Ok, I might be a tad biased. Yes, I may have taken a gap year after I finished school. But I really and truly do believe that the benefits of taking a year between school and university or perhaps between school and the workforce is, well, priceless!
I’ve read a few articles on why people are against students taking a gap year, and quite honestly, I think their reasons are ridiculous (that’s not the word I wanted to use, but it does the job). Such as “you’ll be homesick” and “you’ll be a year behind”. Excuse me? Are you for real? Clearly everyone is on the affirmative for taking a gap year because these aren’t even real reasons. A year behind what? Life? Honestly.
Now my rant is over. Here are the 4 awesome reasons!
I feel like this is a point I’ve mentioned before, but it’s still important. I know very few people who knew the exact career path they wanted to take, went to university and are still on the same path. Circumstances change, people change.
Why go straight to university when you have absolutely no idea what you want to study? Taking a gap year might not give you all the answers to life, but it will certainly open your mind to different opportunities, different cultures and perhaps different careers that you didn’t even know existed. I know when I was at school, I was extremely narrow minded in what kind of jobs were out there. When you travel and see the world, you are privy to a whole new way of life.
So you’ve just finished thirteen years going through school and now you want to start another 3-5 year degree? Why?
Most of the people I knew from school did exactly this and by the time they get half way through their degrees, they are itching. They want to travel, they want to take a break, and they are absolutely run down.
Many people think that taking a gap year will put you behind your studies. If you ask me, this is complete lie. If anything, a gap year works like a refresh button. You take the year to travel, work, meet people, and you come back ready to face the next step. Refreshed.
You’ve just finished school; it’s likely you have about zero responsibilities. What a perfect time to book a ticket, pack a bag and jet set! There won’t be too many more perfect opportunities like that.
Ok, I’m just going to say this once. While you’re on your gap year, you will not only learn about the world, you will learn about yourself. Done. I know that that’s a pretty standard thing to say, but it’s true. I really do think you can tell the people who have travelled from those haven’t. It’s something about the way that they present themselves. They know who they are.
It’s not that you travel to some exotic destination and “find yourself”. But when you take a gap year, you have to make decisions, and deal with situations on your own. You learn how to be around yourself. And I think this is the most important thing, because it’s something you’ll never lose.
If you’ve taken a gap year, we want to chat to you! Let us know in the comments below and we can get in touch. Or you can message us on Facebook.
I couldn’t believe it when I found out about these illegal job interview questions! No doubt employers are aware that there are certain questions that are an absolute no go zone, but do the applicants? I certainly didn’t!
You are only allowed to be asked interview questions that are relevant to the job you are applying for. So keep your ear out for any sneaky behavior by your interviewer! They will try to get some of these out of you.
If you are asked any of the following in your next job interview, remember that it’s your right not to answer:
Surely a date of birth is something that many people have written on their resumes? But yep, unless it’s relevant to your job (such as having to be over 18 to work in a bar), your age is your business in a job interview. Which I’m surely many people are thankful for!
Seriously? Apparently this is off limits as an interview question as it can reveal your sexual orientation. Some people also see it as sexist, which leads into my next question…
If you have kids or plan on having children, then your employer may think that you will be more likely to take time off. Then there’s also the maternity leave they have to pay for…Therefore: Restricted Area.
Only “are you fluent in English?” or something along those lines is legal in a job interview. Applicants are not to be discriminated against based on their heritage and cultural background; therefore you don’t have to say where you come from or what your first language is! No doubt this question gets abused quite often.
Similar to above, religious beliefs should not come into the decisions of an employer.
Even people who have committed crimes are protected in a job interview! Have we gone a bit far? I mean, come on. You are allowed to be asked if you have a criminal record yet not if you’ve been arrested. Never fear, karma has a way.
Of course, if it’s relevant to the job at hand then it’s in bounds. That doesn’t seem safe to me.
This relates to number 1 as it allows employers to guess your age, which is illegal! Seriously? Seriously? I mean, seriously?
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There will be at least one time in your career when you will want to quit your job. That’s normal. When you start waking up each day, dreading the 8 hours ahead of you, then it’s time to consider changing jobs.
Do your research first. Take a look at these 5 signs and analyze your own situation – are you happy in your workplace? Changing careers is a huge decision; you want to make sure you’re making the right one.
Everyone will experience a time in their career when they are not completely satisfied. However, you need to distinguish between temporary dissatisfaction with long term overall unhappiness (for lack of a better word).
If you’re losing sleep, experiencing nightmares, dreading the days you have to go into work and wasting your weekends aware by the fear of Monday – it’s time to think about changing careers. Basically, if it’s taking a toll on your mental health, get out fast.
