T_T”)

Now I believe you can start imagining how ‘clean’ you can keep an over-crowded house. Personal space is so damn expensive in Australia, guys! We have sold all our privacy and personal space in exchange for a few bucks.

2. Hourly wage in Sydney: EXPECTATION vs REALITY

From the rules set by the Australian government, standard hourly wage in Australia is about AU$18 before tax. OK then approximately we can earn about $15.3/hour after tax or maybe even $16. The former working holiday makers might have shared that they earned around $20 an hour and well, this actually made lots of people (including me), think that getting $20 an hour job is soooo easy peasy!

In reality, we never really know what kind of jobs they had been through before getting that decent-paid job. Right now there are just TOO MANY backpackers and also foreigners coming on student visa competing in Australian job market. Lots of our working holiday friends from Indonesia (and even from other Asian countries) work for $11-14 /hour cash jobs. If we don’t take the job, there are still many other job applicants willing to do it just for the sake of not being jobless.

It is even more challenging for us, girls. Our friends who claim they earn $20/hour mostly work as a kitchen hand. At least as far as I know, in Australia, employers prefer male workers to do this kind of jobs since it is SUPER exhausting! Selain itu, kalau menurut temen2 saya yang kitchen hand juga, biasa orang bule gak mau kerja jadi kitchen hand karena capek dan berat banget gilak! Jadi otomatis di kategori pekerjaan ini kompetisi nya lebih sedikit karena cewek2 dan bule2 gak ada yang mau atau mampu kerja sebagai kitchen hand.

At the end, jobs that are available for us, girls, are waitress and cafe all-rounder. I’m not saying this is the only job we can do, I’m just saying that this is the kind of job that is mostly done by female working holiday makers or students. And also the most common job advertised on Gumtree.

Nah, kalau ngomongin gaji sebagai waitress atau all-rounder cafe itu tergantung employer. Kalau boss nya orang Asia, kisaran gaji sekitar $11-15/jam. Walaupun pasti ada aja yang beruntung dapetin boss Asian yang baik dan murah hati dan dapat gaji sesuai minimum salary yaitu $18/jam. Sedangkan untuk western employers, biasanya sih sudah sesuai standard minimum salary, bahkan di atasnya. Buktinya, temen2 waitress saya waktu di restoran Itali kemarin bilang kalau gaji kita yang $19/jam di restoran itu tergolong kecil. Karena menurut pengalaman mereka, masih banyak restoran, kafe dan bar disini yang menggaji lebih dari itu.

Untuk job di bidang lain saya nggak bahas yah guys. Maklum pengalaman kerja saya disini terbatas cuma sebagai all-rounder dan waitress aja. Saya bukannya gak mau eksplorasi, tapi memang saya suka dengan bidang pekerjaan yang mengharuskan saya ketemu customer (salesman alert!). Saya happy bisa belajar ilmu barista, dan mau banget belajar bikin cocktail. Tapi saya gak bisa kerja di dapur dan cuma ketemu si kentang, bawang dan tomat tiap hari. Ughh, gak rela banget saya kalo gak bisa liat customer bule2 ganteng satu hari aja! :p

3. A casual job in hospitality actually requires 2 years of experience!

Or at least, that’s what is commonly written in job ads on Gumtree. At first, I was shocked and couldn’t stop thinking WHY do I need years of experience just to apply for a job as a waitress or cafe all-rounder (atau bahasa kerennya: babu serabutan kafe!). But after working in the industry for a few months, now I understand why. Hospitality is a very fast paced industry in Sydney. Customers only have a few minutes to get their takeaway coffee and an hour for lunch break. This is why rush hour in Sydney cafes and restaurants is very crucial for the business. Every cafes and restaurants want to get as much as possible and so they push their staff to the limit during these peak hours. And they really can’t bother to give extensive trainings to new staff for a very good reason too! Because most backpackers (including working holiday makers), won’t stay long term with them. Most backpackers don’t really care about doing the job well, and working holiday makers can only stay for 6 months to a year. So, why risk losing customers only for the sake of training inexperienced staff?

