What to Do After Your WHV Ends

Hey guys,

I believe most of you, if not all of you, have ever asked some of your friends about their plans upon completing their working holiday. If you are one of those peeps who are still unsure of what they ought to do after their working holiday visa ends, this post might just be your source of inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

Disclaimer: this article might be most suitable to my Indonesian friends since we usually have the same thoughts and worries about what to do next after our time in Australia has finished.ย 

So, your WHV almost ends and you have managed to gather quite a decent amount of savings. You love living in Australia because of the nice environment and weather, mostly lovely people, and of course the job that pays you a decent salary (especially if you compare it to the standard salary back in your home country, Indonesia). Your job in Australia might be draining your energy, but after a while you get used to it and think it’s worth the pay. Plus, there is no work you need to bring home after work hour and you can get the most out of your weekend (read: hiking at Blue Mountains, sunbathing at Bondi Beach, etc). Back in Jakarta, shopping mall is all you have all around the city. What good is shopping mall for you if you have barely enough money to spend from salary in Indonesia ๐Ÿ˜ฆ You really want to stay in Australia or at least continue living away from your homeland. But, what options do you have if you choose to either stay or leave Australia? You already have some ideas in mind what you can do if you choose to stay. However, what options do you have if you opt to leave? What does your home country have in store for you? What is your opportunity if you want to try your luck in other country? Here’s a few things you can consider:

  1. Traveling!!!ย 

Whether’s it’s a road trip around Australia and New Zealand, or even going to another country you have always wanted all your life, e.g.: Europe, UK, USA, Japan or Korea, JUST DO IT! You have worked so hard so it’s just as wise to use it to gain even more life experience such as traveling! If you’re going to leave Australia, I would recommend traveling around Australia and New Zealand since it’s probably going to take a while before you’re able to go there again. Let’s face it, traveling to Australia is so darn EXPENSIVE! If you just travel around Australia, you would at least save air tickets. If you have a group of friends to do a road trip, you’re gonna save even more. Woohoo!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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The Great Ocean Road

  1. Go to College/Uni in Australia

This is probably one of the most common things people do after finishing their working holiday in Australia. Apapun degree, subject atau major yg diambil nggak masalah. Abis gimana donk, udah terlanjur betah sih di Australia ๐Ÿ™‚ Untuk option yg ini saya rasa nggak perlu dijelaskan lagi yah. Kita semua udah tau kalau lanjut sekolah di Australia kehidupannya biasanya akan mirip2 seperti waktu masih WHV lah. Cuma bedanya kali ini ditambah sekolah: harus bayar uang sekolah + kerjain assignment plus exams :”)

Kemungkinan utk mendapatkan PR setelah lulus sekolah, saya sendiri nggak gitu paham, guys. Sepertinya tetap harus sesuai occupation list yg ditetapkan oleh pemerintah Australia. Untuk lebih jelasnya, silakan tanya ke teman2 yg ambil sekolah ataupun immigration agency yg tepat yah ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Get a higher degree

Getting a higher degree is one of the best choice to make your hard-earned money in Australia beneficial for your future. I know this is not for everyone. Lots of people think they have had enough of school. Nothing is wrong with your thoughts and decision. Getting a higher degree is not compulsory for everyone and not all occupations need a masterโ€™s or doctoral degree. But, if you happen to think about getting it, you can absolutely do it! Be it in your home country or abroad, it really is possible.

If youโ€™re thinking about getting a degree abroad, there are some countries that offer low cost education with high quality, such as: Taiwan and Germany. Here is the list of countries that offer affordable education: https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/studying-abroad/10-most-affordable-places-study-abroad .

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Study in Paris is possible too ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Learn a new language abroad

After living in Australia for a while, Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ve come to realise that English is not the only international business language. Yes, thatโ€™s right! Mandarin Chinese seems like the second national language in Australia. At least in Sydney. Trust me, there are lots of more opportunities if you speak the second international language, where ever you are!

Now, if you think about learning this second language, Iโ€™ve got just a good news for you. The national language in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese. Do you remember before the KDrama era, Taiwanese dramas were all over our TV stations? If you remember Meteor Garden, F4, Rainie Yang and even Jay Chou, they are all from Taiwan. And as mentioned on the list above, Taiwan is also one of the most affordable places to study. If you think learning Mandarin Chinese in Indonesia would not work for you because you donโ€™t get to use it everyday, then you can surely go to Taiwan and take Mandarin Chinese classes there. Your savings in Australia will most likely be enough for your study and living cost. Be sure to check out my previous article on : Why Taiwan is the Best Place to Learn Mandarin Chinese . If youโ€™re not interested in learning Mandarin Chinese, donโ€™t worry! Iโ€™m sure there are also language programs in European countries like France, Spain and Germany. You just need to do some research to find what you want.

