We Come From a Land Down Under (the Desired Unemployment Rate)

Alex and I have jobs! This is very very exciting for me. Even though we’re here to explore and adventure and have a good time, getting jobs was always part of our plan, and it made me pretty nervous not to have them.

Our general plan of action coming here was to land in Melbourne and stay here for a few months, working and getting to know the area really well. Next we’ll go exploring up the East Cost and go from there.

If you know me very much, you probably know that I like to work, and I get anxious easily. So despite reading all about how it takes time to get work here as a backpacker and not to worry if weeks go by without getting a job, being unemployed made me very uncomfortable!

When we first started really looking for jobs, it was right around Anzak Day and Easter, which is apparently a seasonal low point for hiring. Since then I’m really noticing a lot more help wanted signs in windows, though still nothing as easy as signs about weekly open interviews the way I was seeing in the US before we left.

Alex and I did most of our job searching online. The main job site here is Seek, and this is where Alex got his job from. I applied to mine on Gumtree, which is basically the equivalent of Craigslist.

I had an interview from another place on Gumtree too, at a pizza place. They put their number on the ad, so I just called and said, “can I come in tomorrow?” Being so forward got me the interview, but they never contacted me for a trial shift like they said they would, so I guess they weren’t that impressed. Their loss.

It’s great having work, despite the somewhat questionable nature of both of our positions.

Alex is working at a call center again, drawing on his skills gained at a collections company. Now he’s calling businesses trying to convince them to sponsor an anti-drugs booklet for kids. The good news is that Alex has plenty of experience calling people and getting money from them. The bad news is that he really needs that experience, since he’s paid in commissions. A few really talented sales people at his company make thousands of dollars every week so there is potential to make money working there, but it’s not guaranteed at all. Alex made two sales in his first week (earning him about $200), so he’s not off to a bad start! Of the ten people that started with him, only him and one other have made any sales, and the rest all quit right away.

I’m working at a very busy little sandwich bar in the food court of an office complex. We have an astonishingly large selection of food, from fish and chips, to pies, to sandwiches, to a plate of roast pork with veggies. I have a few qualms with my work, but it doesn’t seem right to go throwing shade while they’re still paying me, so maybe I’ll tell you about it later on. I might keep my eye out for another job in the mean time. It’s not a bad idea anyway, since this is only part time.

Despite our concerns, having work is really a weight off my chest, and it’s easier to find a job when you have a job, so hopefully we can move up in the world if these ones don’t work out. Besides, we’re here for adventures, and these jobs make for great stories!

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