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Sample of common job ads on Gumtree

4. That never-ending working hours

To compensate the low salary, most employers would give long working hours to the staff. Many of our friends are also very happy to take a second and even a third job to earn more money. You may have heard these friends can earn up to AU$1000 a week in Australia. But, have you ever wondered how many hours and how many jobs do they actually work? What time do they get up to work and when do they come back home from work? Time is money in Australia, the more hours you work, the more $$$ you make.

Once again guys, I’m writing this post NOT to DISCOURAGE you to come for a working holiday in Australia. I just want to give you another perspective on this and hope you to be better prepared than I was. I mean, I was of course prepared to do a waitress job in here. But I just wasn’t prepared to do a long hour work and save money by sharing my room.

Thanks for reading, guys. If you want more article on working holiday in Australia, please leave comments and tell me what you want to know. Hopefully I would be able to answer in my next post. Ciao! (^-^)v

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. 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.  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.

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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 😦

business-presentation

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 😉 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 🙂

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 😦

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

Good night guys (^_^)

Cari Kerja di Aussie: Berakit-rakit ke hulu, berenang-renang ke tepian…

Hey guys,

Well, ini pertama kalinya saya nulis blog ini dalam bahasa Indonesia. Alasan saya nulis post ini dalam bahasa Indonesia adalah karena postingan ini akan bernada sedikit negatif tentang pengalaman selama working holiday di Australia (terutama Sydney, karena saya baru pernah tinggal disini aja). Dan saya nggak mau calon employer disini membaca keluhan soal pengalaman saya selama mencari kerja di Sydney. Dan sejujurnya, saya pun punya sedikit rasa menyesal datang WHV kesini 😦

Wait! Nyesel? Pengalaman negatif? Bukannya tinggal dan kerja di Aussie enak banget gitu? Kotanya bersih dan rapi, gajinya tinggi, transportasinya teratur? LOL! Yah, tadinya saya kira juga begitu sih. Tapi ternyata, semua memang gak seindah impian! Sejujurnya saya pun gak pernah terlalu banyak ekspektasi tentang Sydney. Dalam bayangan saya, Sydney itu kota metropolitan yg crowded dan modern seperti Singapore or mungkin juga NYC or LA (walaupun saya gak pernah ke NYC dan LA). Saya cuma membayangkan gedung2 nya modern dan langitnya sepertinya cerah 🙂

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View from Sydney Tower Eye

Tapi pada kenyataannya, langit di Sydney tidak selalu cerah. Begitu juga dengan job hunting disini. Ternyata semua jauh lebih sulit dari apa yg sudah saya bayangkan. Sekarang saya tidak mengerti bagaimana dulu saya bisa membayangkan bisa kerja keras dan mendapat gaji $1000 per week. Atau at least, bisa menabung $2000 per month. Kalau tau sesulit ini, mungkin saya tidak akan pernah meninggalkan pekerjaan impian dan karier saya di Jakarta utk mencari kerja casual disini. Tapi di post ini saya nggak akan cerita soal alasan saya kesini. Itu akan saya tulis di post berikutnya. Karena di post ini, tujuan saya adalah utk membagikan pengalaman sulitnya (dan pahitnya) mencari pekerjaan dan kerja di Sydney.  Bukan utk discourage teman2 yang sudah planning utk datang WHV, tapi untuk memberikan gambaran yang (hopefully) cukup realistis dalam pencarian pekerjaan dan pastinya $$$.

  1. Chinese food restaurant, Mascot

Saya mendapat job pertama ini dari housemate saya. Dia engkoh2 berumur sekitar 40 tahun dan sudah lama tinggal di Sydney. Dia kenal banyak orang di sekitar Mascot dan ngenalin saya ke boss restoran Chinese food ini yang ternyata orang Chinese-Vietnamese. Gaji pertama saya $15/hour dan saya kerja part-time disini. Sayangnya saya cuma kerja seminggu disini karena tiba2 boss saya SMS saya dan bilang kalau saya tidak cocok kerja disana. Yah, saya memang geraknya agak lamban sih kalau dibandingkan dengan orang Vietnam. Selain itu, di awal2 kedatangan saya di Aussie, saya cukup berjuang untuk membiasakan telinga saya dgn Aussie accent. Jadi sering kali saya minta customer mengulang-ulang pesanannya berkali-kali karena saya gak paham mereka ngomong apa (^_^”) . Disini saya merasa nilai IELTS saya yg 7.5 (di bagian speaking) jadi seperti 3.5 (T_T)

So, first lesson guys: jangan kaget kalo kamu tiba2 dipecat sama boss via SMS!