  1. Open your own business in your home country

If you have an entrepreneurial mind and spirit, and a bit of money as a capital, you can definitely start your own business! I have a friend who also went to Australia on a working holiday. She always loved doing a barista job, and she started at Starbucks when she was still in college here in Indonesia. Even in Melbourne, she was always doing a barista job. Thus, when she came back she decided to open a small cafรฉ and run the business on her own. ย I also know another friend who has done similar thing upon his return from working holiday. I think thatโ€™s quite a bold move and inspiring. No one says running your own business and be the boss would be easy, but hey at least you start and learn from whatever comes in your way ๐Ÿ˜Š

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One of my friend’s snack business

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My friend’s cafe at Pasfes

  1. Start or return to your career

If youโ€™re lucky and you get a job with sponsorship in Australia, thatโ€™s awesome! You must be one of the luckiest few people in the world! But most of us donโ€™t. You think you donโ€™t have much choice but to join workforce in our home country, Indonesia. Your head already rejects a million times to accept any job offer because you know the salary must be much lower that what you can earn back in Australia. But well, no director started as a director, unless their parents own the business. The thing you need to keep in mind is that a career in Indonesia doesnโ€™t give you an instant big paycheck as you get in Australia, but if you work smart and hard, it will give you a long term benefit. For instance, if you work as a banker in Indonesia, your starting salary might not be very high. But if you work smart and learn as you do your job, you might become a successful banker who is expert in, letโ€™s say, investment and stock market. After a few years, your salary will adjust as your experience and knowledge increase.

LinkedIn

*image source: Quora.com

Those are all the options I can think of so far. There might more more options out there. If you know anything else, please feel free to add in the comment section ๐Ÿ™‚

At the end of the day, you are the person who decides whatโ€™s best for you. Do what you want and what you can. I donโ€™t think one option is better than the other since each and every one of us has our own talent, skills, interest, needs and purpose of life. I believe we all want to choose to do things that can lead us to our main purpose of life ๐Ÿ˜€ Whatever we choose, we just have to be responsible of our choice and work hard to achieve our goals.

 

Cheers,

Ariesa

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How I Got My First Retail Job in Australia

Hey guys,

It’s been a while since last time I wrote here. In case you’re wondering, my WHV ended on 31 January, so right now I am already back in Jakarta. And I am also back to the last company I worked at before leaving for working holiday in Australia.

A lot of people have been texting me through FB and IG message. I answered quite a few of them. Sorry for those whose messages I didn’t answer. So, now I’m here to answer all your FAQ about how I actually got my first retail job in AU ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Kak/Sis, sebelumnya pernah kerja di retail?

Nope! Back in Indonesia and Taiwan, just like most of you guys, I have always worked in the office. Eh, tapi aku selalu kerja di sales function sih. Either B2B or B2C, aku jd selalu banyak kontak dgn customer and work to achieve sales target ๐Ÿ˜€ So, maybe that helps a bit?!

2. Sis gimana awalnya koq bisa kerja di Myer/David Jones?

Nah ini jawabannya agak panjang. Karena banyak yang tanya soal proses detailnya jadi saya jelasin step by step nya yah. So, saya apply ke agency yg menyalurkan SPG/SPB, atau kalau di AU nama kerennya itu adalah Brand Ambassador. Nama agency nya adalah Marc Edward Agency (MEA). Nah, si MEA ini ada di seantero negara bagian di AU, terutama di kota2 besarnya spt Sydney, Brisbane dan Melbourne. Untuk lebih jelasnya silakan google sendiri yah guys, soalnya si MEA ini punya website juga dan sering pasang iklan di Gumtree & Seek juga koq.

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Waktu itu MEA pasang iklan di Gumtree. Mereka lagi rekrut orang2 baru untuk jadi brand ambassador new launch fragrance. Tapi mereka juga tidak menutup opportunity utk orang2 yg punya pengalaman atau passion diluar perfumes, misalnya makeup dan skin care. Requirement nya cukup simple: have good communication skills, bubbly, confident, well-groomed, beauty enthusiast, ability to speak Chinese (Mandarin or even Cantonese) is an advantage.

Thus, I sent my resume along with a cover letter. Untuk contoh cover letter nya ga perlu saya tampilin di sini lah ya, silakan kreasikan sesuai dgn pengalaman kalian aja. Tapi yang jelas, saya nggak pake bohong dengan bilang saya punya pengalaman retail bla bla bla. Saya hanya bilang kalau saya sudah biasa kerja dengan target, punya passion di beauty terutama skin care dan perfumes. Saya juga bilang kalau saya bisa bahasa Mandarin dan Indonesia, selain Inggris. Soalnya saya dulu pernah tinggal di Taiwan selama 2 tahun (harus banget ini saya sebut supaya lebih meyakinkan :p ) . Untuk resume, saya buat hanya 1 halaman persis spt resume saya utk melamar kerja sbg waitress. Cuma saya tambahkan dengan pengalaman kerja kantoran juga supaya lebih keren aja sih.. Hehehe..

Within 2 weeks upon sending my application letter, I got an email inviting me for a first round interview.

MEA email 1

So, the golden ticket has arrived. Now is your time to show ’em what you got! Dress to impress! Follow the dress code and do your makeup nicely! Show up on time!

3. Terus kalau udah di-invite utk interview, apa donk yang harus disiapin? Apa aja sih yg ditanyakan di interview?

The interview is very short and simple. Ini cuma group interview aja koq. Jadi nanti kita hanya diminta memperkenalkan diri: nama, tempat tinggal, kuliah/kerja, status visa, pengalaman di bidang beauty/sales, apakah kamu punya sertifikat beauty therapist atau MUA? Apakah kamu punya pengalaman MUA? Apakah kamu tertarik dgn job jualan fragrance? What languages do you speak? What days can you work?

