What's your job? Where do you work?
I’m an Administration Assistant with a company called Workways. The organisation provides employment services to clients and the community.
Is it part-time or casual? How many hours a week do you work?
My role is casual, so I fill in for other Administration staff who are on leave. There are no set hours per week and the amount of work can change quite a bit.
What does the job involve?
I’m at the front desk so I will greet people as they come in for their appointments and answer incoming phone calls. I will also help out with enquiries from job seekers who come into the office to use the available facilities. I’m also able to assist with updating resumes and sending job applications to other offices and employers on behalf of job seekers.
When you started looking for work, was this the sort of work you wanted?
Yes, I was hoping to get a job where I could be in contact with people face-to-face and also contribute something constructive.
What did you have to do to apply for the job?
To apply, I had to contact a Workways office and ask for a position description to be emailed out (90% of my job seeking was via the internet). I had to write a cover letter that addressed the ‘key selection criteria’ and send that along with my resume back to Workways. I then had an interview and had to fill out a Police Check form.
Was it hard to find this kind of job?
Finding this position wasn’t difficult (Job website). The hard part with jobs such as these is actually getting through to an interview. There are two ways to impress:
- A good cover letter
- A resume that is easy to read and shows your skills and experience
Unfortunately it is quite difficult to secure a job without prior experience in that area of work.
What are you hoping to get out of this job?
Experience would probably be at the top of the list. This was what I was lacking when I applied and I believe it often worked against me in a lot of applications. I’m also hoping to improve other skills such as communication, organisational skills and working with others.
It would be an advantage to build up skills that can be used in other areas of life, be it in my community work or social life. I’ve also learnt that many people in the organisation (now employed full-time) actually started in my current role – even the General Manager.
What's the best part of this job?
I’m able to help people. Some job seekers who come in are unsure of how to go about some things and if I’m able to lend a hand and show them what to do, it’s great to see a smile on their face.
What's the worst part of this job?
Some people are frustrated by their situation and they may actually have a valid point but they don’t express it in the right way or to the right person. I had one person continue to tell me what was wrong but when I asked how I could help them they just kept telling me they were unhappy and repeating the problem. That is frustrating.
Does this kind of job have any relevance to your desired career path?
I’m hoping to one day have some of my written work published, so it isn’t directly relevant to that field. Although, I see that as being a few years down the track and in the meantime, I want to be involved with people, preferably on a community level. But my current role allows me to assist job seekers, so I’m quite pleased with the position. Plus everything in life is good research for writing!
Do you find it difficult to balance this job with the rest of your week?
I know that I have to be careful when planning things in advance for a weekday, as there is the chance that I may be needed at work. I actually had a few plans on the day when I was first called in for work, but as that possibility is all a part of the position, I don’t have a problem with it.
What advice do you have for people looking for part-time or casual work?
Try and find something that will give you some good skills and experience that you can use in other jobs, or parts of your life, as well as something that you will enjoy - even if it’s just a little.
Search the internet as well as your local paper for job ads, as there are plenty of websites that list jobs. When you send off your resume, make sure that you’ve read the ad correctly and attach any other info or letters that may have been requested.
Also, there are a lot of recruitment businesses who find people for part-time and casual jobs - contact them and sign up.
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).