2. Salad restaurant, Kogarah

Lagi-lagi saya dapat job ini dari teman setelah jobless selama 2 minggu. Kali ini saya dapat dari teman di grup WHV Sydney. Karena owner nya orang Indonesia, saya cuma SMS, kemudian boss nya kasih tau jam kerjanya dan suruh saya langsung datang utk training besok paginya. Kali ini even gaji saya turun jadi $13/hour, guys! Dengan jam kerja cuma 25jam per-minggu. Tapi saya nggak punya banyak pilihan waktu itu, karena dengan pengalaman kerja minim, resume saya nggak pernah dapat respon dari employer.

Kerja di resto salad ini bener2 mengguncang batin saya karena salah satu teman kerja saya bener2 gak asik orangnya. Sialnya, dia itu adiknya owner restoran ini. Gimana gak asik nya? Yah, dia nggak pernah senyum sama saya. Dan kalau saya lupa cara ngerjain sesuatu lalu tanya lagi, dia akan bilang: “kan udah pernah diajarin? harus berapa kali diajarin baru ngerti?” Saya bener2 gak habis pikir, kenapa owner resto yang super baik ini bisa punya adik perempuan yang super bitchy kayak dia???

Setelah kerja selama 6 minggu disana, akhirnya saya berhenti. Berhentinya pake drama donk biar seru! Jadi ceritanya jam 11.30 pas deket2 lunch time, saya disuruh ngisi botol2 dressing salad sama si adiknya owner itu. Nah, saya kan belum pernah kerjain ini sebelumnya. Jadi saya nanya ke kitchen hand, dimana tempat salad dressing nya? Tiba2 si adik owner ini datang ke kitchen dan bilang ke saya dimana tempat dressing nya. Terus dia juga bilang gini: “Kalo mau tanya apa2 tanya nya ke gue aja. Tanya ke kitchen hand percuma karena dia jg gak tau apa2”. Saya yang udah kezel karena udah dari pagi dijutekkin sama dia akhirnya capek juga. Saya jawab dia: “udah kelar marah2 nya? Kalau masih mau marah2 lagi gue pulang aja deh. Gue berenti aja sekalian biar lo ga usah marah2 terus”. Dia cuma bilang: “gue bukannya marah2. Tapi lo udh 1.5 bulan kerja disini masih ga tau apa2. Kalo lo mau pulang ya pulang aja. Gue tinggal telpon koko bilang lo pulang”. Yah begitulah akhirnya saya langsung ambil tas lalu keluar dari resto.

Please donk, sis! Kalau mau dapat karyawan yang zuper pinter dan kerja cepet yah jangan kasih gaji $13! Kalo gue udah pinter juga gak mau lah digaji $13 perjam! Saya juga sering denger pengalaman gak enak dari temen2 WHV yang baru datang dan dapat teman2 kerja yang sesama Indo. Hello temen2 sesama Indo yang suka bully anak2 baru yang belom berpengalaman! Tolong yah ngaca, kalian juga awalnya gak langsung pinter kan? Kalian disana sama2 kerja apa udah jadi boss? Kalo masih sama2 kerja jadi babu, gak usalah bully2 temen2nya. Emang kalian merasa hebat cuma karena udah dateng beberapa bulan ato beberapa tahun lebih awal dari temen2nya?

Tapi walaupun dengan berbagai pengalaman pahit, saya tetap bersyukur bisa kerja 1.5bulan disini. Karena disini saya akhirnya membiasakan telinga saya dgn Aussie accent dan nama2 minuman kopi di Aussie. Selain itu saya juga belajar buat jus, smoothies dan menggunakan POS system & EFT Pos. Semua ini yang sering diperlukan utk melamar kerja resto/cafe di Aussie.