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Self-makeup class from Honey Beauty โค

So, my best advice is to prepare what you want to talk about yourself! Kamu harus kelihatan PD utk speak up dan pastinya ramah! Waktu saya interview, seperti biasa saya banyak ketemu orang2 Mainlanders, selain Brazilians. Kalau yg Brazilians ato bule2 lain biasanya punya pengalaman MUA/beauty therapists, sedangkan yg Mainlanders biasanya bermodalkan bahasa Mandarin utk “jualan”. So, it would probably be a good idea if you have at least either: makeup artist or Mandarin speaking skill. Kalau kamu nggak bisa Mandarin, coba deh kursus makeup dulu sama MUA Indo yg ada di AU. Kalau saya dulu pernah kursus self-makeup di Honey Beautyย . Kenapa Honey Beauty? Soalnya sahabat saya yang satu ini udah terbukti dan berpengalaman jadi BA dan MUA nya Shu Uemura di David Jones Elizabeth Street ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Terus, habis interview kapan dikabarin lagi sis?

Di hari yang sama, hasil interview akan diemail oleh team MEA. Kadang kamu akan langsung di-invite untuk second interview. Tapi bisa juga kamu harus menunggu utk jadwal interview berikutnya.

MEA email 2

Actually, if you’re already invited to the second interview, you basically have passed! In the so-called second interview, sebenarnya mereka sudah memberikan induction on how everything works in the agency: mulai dari grooming guidelines, cara mengisi form ini-itu, sampai mekanisme penggajian (yayyy!!!).

5. Oh begitu.. Jadi kalau sudah keterima, kapan kita bisa mulai kerja sis?

Nah, yg ini beda2 sih, tergantung amal dan perbuatan juga :p Hehehe.. Gini, pertama kamu harus isi online form dulu yg isinya biodata, foto dan dokumen2 kamu. Kemudian kita akan tunggu panggilan job. YES! Panggilan job! Sama seperti agency lainnya, kita baru akan dapat job kalau ada brand yg butuh casual staff. Kadang kita dipanggil utk cover shift SPG full-timer di brand/toko tertentu. Kadang kita juga dipanggil utk promosi new product launch/event misalnya di depan Westfield Pitt Street.

Cepat atau lambatnya kita dapat job juga tergantung dari pengalaman kita di beauty. Contohnya: teman saya, MUA Honey Beauty, dapat shift pertamanya dari MEA hanya dalam waktu less than a week sejak dia interview. Sedangkan saya join MEA di Maret, tapi baru dapat shift pertama di Juni. Btw, shift pertama saya malah cuma bagi2 flyer di dalam Myer Sydney city selama one full day. Untungnya rate utk semua jenis pekerjaan dari MEA sama aja, jadi saya happy2 aja sih ๐Ÿ˜€

Jadi, walaupun kamu udah sign kontrak kerja dengan MEA, please jangan quit dulu dari kerjaan di resto/kafe yang sekarang. Karena kerja di retail itu walaupun santai dan rate nya bagus tapi bener2 musiman, guys. Kalo pas deket2 Christmas pastinya banyak shift, tapi kalau udah lewat tahun baru yah udah sepi lagi deh ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

6. Jadi kalau kerja di MEA, 1 minggu bisa dapat shift berapa jam yah, Sis?

Ini juga beda2 sih ya, tergantung amal dan perbuatan juga ๐Ÿ˜€ Kalo aku sendiri dapatnya sekitar 15-30an jam per-week (5 hour/shift). Biasanya hari kerjanya sekitar Rabu sampai Sabtu. Sunday shift is very rare soalnya rate nya kan super mahal yah. However, my suggestion is to keep your Thursday and Saturday free, since most retail jobs will need you to work on those 2 days.

By the time I’m writing this post, some of you and my friends have been invited or even worked with MEA or even in retails. I am very happy to learn that since I wrote my retail experience in AU, there are more Indonesians coming out to try working in this industry as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Please write your comment or story if you are also working in retail in AU. I’d be excited to know if my stories have helped you landing an exciting job in this industry ๐Ÿ˜€

Happy weekend and cheers!

Ariesa

Working in Retail as a Casual in Australia

Hey guys,

Merry Christmas and happy new year! 2017 has finally passed and I can’t be more than excited to welcome 2018! ^_^ By the time I’m writing this post, I still have a mixed feeling towards 2017. I feel like last year was such the toughest period of my life so far. I went through a lot of difficult, yet invaluable experiences throughout my working holiday journey in Australia. Even though it was difficult, I was blessed that I finally secured my so-called temporary career in retail. I absolutely love what I’m doing since I’m always surrounded by makeups, perfumes and now clothing plus handbags โค

Kalau kalian pernah baca postingan saya sebelumnya, mungkin kalian ingat kalau saya mulai masuk ke dunia retail lewat agency yg provide brand ambassadors (atau biasa kita sebut SPG/SPB) ke David Jones, Myer, Sephora, Priceline bahkan Woolworths dan Coles di seluruh Australia. Kalau belum baca, coba dibaca dan di-like dulu donk postingan saya sebelumnya ๐Ÿ˜€ . Setelah saya join di agency ini selama 6 bulan, akhirnya di pertengahan Desember kemarin saya harus lepas dari agency ini ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Nama agency nya adalah Marc Edward Agency (MEA). Untuk info lebih lanjut silakan Google atau search di Seek/Indeed. Mereka sering recruit new hire utk brand ambassadors utk promote new product launch di dept stores di seluruh Australia (sesuai lokasi preference kita).

