Finding Employment

Finding Employment

When students leave school they may be looking for part-time, casual or full-time work. Students will need to develop a resume, cover letter and practice applying for jobs and attending interviews. Students may choose to apply for a part-time or casual job before committing to full-time work. This will give students a chance to develop generic and technical skills, cultivate work relationships and ease into working for a full day.

Checklist of things to consider:

  • Self-awareness – know what skills and personal qualities you have to offer an employer
  • Have an up to date resume
  • Be active in your job hunting as a job is not likely to come to you
  • Develop networks so you can apply for positions before they are advertised

Where to look:

  • Networking – many part-time and casual jobs are not advertised so ask around. Talk to everyone you know and let them know you’re looking for work. Friends, family, current and former students, teachers and lecturers in your course, neighbours, people at your local shopping centre etc.
  • The local neighbourhood such as shop windows and supermarket notice boards
  • Local newspapers
  • The careers and employment web site at your TAFE / University
  • Employment Websites

The National Employment Standards

The National Employment Standards (also known as the NES) cover everyone in the national workplace relations system. They started on 1 January 2010.

The National Employment Standards are 10 minimum conditions for employees. Together with the national minimum wage, they are a minimum safety net for employees. They include minimum entitlements for leave, public holidays, notice of termination and redundancy pay. An employee’s minimum entitlements can also come from a modern award or agreement.

Information has been sourced from the Fairwork website and is current at time of publication.

Cash in Hand Work

Getting paid cash in hand means an employment arrangement where the employer does not declare you as an employee and is quite common in many casual jobs. However, be aware that there can be problems associated with being paid cash in hand, including:

  • You may not be covered by WorkCover if you are injured at work.
  • You and your employer may be fined by the Australian Taxation Office if you don’t declare your income.
  • Your employer may not pay your full entitlements.
  • You may have difficulty proving your employment when you need to for Centrelink purposes or if you are unfairly dismissed and want to take action against the employer.

We  recommend that if you are being paid cash in hand, you keep a record of all money paid to you. In addition, it’s important to declare all money earned to the Australian Taxation Office when you complete your tax return, declare all money earned to Centrelink if you are receiving a Centrelink benefit and seek advice if your employer refuses to declare you as an employee.

Australian Taxation Office
Phone: 13 28 61
National Relay Service: 13 36 77

Phone: 13 24 90
TTY: 1800 810 586

Commission-Only Work

Commission-only work usually involves selling. This could be virtually anything, from vacuum cleaners or insurance on a door-to-door basis, approaching people in the street to sell them a product such as a subscription, through to selling larger items such as office equipment and real estate. Driving taxis can be another form of commission-only work.

It is important to realise that under a commission-only arrangement that you will not be paid a basic wage or salary, so no sales means no pay. Any payment you receive is usually a set percentage of the sales you make. This type of work requires a great deal of self-motivation, confidence and organisation. In most cases you need to have some income to tide you over the first few weeks or months until you get yourself established.

Questions that need to be answered before taking on a commission-only role include:

  • Do I have to invest any of my money to buy goods and equipment? If so, how much?
  • What am I likely to earn and how soon?
  • Will I be paid any expenses such as my travel expenses? If not, will my commission cover my expenses?
  • Will the firm give me training?

Commission-only work can be risky. You need to know exactly what terms and conditions apply before you commit yourself. Read anything that you are asked to sign very carefully. Job Watch may be able to assist. Contact details are listed below.

Job Watch

Job Watch is a community based employment legal service that provides information about employment and training law. If you feel you have been treated improperly by an employer, such as being unfairly dismissed, under paid, bullied or harassed, then contact Job Watch on 03 9662 1933 for some free advice.