Setelah quit dari resto salad, saya jobless selama 2 minggu. Selama itu saya terus kirim2 resume via email ataupun walk-in. Dari begitu banyak resume yg saya kirim, saya cuma diundang ke 2 trial: yg pertama di cafe di daerah Ashfield dan yang kedua di Bourke Street Bakery. OMG! Saya PENGIN BANGET kerja di Bourke Street Bakery ini karena kerjaannya gampang cuma jadi counter hand di bakery aja! Selain itu, bisa di training jadi barista juga! Saya trial 2 jam di bakery ini. Di akhir trial, manager nya cuma bilang kalau Senin atau Selasa depan (karena hari itu sudah Jumat), HRD nya akan call saya utk kirim roster. Yeah, Bourke Street Bakery memang lumayan bonafide, guys! Tapi ternyata hari Minggu itu saya dipanggil utk trial di Italian resto yg kemudian langsung terima saya apa adanya dan segera kasih saya roster utk 33jam per week.

3. Italian Pasta & Wine bar, Sydney CBD

Thank God akhirnya saya keterima kerja di resto ini. Sekarang saya sudah jalan 4 minggu kerja dan saya paling happy kerja disini! Kenapa? Karena lokasinya, jam kerjanya, teman2 kerjanya, job desc nya dan yang pasti gajinya! (^.^)

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Me in the uniform

Karena ini Italian resto, semua chef nya udah pasti Italian! Siapa yang gak tau kalo cowo Itali itu ganteng? Hahaha.. tapi yang paling penting sih karena mereka friendly and chatty! Mereka sering ngajak saya ngobrol dan bercanda karena saya satu2nya wait staff Indo disana (even saya satu2nya Asian). Selain chef2 nya, salah satu supervisor saya (cewek Itali) juga sangat friendly dan asik diajak ngobrol dan bercanda. Selain itu, dia sering bilang “good job!” ke saya. Kalau negur karena saya salah, selalu dilakukan dengan cara memberi training dan bukannya mengkomplain. Dia selalu bilang, “I’m not complaining about you, I’m just giving suggestions on how to do it”.

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The Resto

Secara job desc, dibandingkan dengan job sebagai all-rounder di resto salad, kerja di Italian resto ini jauh lebih menyenangkan dan mudah karena efisien! Kenapa menyenangkan? Karena disini saya belajar ilmu barista! Sejak hari pertama saya kerja, saya langsung ditraining jadi barista. Memang order kopi di resto ini tidak terlalu banyak karena lokasinya yang di food court mall, membuat orang hanya sempat datang di waktu lunch. Setelah saya merasa cukup percaya diri, saya langsung diperbolehkan melayani orderan kopi dari customer. Kenapa saya bilang kerja disini mudah dan efisien? Karena supervisor saya most of the time during peak hours hanya minta saya stay di counter utk take order dan jadi kasir. Sedangkan pekerjaan preparing food and salad di back counter akan dia handle karena chef2 itu lebih terbiasa berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Itali supaya lebih cepat. Intinya 1-2 orang khusus handle counter dan 1 orang di back counter. Tujuannya supaya yg di back counter tau orderan mana yg sudah diproses/dikirim dan yg belum. Jadi nggak ada pekerjaan yg overlap ataupun missed!

More lessons learned! Sedapat mungkin kerja sama Western employers karena standard salary yg lebih tinggi dan biasanya mereka lebih “laid back”. I mean, how could I forget this basic theory after years of working in western companies? 😀


Yah so far baru segitu pengalaman saya disini, guys. Belum banyak karena saya memang selama ini masih butuh spare time 1 hari weekday utk interview corporate job (yang akan saya share di post berikutnya). Tapi sepertinya saya sudah akan cari second job disini utk full time casual dan save money utk studi saya di negeri lain 🙂 Saya belum merasa lebih betah di Sydney daripada di tempat tinggal saya sebelumnya, Taipei karena banyak alasan yang tidak akan saya ungkapkan satu-persatu disini. Semoga tulisan saya hari ini berguna buat teman-teman yang baru merencanakan utk datang WHV kesini. Ingat, bukan utk discourage tapi utk lebih mempersiapkan mental teman-teman sebelum kerja keras disini 🙂

Have a good day and God bless (^_^)v Continue reading

Working Holiday Australia – How Much You Need on Your First Arrival

As I’ve promised earlier, I’m gonna write another post on how much budget you need to bring for working holiday in Australia. Since the living cost, especially rent fee, varies across cities, this is probably most suitable for people who want to land in Sydney as their first point of arrival. Although in the visa requirement we are all required to have AU$ 5,000 in our bank statement, many of working holiday visa makers, as far as I know, don’t actually bring that amount of money on their first arrival, including me!

