Jobs Club

Welcome to BROWNS Jobs Club!
Our Jobs Club is a free service for our students that want to take advantage of the many job opportunities that are available during their stay in Australia. There are four stages of our Jobs Club before you can go and start looking for a job.

 


To start with we have a series of Accelerate lessons that you can do during your self-study hour each day. Please ask the Accelerate teacher about these. For example, in pack 1, you will find ‘Important information, sample resumes and cover letters’ and in Pack 2, you will find information about ‘how to find work and preparing for job interviews’.

Our face to face session with one of our English teachers takes place each Wednesday at 4:00pm. This session will expand on the FAQs in the next tab. During the session, you will

  • understand the nuances of Australian workplace culture
  • learn about the styles of questions asked in an interview situation
  • go through your CV (resume) so the teacher can correct and offer advice
  • network with peers and teachers to benchmark against best-practice efforts.

Put your name down at Student Services any time before the session. Have a copy of your CV (resume) ready to be looked at. This should be sent in advance to jobsclub@teachers.browns.edu.au

You should then have all the necessary knowledge to prepare for your job search.

Important Preparation FAQs

Make sure you read all this information so you can come prepared with any further questions on Wednesday. You can print this out also from the PDF here:

Preparation FAQs

Preparation FAQs


Your ability to work in Australia depends on your visa type. If you are on a tourist visa you are not permitted to work. If you are on a student visa you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight, and anything more than this is illegal. If you are on a working holiday visa, you can undertake temporary employment in Australia for up to six months with any one employer. For more detailed information, you can go to IMMI or login to VEVO, a website that allows eVisa holders to enquire about their immigration status and work allowance.

Australian employers are generally fair and treat their employees well. Some employers may try to offer you less than the minimum wage. This is generally illegal so do not accept a job like this. Go to IMMI for more information on the exploitation of foreign workers. You can also look at the Fair Work Commission website. Do not be afraid to talk to someone if you think you are being treated unfairly. Employers cannot cancel your visa or threaten you in any way.
BROWNS students do a variety of jobs, but common jobs include working as a barista, a bartender, a waiter or waitress, a cleaner, a cook, or a nanny. Those who are on a working holiday visa often spend time picking and packing fruit and vegetables. BROWNS offers a number of courses to help you prepare for work. Speak with us to learn how the Barista@BROWNS program can help you prepare for a job in hospitality, how BROWNS can assist with organising a professional workplace internship, or how you can work as an Au Pair or Demi Pair while studying English.

How much you earn in your job will depend on many factors such as the industry you are working in, your qualifications, your experience in that field, and when and where you are working. During weekends and holidays wages are usually higher than on working days - normally your regular wage multiplied by 1.5 for weekends and by 2.5 for public holidays. This rule is not generally applicable for all employers. Many service jobs also get tips.

The minimum wage in 2015-16 is $17.29 per hour for someone over 20 years old. For 18 and 19 year olds, it is slightly less. Some examples of (approximate) average wages are:

Bartender $19
Barista> $17
Kitchenhand $17
Kitchen chef $20
Cleaner $19
Child care/Nanny $20
Hotel receptionist $20
Fruit picker $21
Waiter/Waitress $15
Builder $35
Hairdresser $19
Shop assistant $18
Lifeguard $20
Massage therapist $24

Source: http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Country=Australia/Salary

There is legislation in Australia which requires employers to pay a minimum wage rate paid in certain ways. You can check the minimum wage you’re entitled to with Fair Work Australia, a government body, at Fair Work Minimum Wage. Fair Work Australia also includes an Ombudsman who you can report unfair work treatment to.

The Australian tax year is 1 July to 30 June. At the end of the financial year, you should lodge a tax return, which determines if you have paid too much or too little income tax throughout the financial year. In many cases, you will receive some money back from the Australian Taxation Office. In 2016, the tax rates are as follows:

  • $0– $18,201: not taxed
  • $18,201– $37,000: taxed 19c for each $1 over $18,200
  • $37,001– $80,000: taxed $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000

Source: http://www.exfin.com/australian-tax-rates

In addition, if your monthly wage is more than AU$450, your employer must contribute an additional sum equal to 9% of your wage into a superannuation (pension) account for you. You will need to advise your employer of your superannuation fund, or they may be able to assist you with setting up your first one. In most cases, you can access your contributions when you leave Australia permanently, although the contributions will be taxed. To check your eligibility to claim your superannuation and to apply for your payment, visit: Australian Tax Office Superannuation.