Setelah punya cukup pengalaman di David Jones (DJ) & Myer, bisa dibilang perjalan saya mencari pekerjaan berikutnya di retail termasuk lancar. Karena saya sudah memperhitungkan kalau saya harus lepas dari MEA di mid-December sedangkan visa saya baru akan selesai di akhir Januari, di bulan September saya mulai aktif mencari Christmas Casual job di retail, mulai dari beauty sampai ke fashion. Sampai pada akhirnya, saya cukup beruntung bisa dapat 2 Christmas Casual jobs di Hugo Boss dan Coach.

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Banyak orang mengira, kerja di retail gajinya super tinggi dsb. Sigh! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So, in order to manage your expectations on working in retail, here I’d like to share with you that there are also some pros and cons or loves and hates of working in retail AS a CASUAL.

Loves โค :

  1. Pastinya hourly rate! Antara rate weekdays, sabtu dan minggu angkanya beda. Apalagi public holiday! Tapi jangan lupa dipotong pajak yah ๐Ÿ˜› (disclaimer: tidak menjawab pertanyaan berapa gaji di retail perjamnya kak? Tanya aja sama temen kamu atau om Google ๐Ÿ˜€ )
  2. Karena kita CUMA casual, biasanya sales target nggak akan terlalu strict dipush ke kita. Karena mereka jg mostly cuma expect kita utk tau product knowledge secara general aja, tapi yang penting adalah kita harus bisa serve customer dengan ramah dan professional.
  3. Staff discount! Biasanya retail memberlakukan discount khusus karyawan utk produk2 di tokonya. Policy staff discount bisa beda2 tergantung retail itu sendiri. Tapi gak usah berpikir utk menyalah gunakan staff discount kalian utk keuntungan pribadi yah, karena selain kemungkinan besar akan ketahuan, kalian jg bisa mencoreng nama bangsa dan negara Endonesah!
  4. Karena saya emang CINTAAAA sama kosmetik, parfum, baju dan aksesoris, pastinya kalau lagi sepi saya suka colekin warna2 makeup atau skin care di tangan saya, semprotin parfum yg wangi2 di baju, atau megang2 dan icip2in tas kulit di toko โค
  5. Friendly coworkers. Sekitar 95% staff di DJ & Myer tempat saya kerja termasuk friendly & helpful, terutama di toko2 yg letaknya di pelosok2 Sydney. The only thing you need to remember is to politely introduce yourself on your first day, they will gladly help you as much as they can.
  6. You get to speak a few languages. Well, at least for me, that’s what I love about working in retail here. I get coworkers and of course customers from different backgrounds, so I get to speak in any language I can speak (mostly English and Mandarin Chinese).
  7. You learn how to actually communicate with customers: listen to what they want/need and like first before you recommend and persuade/convince customers to buy a product.
  8. Dan yang seperti yg mungkin sudah kalian duga, kerjanya ga sesibuk dan seberat hospitality ๐Ÿ˜€

But of course, there are some challenges that come along with those perks I mentioned above. Here’s some downsides or the things I dislike about it:

  1. If your job contract writes: CASUAL, that means they don’t guarantee how many hours you work in a week. For one shift, they only have to give you at least 3 hour work. Some weeks when it’s too quiet, they might not give you any shift, AT ALL! Karena alasan inilah makanya saya ambil 2 Christmas Casual positions di 2 brand yg berbeda. This can be a little tricky especially during busy period like Christmas, but with a good time management, you should be able to sort it out. Or you can also keep another part-time job in cafe, just in case!
  2. I don’t actually hate this part at all, but working as a brand ambassador from an agency means you get to work for multi brands. For some people who don’t have passion in beauty, this can be a bit challenging. Misalkan hari ini kita dapat shift di brand A kosmetik, besok kemungkinan kita dapat shift utk brand B fragrance. For the sake of professionalism, seringkali kita harus belajar tentang brand dan product knowledge secara otodidak dari internet. Karena nggak lucu aja kalau customernya nanya bedanya moisturiser sama serum terus kitanya gelagapan saking nggak paham fungsi produknya.
  3. Selain itu, kalau kita join dengan agency seperti MEA, kita harus siap dialokasikan utk kerja di seantero Sydney. Saya tinggal di Chatswood dan so far saya udah pernah traveling sampai ke Liverpool, Bankstown dan Miranda. It’s not something to hate, but sometimes it can be a bit tiring if you have to travel for more than an hour (for a single trip) just to work for 5 hour shift.
  4. Sebagai casual, biasanya kita dapat shift lebih pendek daripada permanent staff (mostly during 11AM to 4PM). Dan kita bakal jarang dapat shift hari Minggu, jadi jangan over excited dulu sama Sunday rate :p
  5. ย Of course, you don’t get free meals and coffee ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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I realise that my point of view in this job can be a little subjective, that’s just because I’m happy doing this kind of job. I’m pretty confident in my ability in selling and also I love beauty and fashion. I feel like I’ve learned a few things in higher end fashion brands and also some basic things about fabrics and of course market and retail conditions in Australia. I would also say that this is NOT the best job for people who want to focus their working holiday objective in earning and saving as much money as possible, since working in retail requires you to always maintain your appearance and you usually get to spend some every now and then.

I hope you guys find this post helpful and last but not least, wish you an amazing 2018! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers,

Ariesa

 

My Christmas Casual Job Hunting Experience in Sydney

Hey guys,

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post that I’m currently working in retail as a casual beauty consultant. Now that I’ve been working full time across DJ and Myer, still casual for various brands, I have been enjoying my job so much.