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So, how much do we actually need to bring when we first come here? Hmm, before giving you the answer to that question, I think it’s best that you answer this question yourself first:

What kind of accommodation do I want to stay and where?

This is a very crucial question since accommodation will contribute to a significant (if not most) part of your first expense. Some people want to live in the city and some others don’t mind living at outer CBD area. Some people need to have a private room while some others don’t mind sharing with a few friends. It all depends on your preference and of course, your budget. Now, here’s the budget you’re looking at when you make your choice.

  1. Private room, shared bathroom – CBD area –> min. approx. $300-400 pw
  2. Room share (2 person), shared bathroom – CBD –> min. approx. $200 pp/pw (per-person/per-week)
  3. Room share (3-5 person), shared bathroom – CBD –> approx. $125 – 150 pp/pw
  4. Private room, shared bathroom – suburb –> min.approx. $200-250 pw
  5. Room share (2 person), shared bathroom – suburb –> approx $120 – 150 pp/pw
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My room in Mascot

List of CBD area: Ultimo, Darlinghurst, Central, Chippendale, Pyrmont, Surry Hills, Haymarket, Redfern, Newtown, Darlington, Glebe, Potts Point.

List of suburb areas preferred by backpackers: Mascot, Ashfield, Marrickville, Leichardt, Eastern Suburbs (Bondi, Maroubra, Coogee, Randwick, Kingsford, Kensington) .

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Residential area in Mascot

Check on Gumtree and Flatmates to browse for accommodation. Some people also find accommodation through Facebook group, including me.

So, have you made up your mind yet? Don’t forget to budget the deposit you need to give to your landlord upon moving in. It’s usually 2-4 week of rent and refundable when you move out, given you’re well-behaved, of course!

SIM Card

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Now, when you arrive in Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, you can immediately get your prepaid SIM card on the way to the exit. There are Optus and Vodafone’s counters that sell and help you activate your SIM card. I bought the Optus one for $20 (which worth $40 recharge voucher). With $20, I get a new phone number, 6GB internet data, unlimited calls & SMS to Australian phone numbers, and 90 mins international calls to selected 20 countries (the sales assistant will explain to you everything on this) for 28 days use.

First transportation to your new house

Ok, you’ve got that SIM card and now you have these big and small luggage and bags. Are you sure you can take bus or train with all these luggages? I couldn’t! So, I decided to take Uber instead. In Australia, you can only pay Uber with card (debit/credit). You don’t have your debit card yet, so it’s best to keep your old credit card active and use it in such emergency. I took Uber from the airport to my rent house in Mascot (near Rosebery) for $17. If you think you can carry all your bags and take the bus, the bus stop is not far from the arrival gate. Just ask some officers in the airport where it is. They’re very helpful.

Public transportation

OK, how about transportation budget during your first exploration days in Sydney? The transportation in Sydney quite expensive. For detailed information on Sydney transportation, check out: http://www.transportnsw.info/  . They don’t charge you for the new card, just how much money you want to deposit in the card. I put $50 for my Opal card balance, which lasted for a bit less than 2 weeks. I don’t hang out everyday, so I don’t spend too much on this. But if you hang out everyday, you’re probably going to spend around $40 a week for transport.

Groceries shopping

After you put all your luggage in your room, you might want to to a little bit of groceries shopping. My first groceries shopping at Woolworths cost me about $40 for rice, veggies, fruits, Greek Yogurt, canned fish, etc. And I also did a little shopping at Daiso for some household tools. Daiso’s one price for everything in Australia is $2.80.

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My first groceries shopping in Australia

Here are some groceries’ price examples:

Rice (1kg) : start from AU$ 2

Sugar (1kg) : AU$ 1.00

Chicken egg (6pcs) : AU$ 2.99

Milk (2 Litres) – homebrand : AU$ 2.00

Pasta (500 gr.) : start from AU$ 1.00

For more info, check out Coles & Woolworths websites.