Every worker in Australia needs a 9 digit Tax file Number (TFN). It is very easy to get and can be applied for online. You will need an address for this: ATO Tax File Number. This is a very important number to remember as it is your TFN for life.

This depends on the job you are applying for. Bartenders need to complete the RSA qualification (Responsible Service of Alcohol). Baristas and sometimes waiters/waitresses require a Barista qualification. Nannies require a qualification (either cert, diploma or university degree) completed in any field relating to child-care, first aid, teaching etc. If you’re working with children under 18 years old, you will also need a Blue Card license.

A curriculum vitae (or resume), in English, is essential for employers to learn about your experience, qualifications and skills. Many BROWNS students are proactive and walk around different workplaces and distribute their CVs to potential employers. Don’t forget – give your CV to a manager, not an employee – if the manager is unavailable, then ask for his/her details. Networking is also a good practice, and finding jobs by getting to know other students or workers is common in Australian culture. There are also a number of other ways to find a job such as looking online:

Most students will wait for employers to phone them when an opportunity becomes available. Be confident and practice what you are going to say to the manager before you go. It is important you are confident when seeking a job opportunity.

During the Jobs Club session, a teacher will be able to look through your CV and check it for appropriacy and also proof-read it. You can get some ideas on how to prepare your CV in English by looking at:

Have your CV ready for the face to face session and the teacher can proof-read it for you.

Many interviews tend to be quite informal. Australian workplaces do not exhibit a high power-distance relationship between employers and employees. Employers are generally looking for staff that they get along with, so it’s important you let your personality shine through. Here are a few tips on what to do and how to behave:

  • It is very important in Australia that you show off your personality and a smile is always the easiest and most important way to greet anyone.
  • When you first meet someone in Australia, it is normal to shake hands strongly (lightly with women is fine).
  • Be polite but friendly whenever speaking to someone; don’t be shy and too quiet.
  • You need to show that you have great conversational English skills. It is very normal to be talkative (not overly) and ask your own questions in an interview; be confident and prepared for any communication you may have while looking for work.
  • Further tips can be found here.

Take a copy of your CV and any references that you might have, although in most cases, referees are contacted by email or phone. Also, take a copy of your passport and visa.

What you wear depends on the type of position you are applying for, but in general, like most places, having a neat and tidy appearance will improve your chances of being accepted. If you are applying for a job in a hotel, then you should go in formal dress. For positions in a restaurant or bar, smart casual would be in order.

Opening a bank account can be done on arrival, just visit a bank with your passport and relevant documentation. Most people manage to open up a bank account with relative ease. The biggest banks are ANZ, Commonwealth, Westpac, National and Suncorp. You just need a passport, Tax File Number (TFN), address and a copy of your visa grant. Learn more about applying for a Tax File Number.

Testimonials

Bella Song comes from Korea where she is a computer programmer for an online marketing company. After studying English at BROWNS and attending BROWNS Jobs Club, she now has a full time job as a cleaner with one of Brisbane’s leading companies. Bella says she didn’t realize how different it was finding work in another […]


Angie arrived from Colombia with a background in engineering and the dream of building her career in Australia. After only one month and one week here, Angie Londoño is now the newest employee at one of Australia’s leading exporters of agricultural equipment.  As Pratco’s new Business Development Manager, she will be responsible for finding new markets […]


Kae Yodwangjai is a child protection social worker in Thailand. She came to Australia to study English and to work, and because Australians are so friendly! She is now working as a waitress at the well-respected Chiang Mai Thai Restaurant in Surfers Paradise. ‘I love the weather and the clean air and the beautiful beaches […]


Mashashi Suenega from Japan ticked both of these boxes when he enrolled in BROWNS Jobs Club. ‘Jobs Club helped me prepare my resume so I was ready when the employer asked’, he says. Masashi-san is now working as a kitchenhand and waiter in KADOYA restaurant in the historic Elizabeth Arcade in Brisbane. ‘What I treasure […]