Since Christmas season is coming, there has been a lot of retailers recruiting for Christmas casual position. So, what is Christmas casual? It is a temporary casual position during seasonal period in Australia, usually around November to end of January where the shopping season is peaking. So, it is both temporary and casual which means, you only work for a certain period of time and get no fixed working hours/rosters. In terms of hourly rate, we surely receive rate that is a bit higher than permanent FT/PT but we don’t know how many hours we will work every week. I’ve asked this question in most of my interview and get the same answers: there is no guaranteed working hours every week but everytime we get a shift, it will be at least 3 hours. And since they have to pay higher salary to us, usually they will give casual staff less hours than other staff.

Now, I have recently got a new job as a Christmas casual at Hugo Boss. I have been through quite a few recruitment process for Christmas casual position in several retailers and brands. And now I feel like sharing my experiences going through the recruitment process. Dan saya akan menulis dalam bahasa Indonesia aja, karena saya cuma mau berbagi tips2 dan bocoran ini ke teman2 sebangsa dan setanah air. Tujuannya adalah supaya ke depannya lebih banyak teman2 Indo, terutama teman2 WHV agar lebih termotivasi dan percaya diri untuk mencoba bidang kerja lain selain hospitality dan agriculture di Australia ^.^

  1. David Jones

Untuk proses group interview di David Jones (DJ), semua kandidat dikumpulkan di DJ Market Street Office. Seluruh kandidat berarti kandidat utk segala posisi dan toko2 lain di area NSW. Para kandidat dibagi berkelompok (5-10 orang/grup) untuk mengerjakan diskusi grup & presentasi. Masing2 kandidat juga diminta memperkenalkan diri secara singkat dan menyebutkan 1 kata yang mendeskripsikan dirinya. Waktu itu saya memakai kata: enthusiastic dan saya sedikit menjelaskan bagaimana keantusiasan saya dalam kehidupan sehari2. Setelah selesai presentasi kelompok, masing2 kandidat dipanggil satu persatu ke ruangan lain utk 1-on-1 interview. Dalam interview itu seperti biasa, kita diminta menceritakan pengalaman kerja yg berhubungan dgn customer service atau retail. Kemudian ada beberapa pertanyaan seputar availability, preferred location dan preferred position. Juga ada behavioral questions seperti: bagaimana cara kita me-manage waktu & prioritas kalau sedang hectic dan banyak deadline.

Seminggu setelah interview, saya menerima email yg menyatakan kalau saya lolos interview. Namun kemudian saya tidak pernah menerima follow-up mengenai kapan dan dimana saya akan mulai bekerja. Saya sudah coba utk follow-up via email namun tidak pernah ada balasan dari pihak DJ. Sedangkan beberapa teman saya yg interview di DJ sebulan kemudian, langsung mendapat telpon keesokan harinya yg mengkonfirmasi kalau mereka akan segera mulai di toko tertentu di akhir bulan tsb. It’s weird, but it does happen sometimes ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Screenshot_20171003-145306

2. Uniqlo

Nah, ini dia yang waktu itu aku harap2in banget, guys. Soalnya posisi di Uniqlo ini temporary full-time, which means there is fixed working hours (min. 38hrs/week). Dan saya pikir kalau udah dapat disini, saya udah aman dan gak perlu pusing takut income kurang.

Untuk proses grup interview di Uniqlo, seluruh kandidat utk 1 store dikumpulkan di head office mereka di daerah dekat Circular Quay. Pastinya ada penjelasan company profile juga. Lalu kita masing2 memperkenalkan diri secara singkat. Kemudian seperti biasa kita dikumpulkan dalam grup utk diskusi dan presentasi seputar customer service dan Uniqlo. Setelah presentasi di depan ruangan, kita diminta menunggu giliran individual interview. Pertanyaan2 interview nya masih mirip2 dengan yg di David Jones. Kira2 masih seputar pengalaman kerja customer service dan retail, motivasi melamar di Uniqlo, dan behavioral questions. Juga pertanyaan tentang apa yang mau kita improve dari diri kita.

Dari proses interview, saya sudah bisa menebak respon interviewer terhadap saya. Feeling saya kurang bagus. Dan bener aja, seminggu kemudian saya mendapat email yg menyatakan saya gagal masuk Uniqlo ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Saya sudah hampir putus asa dan bingung. Karena masa kerja saya dengan agency yg memberi saya pekerjaan sebagai beauty advisor di DJ & Myer akan habis pada pertengahan Desember. Padahal visa saya masih sampai akhir Januari 2018. Saya mulai kembali mengorek2 Jora apps saya utk mencari posisi Christmas Casual. Kemudian saya apply banyak sekali lowongan: FCUK, Cotton On, Pandorra, MAC Cosmetics, Coach, Hugo Boss, Clarins, dll. Dari belasan application, yang me-respon aplikasi saya hanya MAC Cosmetics, Coach & Hugo Boss. Tiba2 saya juga dapat email invitation interview lagi dari Myer, karena saya batal ikut interview bulan sebelumnya.

Dan karena saya tidak bisa datang interview utk MAC Cosmetics, akhirnya saya hanya ikut 3 interview: Coach, Myer & Hugo Boss.