Summary

To wrap up everything I’ve mentioned above, here’s the list of expenses on your first days in Sydney (with examples on value):

  1. Accommodation :  $800 (2 week deposit + 2 week rent)
  2. SIM card : $ 40 (for 28 days)
  3. Uber : $ 17 – 30
  4. Opal card : $ 120-150 (for 4 weeks)
  5. Groceries : $ 100 (for 4 weeks)
  6. Home supplies & tools : $ 40
  7. Meals (when you eat out) : AU$12-15 per-meal

Those add up to around AU 1,500 for the first 4 weeks of your stay in Sydney. And I believe that’s the minimum amount you will spend in your first month, because many people spend more than that. That, of course, depends on your lifestyle and how long you want to relax without working.

So, I hope this helps you plan your budget to move to Sydney and don’t hesitate to drop a comment if you have anymore questions.

Cheers,

Ariesa

Packing for Working Holiday Australia

Hey guys,

As you might have known, I’ve just moved to Sydney 3 weeks ago. In the previous post I have talked about my first impressions on Sydney, Australia. And in this post, I’d like to share some tips on what to prepare before your departure to Australia, especially if you’re coming to Sydney. I will talk about things to pack since it’s not a cheap place to live in, so you want to to be extra careful with money here. In the next post, I will talk about budget you need to prepare before your departure for Australia (especially Sydney).

What to bring and what to ditch

Many things are indeed expensive here. But, some things are not that expensive that you HAVE to bring it all the way across the continent just to save a very few dollars. Before doing all the packings I also did a little research from other working holiday visa makers, especially the Indonesian ones, just to get some ideas of the daily supplies that are expensive in Australia. But apparently, I made LOTS of mistakes. I bought and brought too many unnecessary things back in Indonesia that I couldn’t even manage to pack all of them into 30kgs baggage!

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Major packing drama

Here are some things I recommend you to bring from home and will help you survive on your first days:

1. Bed sheets –> OK, it’s probably also a good idea if you check with your landlord/housemates if these things are provided in the rent and if they are brand new. If you want to buy it here, its price is around AU$ 18 to $22 for a single-sized bed sheet. Compared to the price in Indonesia, I think it’s a bit more expensive since I can get something better in quality or bigger in size for similar or cheaper price.

2. Light blanket –> same with bed sheets, check with your landlord/housemates first if this is provided in the rent. But usually we’d rather bring our own blanket for hygiene reason. If you want to buy it here, in K-Mart and Target they sell it at around AU$ 10-12 for a fleece blanket. It’s soft and cozy enough for 18-22 degree evenings.

3. Light jacket/cardigan –> except if you come in winter. You’d want to bring your winter coat instead 🙂 If you come in the summer like me, you still have to bring at least 1 jacket and 1 cardigan. The weather is usually nice and sunny in Sydney, but it also gets windy and cool sometimes.

4. Lots of casual tee shirts/tank-tops, polo-shirts, shorts and jeans –> they’re wearable almost everyday and you don’t want to spend your AU$ on just casual wears like these.

5. Sneakers, thongs/flip-flops or girly sandals/flats –> you know: for beach, city strolls, Blue Mountain hikes, etc etc…

6. Other types of clothing –> it really depends on what kind of jobs you target. If you want casual jobs in cafes/restaurants, you won’t really need them. In my case, I brought quite a lot of business attires to prepare for job interviews.