Sorry for being clichéd but…money doesn’t buy happiness. Clichés are clichés for a reason, because they are often true. If the only positive thing about your job is the cash, then perhaps enough is enough. Your career should be where you are able to express your skills and passion and if you cant do that, then consider changing careers.
Finish this sentence: My boss is a …
The first thing that pops into your mind will tell you how you feel. It might not be your boss; it could be your colleagues. At first I thought, “Surely you shouldn’t quit your job based on how you feel about those around you?” Then again. These are people you spend everyday with. If they don’t make you happy, then what’s the point?
A big sign it’s time to be changing jobs is when there’s no room for you to grow in your company. Are you being challenged? Is this the best that you can do? If there’s no room for promotion or to move to higher heights, then changing careers is a valid option.
Never try to fit a square peg into a round hole; it’s not the right fit. The same goes for company culture. If your workplace holds different values to your own, then it’s not a good fit. Work environment is extremely important to how you feel about your job and if it’s bringing you down then maybe enough is enough.
These four tips to be more productive at work are not the only ones in the book, but they are the most effective ways to get you back in the right direction.
Note: I’m prioritising by putting this tip at number one. It’s tempting to step into the office and make yourself feel productive at work by completing those simple tasks. Checking your emails. Replying to one or two. Making a quick phone call. Updating your calendar. Try not to fall into this trap.
How to prioritise? Complete the most important or urgent tasks first. Complete the job that’s been in the back of your mind all week. The more the day lingers on, the bigger the job will build in your mind. You are most energetic in the morning, so use this time to focus on the most important things of the day.
I’ve read numerous articles on what apps you need to be productive at work. I don’t buy it. We don’t need technology, if anything, it’s just another distraction for us to resist. A good old-fashioned pen and paper will help you feel more organised – write a simple “to do” list. It will make you feel accomplished once you get ticking away next to your completed tasks!
Creating a routine for your workday will help you to employ effective time management, an essential skill to being more productive at work.
Last, but not least. Taking breaks is important to maintain our motivation, energy and productivity. It’s a marathon not a sprint, you have to pace yourself. Working through the day without a break benefits no one, least of all your company. Yes, take lunch. During the day, when you find yourself getting fidgety, take the time to get up and stretch. This also helps tip number three, where you are maintaining time management in making sure not to wear yourself out!
As the end of the year begins to creep up on us, so does the flurry of University Open Days Australia wide. That’s right, the end of August will see this year’s Year 12 students pondering their next move, what to do after high school? Once you’ve completed the High School Certificate, what’s next?
It’s tempting to ignore everything and anything that happens after your last exam, but this is a vital time in your life. While the High School Certificate may seem to be the most important thing that will ever happen to your life right now, it’s not the end of time. There are more opportunities, more room to grow, and more chances to discover what career to pursue.
I spoke to a few successful women in the workforce who have their say on how to approach the University Open Days as well as how to choose the right course for you!
“My advice to those finishing their high school certificate and considering going to university is to make the time to visit campus’s to learn about the courses you are considering, get a feel for the campus and meet other students. University is going to be at least a 3 year commitment of your time, its a chance to make new friends and associates for life, have a lot of fun and its an opportunity to learn about an area that interests you. Play to your strengths, aim for a course that excites you, the most successful people are passionate about what they do and spend 80% of their time doing things they are good at.”
“Do your research. Speak to industry professionals in areas you think you could be interested in pursing. What does a day in their role look like? Could you see yourself doing that? What are the challenges of their role? Do you think that sounds right for you? I think one of the most challenging concepts to grasp is the reality that studying something does not translate to a role that is exactly the same in the workforce. The educational experience you have at uni in an Economics degree does not depict the journey you will have working as an Economist. Find out what it is like to actually work in that role and make sure you like the sound of it”
“Always keep in mind that there are so many different types of jobs that can be matched to your interests and that it is just a matter of identifying them."
"While it can be tempting to give them a miss when you're too busy studying, Open days are a really valuable way to get a glimpse of uni life and a better idea of what kind of courses you might be interested in. The key is making the day more about picking up a few pamphlets at faculty booths. A lot of universities offer great mini lectures and experts to chat to about everything from which course might be the right choice for you next year, to opportunities for studying abroad.
There is often the chance to talk to current students as well and this can be a great way to hear about some of the reasons why a course might suit you, and more importantly, why it might not! Remember to ask questions. Will there be an opportunity for work placements as credit? Will this course be theory based or have a strong practical side too? These things are important to consider when choosing courses so come prepared."
If you are coming to the end of your high school certificate and are feeling lost in a sea of university courses and left with no idea what direction to head – there are other options.