3. Coach

Interview diadakan di dalam toko Coach di Westfield Pitt Street Mall. Kandidat yang waktu itu datang ada sekitar 40-50 orang. Dari seluruh kandidat ini, yang terpilih akan dialokasikan ke toko2 di seluruh Sydney. Seperti biasa, semua dimulai dengan penjelasan singkat company profile & Christmas casual role di Coach. Kemudian seluruh kandidat dipersilakan berdiri di tempat dan memperkenalkan diri secara singkat dan menyebutkan buah & TV show favorit. Kemudian kandidat dibagi dalam 4 grup utk diskusi & presentasi. Topik diskusi kali ini nggak berhubungan sama sekali dengan customer service atau produk Coach. Dan saya gak mengerti sama sekali ttg topik ini! Lol. Partisipasi saya dalam diskusi kelompok kira-kira 0 besar! Lol. Setelah presentasi singkat, seluruh kandidat dipanggil satu persatu utk individual interview. Pertanyaan2 nya agak susah kali ini. Dia minta diceritakan ttg pengalaman saya memberi customer service yg berkualitas dan juga pengalaman saya memecahkan persoalan dgn customer yg unhappy. Kebetulan yg meng-interview saya kemarin itu adalah Head of Recruitment nya langsung. Aduh, doi terlalu profesional. Saya gak bisa membaca sama sekali apakah hasil interview saya akan positif atau negatif. Anyway, saya sudah pasrah. Saya sudah berusaha dan sisanya hanya bs berdoa.

Beberapa hari kemudian, saya mendapat telpon dari Coach Chatswood. Mereka sedang melakukan reference check ke saya dan mereka kira saya salah kasih nomor. Padahal salah 1 nomor yg saya kasih memang nomor HP ex-manajer saya di Jakarta. Singkat cerita, mereka sudah cek referensi saya ke 2 orang dan saya agak yakin kalau saya keterima di Coach. Tapi……. setelah saya tunggu2 selama hampir 2 minggu (sampai hari ini), saya tidak dapat kabar lagi dari mereka ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

4. Myer

Interview Myer diadakan di toko tempat kita melamar (tapi semua application online yah, guys!). Kemarin saya ikut interview di Macquarie Centre bersama 7 kandidat lainnya. Semua melamar utk posisi Christmas Casual di any section, berarti tidak terbatas utk cosmetics/clothing/homewares. Pada waktu sesi memperkenalkan diri, masing2 kandidat diminta menceritakan sedikit ttg pengalaman customer servis dan retail, dan juga menyebutkan brand apa yang menurut kalian inspiring dan apa alasannya. Yang sedikit berbeda di interview Myer adalah kita ditest role play utk jualan. Saya dan salah 1 partner bebas memilih item yg sudah disediakan dan salah 1 akan menjadi customer sedangkan yg lainnya akan menjadi staff Myer. Setelah role play, pastinya ada individual interview juga. Di bagian interview pertanyaannya masih seputar behavioral questions dan apa yang bisa kita bawa/kontribusikan dalam tim Myer.

Feeling saya cukup positif di interview ini. Saya rasa saya cukup OK waktu role play dan cukup santai dan percaya diri pada saat interview. Tapi saya tidak berharap banyak karena saya lebih antusias dengan interview Hugo Boss di hari yang sama ๐Ÿ™‚ Tapi tiba2 hari ini saya mendapat email Offer Letter dari Myer. Well…

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5. Hugo Boss

Dari semua company/brand yang saya apply utk posisi Christmas Casual, menurut saya Hugo Boss adalah yg paling prestisius. Hugo Boss sendiri adalah brand fashion dari Jerman dan buat saya, segala sesuatu tentang Jerman memang spesial dan bermutu tinggi.

Rekrutmen proses Hugo Boss waktu itu hanya dihadiri 9 kandidat saja dan rekrutmen ini adalah utk beberapa toko besar mereka dan David Jones di Sydney. Yang berbeda dari proses rekrutmen disini adalah, kita tidak memperkenalkan diri kita tapi memperkenalkan salah 1 teman dalam grup kita. Jadi, sebelumnya kita diberi waktu beberapa menit utk saling berkenalan dalam grup. Kemudian, kita diminta menggambarkan motivasi kita join Hugo Boss (literally menggambar di kertas!). Kemudian kita harus mempresentasikan hasil gambar tersebut. Kemudian juga ada sesi role play. Kita diberi beberapa potong pakaian Hugo Boss dan dipersilakan utk mempelajari item2 tsb sebelum akhirnya salah satu assessor akan datang dan bertindak sbg customer yg sedang ingin mencari baju. Disini kita dinilai berdasarkan pelayanan yg kita berikan dan alasan2 kita merekomendasikan item yg kita jual. The last but not least was, again, one-on-one interview. Pertanyaannya sama dengan interview2 lain jadi saya sudah punya semua jawabannya. Lol.

Untuk interview di Hugo Boss, saya tidak perlu lama menunggu. Besoknya mereka sudah menelpon saya utk menginformasikan kalau mereka akan melakukan reference check dan ID/visa checking. Hari berikutnya, saya ditelpon kembali dan di-offer casual position utk store terbesar mereka di Australia, King Street store.