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Pillow sheet, bed sheet, fleece blanket and Taylor Swift Perfume 30mL

And here are the things I recommend you to leave out of your luggage:

  1. Toiletries –> you can easily find toiletries here and buy them cheap at Chemist stores. One of the most famous for its competitive price is Chemist Warehouse. Check out their products and price on: Chemist Warehouse website.
  2. Perfume –> there are many brands of perfume with SUPER cheap price also at Chemist Warehouse. I bought my Taylor Swift perfume for just AU$ 10 (30mL)!
  3. Detergent –> although detergent is indeed a bit expensive here, around AU$ 5-10 (compared to the price in Indonesia), some landlords already provide this and other cleaning supplies in the property. You might want to check with your housemates/landlord first.
  4. Food supplies & seasonings –> this is what Asian fellows usually like to bring to Western countries 😀 But seriously, Asian shops and restaurants are EVERYWHERE in Sydney. You can even buy our all time national favorite Indomie goreng at Coles and Woolies for $0.65 😀
  5. Cutleries, dishwares & cooking wares –> I was about to bring these things! Don’t bother! Find them at Daiso or K-Mart IF you really have to buy them. Some landlords also provide these things in the property, so you have less things to worry about 🙂

If you want to compare other things’ prices in Australian retails, check out on their websites:

Coles

Woolworths

K-Mart

Target

Hope this helps you sorting out the things you want to pack for your trip to Sydney. See you in my next post 😉

Cheers,

Ariesa

YSL Forever Light Creator CC Creme

Hey guys,

I think this is my first high-end beauty product purchase by far. But unfortunately, this one was a total failure! 😥

I was running out of my Lancome BB Cream when I came across this CC Creme on BeautyLink by Sociolla. Instead of repurchasing my holy grail Lancome BB, I was tempted to try this YSL Forever Light Creator CC Creme SPF 35 PA+++ because of 2 reasons: first, it was discounted by 20% so it was IDR 30,000 cheaper than the Lancome BB; second, I wanted to try something lighter than BB cream. I had  never tried CC cream before and at that time, my skin was breaking out so badly that I wanted to put something more gentle to my skin. I did a little research on this CC Creme since I didn’t have time to go to Sephora to swatch it on my skin. Most of the reviews said amazing things about this CC cream. I just needed to be sure which colour would be suitable for me since it has 3 odd colours: apricot, rose and lavender. At first, I wanted to choose rose since I thought it should be aimed at darker skin than the lavender. But then again, I read that the rose colour emphasised redness on the skin. I didn’t want to highlight the acnes and marks on my cheeks so I opted for the lavender instead.

After waiting for about 2 weeks and 2-3 times complaining to the CSO (YES, some vendors on BeautyLink are SLOW in delivering orders! Who knows why!), I finally received my YSL Forever Light Creator CC Creme. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to try!

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YSL Forever Light Creator CC Creme SPF 35 PA+++ in Lavender

Ok, first of all, let’s talk about the outlook of the product. The product comes in a slim plastic squeeze tube with white colour that looks a bit like hologram. The plastic tube itself is pretty thick, so it always comes back into shape after you squeeze it. I think it’s a nice product to bring on travel.

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Swatch YSL CC Creme in Lavender

The cream has a floral scent that fades out in a few minutes upon application. It might not be pleasant for people who are sensitive with perfumed makeup. The texture itself is quite creamy, probably due to the sunscreen ingredient in it. In terms of blendability, it really depends on your skin care beneath it. If your skin care is moisturising enough, this will apply easily on your skin. However, whether this will apply evenly or not, it also depends on your skin condition. This CC cream doesn’t cover scars well nor improves the look of your skin. It only covers a bit of redness and makes it look more pale. Actually, I kinda expected it to change colour into something more natural like skin colour. But apparently, it doesn’t. I don’t really like how it makes my skin looks, so I always apply my Estee Lauder Perfecting Loose Powder on top.

On the back of the tube, it says that it can also be worn under makeup, which means it can also be a base makeup. I tried to use it as base and topped it with my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. But really, it was another FAILURE! It only made my face look pale and unnatural like a mask. It also doesn’t help perfecting my skin texture nor makes my foundation apply smoother. I really don’t see the benefit of using this as a makeup base! 😦

Despite its lack in coverage and colour, this CC cream doesn’t make my acne prone skin angry. I think it’s pretty safe for acne prone skin like mine 🙂

Sorry, but at the end of the day, I have to rate this CC cream 1.5 out of 5. I think it’s too expensive for the product quality and benefits. The colour might be suitable only for Caucasian skin (not even for the pale Asian skin). The only reason I haven’t tossed it away is because it’s so pricey that I still hope someday when my skin is clear from acne, it would perform better on my skin 😥

Cheers,

Ariesa