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Setelah semua kesulitan yg saya lalui di awal2 kedatangan saya di Sydney, saya bersyukur karena sekarang hari-hari saya sudah lebih cerah. Guys, perlu dicatat kalau semua pekerjaan ini tidak saya dapatkan dari “koneksi”. Saya setuju kalau untuk mencari pekerjaan pertama di Sydney memang koneksi bs membantu. Tapi tidak semua pekerjaan bisa didapatkan dengan jalur koneksi. Dan kalau kalian berpikir koneksi adalah jalan utama mendapat pekerjaan disini, sebaiknya kalian pikir2 lagi untuk datang kesini. Di Sydney semua orang butuh pekerjaan dan uang. Tidak semua orang Indonesia akan baik hati dan menganggap kalian spt saudara/sahabat sendiri. Hidup di Sydney itu keras dan hanya orang yg kuat yang bisa survive. Berkawan dengan sesama orang Indonesia itu penting, tapi nasibmu hanya kamu yg bisa menentukan ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope this post encourage you guys to explore other opportunities during your stay in Australia. So far, I have met lots of other Asians especially Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and Cantonese in the job interviews I’ve been. But I’ve always been the only Indo in the room. So I really hope to see more of you in the future ๐Ÿ™‚ (eventhough I might not be here in Sydney anymore).

Btw, do you guys want me to write tips to get into retail jobs in Australia? If yes, write me in the comment section below, otherwise you can also give me other topic ideas to write.

Cheers,

Ariesa ๐Ÿ™‚

Why Taiwan is the Best Place to Learn Mandarin Chinese

I’m sure we all agree that now Mandarin Chinese is one of the important languages in global business environment. However, many people find it very difficult to learn unless you learn it in its country of origin. If you are thinking about learning Mandarin Chinese and still deciding where to go, I hope this article can give you more to consider and help you make your choice.

I happen to be one of the lucky people who have experience living in Taiwan. I spent 2 years in Taipei learning Mandarin Chinese and going to graduate school. Before choosing Taiwan, I actually had thought of going to Mainland China. But after more careful thoughts and research, I finally decided to go to Taiwan.

These are some reasons why I chose Taiwan and never regret my decision ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Good quality of education institutes

If you want to learn Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan with a student visa, you have to apply for a full-time study, which means: Monday to Friday at least 15 hours a week. Most institutions that offer Mandarin Chinese classes for foreign students are public or private universities that are recognised by Taiwan government. The teachers really have degree in teaching Mandarin Chinese and they are experienced. Besides the quality of teachers, most institutions also offer extra curricular activities after class. In these extra classes, you can meet even more friends from other classes and improve your listening or speaking skills, as well as get to know about Chinese culture and traditions.

I used to study Mandarin at 2 institutions in Taipei: the first was Mandarin Learning Center atย Chinese Culture Universityย and the second was Mandarin Training Center at National Taiwan Normal University. All the teachers I met in both institutions had years even decades of experience in teaching Mandarin Chinese to foreigners. They’re just professional, friendly and awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

To give you some ideas on school’s facility in Taiwan, here’s some pictures from my uni in Taiwan. They also provide Mandarin Chinese classes for international students. Most of public universities in Taiwan have the same standard of facility.

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My uni’s open area

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Indoor swimming pool inside my uni

2. Student friendly living cost

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One of the main concerns when we want to study abroad is of course living costs. Even though Taiwan is one of the developed countries in Asia, the living cost there is much lower than in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Japan. Before deciding to go to Taiwan, I was comparing between living costs in China and Taiwan and I found out that student accommodation in China was actually much more expensive than in Taiwan. I was even comparing between a smaller city in China and Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and it’s still cheaper in Taipei!

3. People are polite and friendly

Unlike people in their neighborhood countries: Mainland and Hong Kong, people in Taiwan are very friendly, even to foreigners. Taiwan was once colonized by Japan so Japanese culture has a bit of influence in there. Here are some phrases commonly used by people in Taiwan:

“Ni hao?” = Hello / how are you?

“Bu hao yisi” = Excuse me/ sorry

“Xie xie” = Thank you

4. Part time jobs for international students

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As an international student, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week.ย There are many part-time jobs available in Taiwan in various sectors. The most popular ones are: hospitality (food & beverage), foreign worker agency and English course institutes. Foreign worker agencies are popular for Southeast Asian students as they can be a translator between Southeast Asian caregivers and their Taiwanese employers. Whilst the English teaching jobs are more popular for students from western countries, especially English speaking countries. That being said, I mean that as long as you’re white, it’s pretty easy for you to get a job as an English teacher in Taiwan and you also get twice as high as the local teacher’s salary. You can find jobs through websites like tealit.

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My students in Taiwan

When I was in Taiwan, I worked in a foreign worker agency and English language school. Teaching English is not a common job for an Asian and non-native English speaker like me, but with some luck I managed to get the job.

5. Delicious and cheap local food

This is probably one of the things I loved the most in Taiwan. It seems like everything you can eat in Taiwan is delicious and cheap! When I lived in Taiwan for 2 years, I didn’t have to worry about cooking at home (since most of the rent houses don’t have kitchen anyways, lol!) and could find something to eat very easily everywhere! I usually just went to some bento takeaway restaurant for lunch and for AU$2 – 4, I could get a set of rice with 3 sides (including 1 meat/fish/chicken). There are also plenty of local breakfast cafes around any area that serves local breakfast menu. For coffee, I usually just grabbed from 7-11 or any convenient store. Yes, they do serve decent coffee in convenient stores.

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Local breakfast: egg pancake with bacon

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Coffee from 7-11

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Hot food at convenient store

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Convenient store’s ready to eat food & drink are also good!

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Night market’s food: fried chicken & luwei! *thebest*

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The famous bento box from the train station

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Various dumplings! All GOOD :p

6. Convenient and cheap public transports

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Taiwan bullet train

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MRT station in Kaohsiong

And I mean public transport across the country, not only in Taipei city. Inside Taipei or Kaohsiong city, there are MRT and buses. In other cities, there are only buses. But, if you want to travel intercity, there are intercity lines too and there is also bullet train. You can check timetables and book tickets online for intercity trains.ย It is fast, cheap and convenient to travel across the country during the weekends.

 

These are some famous tourism objects you can visit by public transports:

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Taiwan Aboriginal Village in Nantou

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Cable car for Sun Moon Lake sightseeing

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Train inside Alishan national park

ย 7. Security, safety and excellent public service quality

I would say that Taiwan is one of the safest countries in Asia. I used to hangout at the night markets very often and came home around midnight. I never felt insecure as the streets always have enough lighting and I know there are CCTV everywhere. Inside the trains and buses, there is also sticker that writes contact number for sexual harassment case.

I’m a pretty forgetful person that once I left my backpack in an intercity train. When I realised, I immediately went to see the officer in the station office and they helped me to contact the office at the next station to collect and keep my bag in their lost and found. The next day, I went to the next station and collected my bag easily.

I can actually go on and on when talking about my personal experience in Taiwan. But I think, this article should be enough to help you make your mind. If you still have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to write a comment or email me at lie.ariesa@gmail.com ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers,

Ariesa

Working Holiday Life Updates, Thoughts and What’s Next?

Hey guys,

Sebenarnya saya agak bingung gimana cara memulai post kali ini. Karena lagi2 saya harus memulai dengan berita kalau saya ditendang lagi dari cafe terakhir tempat saya kerja. Kali ini alasannya karena kafe sepi, dan saya adalah satu2nya casual staff disana. Memang sih, beberapa hari terakhir saya sering dipulangkan lebih cepat 1-1.5jam karena sepi pake banget! Tapi sebenernya dari awal ketemu sama owner kafenya somehow saya udah ada feeling kalau dia kurang suka sama saya. Dia British btw. Waktu cafe manager hire saya, si owner nya ini lagi overseas, dan setelah si boss balik dia ngerasa business lagi slow jadi harus cut staff dan turun langsung ke lapangan.

Jadi, dengan muka nggak enak hati, si cafe manager yg hire saya itu bilang kalau dia terpaksa harus cut saya. Dan waktu itu dia udah siapin recommendation letter buat saya. Diapun bilang ke saya kalau kapanpun saya butuh personal reference, dia siap ditelpon untuk kasih saya rekomendasi. The manager thanked me and hugged me goodbye. I worked there for only 3 weeks. I already tried to do my best, but still couldn’t keep the job.

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Trying to snowboard at Thredbo

After losing this last job, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. I was thinking about going back to Jakarta, but I didn’t wanna do it before securing a job offer from a company. ย I took a few days to think about it. I also went to Snowy Mountain and had some fun there before applying for jobs again. This time I also contacted my agency. I had actually signed up to an agency that provides Brand Ambassadors or Beauty Advisors for consumer brands a month after I arrived in Sydney. But, I think they forgot about me so they never gave me a job.

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My first shift as BA in Priceline

No matter how messed up my life was, God still loves me. One day, the agency invited me for a promotion in Priceline. I was promoting Olay brand for one day at Priceline Eastgardens and had to take some in-store photos as part of the reporting. Fortunately, this is something I’m familiar with. Well, basically when I was in Indonesia, I was the one asking the Beauty Advisor team to take pictures and report to me. I think I was doing pretty good. Without experience as beauty therapist or makeup artist, the agency invited me again for product trainings. I got trained for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and Kate Spade Perfume. Ever since the training, I keep getting shifts at Myer and David Jones. I mostly work for Arden, but sometimes I also work for Prada perfumes. So far, I’ve worked in quite a few Myer and David Jones stores in Sydney for Arden, Prada perfumes (Trimex group), Shu Uemura, Dior and SK-II. I like this job and the people I meet in DJ and Myer. Most of the staff there are really friendly and helpful. I’ve also worked in Sephora for Benefit Cosmetics once. Well, I really am grateful for what I’m doing right now. I keep getting more hours and requested by the brand. After all these odds, I finally have the chance to do what I can do. *sigh!*

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My counter at DJ

Now what? Am I thinking about extending my stay in Sydney? The answer is still no, unless I get a job with sponsorship. For me, the beauty advisor job is such a great opportunity to sharpen my communication skills and gain Australian consumer behavior insights. But I know I want to be that person behind the brand who designs the strategy to create demand and sales. I only have less than 5 months here but am not very actively applying for jobs anymore. So Australian company, I guess this is your last chance to hire me ๐Ÿ˜€ Make sure you choose the right person to team up with you to grow your business ๐Ÿ˜€

If by the time my visa expires I don’t get the sponsorship, I will still leave Australia happy. Of course I will miss Sydney. I love how good the life standard here is, how polite and warm the people are, and the beautiful view on train from North Sydney to the CBD. But I know I’m not the same person I used to be when I first came here. I am more confident than I was, and I don’t let myself be bullied. I stand up for myself and make myself heard. Being an Indonesian doesn’t mean I’m less smart and capable than people from other nationalities.

Cheers,

Ariesa