I am a huge advocate for travel. Many of my friends leapt into a university degree having little idea of what they hoped to use it for – 99% have since changed courses dramatically. What’s the point? It can often be a waste of money and a waste of time. Consider taking the time to take a gap year or alternatively, to enter the workforce and consider your options. For instance, There are loads of jobs available on OneShift! Here's what these women had to say on the subject...
“I highly recommend that every student has a goal of traveling, seeing new countries and learning about cultures provides so many lessons in life and travelling in those first 5 years out of school is a perfect time to venture far for extended periods of time.”
“University degrees are a financial and time investment, and I don't see the value in doing a degree 'just because'. If you have absolutely no idea what you want to do, your focus should be working this out with careers testing and personal skills analysis. Travel or join the workforce and then from those experiences, you are better placed to identify what your interests are in life or what elements you have enjoyed about your job that you might want to pursue.”
Keep an open mind when entering into this period of university open days
If you don't know what to do after high school, stop to consider other options such as travel
There are numerous career paths available that you may not even know about, do your research
Got any other advice? Let us know in the comments below!
For the fourth consecutive year Melbourne has once again been crowned the World’s Most Liveable City! Three Australian cities feature in the Top 10, with Melbourne whipping up a perfect score in categories including healthcare, sports, education and infrastructure.
The Economist Intelligence Unit assesses various lifestyle categories across 140 different cities all over the world each year. And clearly they are in love with Melbourne! I mean come on, four years in a row? And who can blame them? The Victorian capital is known for it’s creative vibes, trendy café lifestyle, whacky fashion and colourful graffiti covered streets.
I spoke to a Melbourne local to get the low down on just why Melbourne is so good. Here’s what he had to say:
“Melbourne is absolutely the world’s best city! I've worked in many cities around the world, as well as in every state in Australia and Melbourne is without a doubt my favourite. Jumping on a tram to cross the city, a walk across the Yarra River to South Bank, a great meal in China Town or a night out in Docklands. Melbourne and especially the CBD and surrounds are vibrant and alive yet it doesn’t feel busy or rushed like other cities”.
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Adelaide, Australia
6. Calgary, Canada
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
131. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
132. Tripoli, Libya
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Harare, Zimbabwe
135. Algiers, Algeria
136. Karachi, Pakistan
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Damascus, Syria
To most people, work from home can seem like the perfect lifestyle. However, it might not be the right decision for you. Consider these five things before talking it over with your boss.
Many people who work online believe they are suited to work from home. However, what I have found is that it doesn’t depend on the type of work you do but rather your personality. Do you find yourself taking short walks between the fridge and the pantry (or is it just me?), or perhaps finishing up some chores that didn’t get done on the weekend? If you really just want to work from home because you wouldn’t have to actually work, then maybe it’s not for you.
When you work from home, it’s important to create a space in your house that puts you in the right frame of mind. If you find yourself losing energy and the will to work along with it, then perhaps you should move from the bed to a desk.
Your boss needs to know that they’ve made the right decision to trust you. When you have an online meeting, it’s important to dress appropriately. If having the ‘business’ attire allows you to work more efficiently, perhaps it’s a good idea to dress up every morning.
A friend of mine had about a week in which she had to work from home in Melbourne. I remember her saying that she found herself working well into the night, as she got lost in her work schedule by being in a familiar environment. Now, I realise that most people would have the opposite issue by not working enough hours and taking advantage of being away from the office! Either way, it’s important to have a schedule.
If you’re not a parent, feel free to skip this last one!
Working from home does not include baby-sitting! This opportunity does not mean you will be able keep your job and save on pre-school fees. In fact, some businesses require proof of childcare before entrusting you to work from home.
Do you work from home? We'd love to hear how you manage! Comment below or find us on Facebook: OneShiftJobs
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Regrets are a fact of life. Everyone has them, whether they are small or large. And if you don’t, please let us in on the secret. It could range from wishing you attended an event, to wishing you chose a different degree or even wishing you chose a different career. It could be that you didn’t take a gap year, or that you didn’t apply for that job, even if it was a smaller salary. Whatever it is, one thing seems to stay the same. As the saying goes, “you always regret the things you didn’t do rather than the things you did”.
Your career should be somewhere for you to express your skills and creativity, not an area for you to feel a sense of regret. If you feel you are on the wrong path, then change course. If you regret the industry you have entered, then look into alternate fields. There is always something to be done, and there is no time like the present. You don’t want to spend fifty or more years of your life wondering what could have been!
OneShift recently conducted a survey that showed 49% of Australian University Graduates felt that their studies did not adequately prepare them for the workforce, while 80% also said that they believe experience is more highly valued than an education. This is interesting considering that the Sydney Morning Herald has recently reported that people have a greater tendency to feel regret if they did not complete tertiary education, perhaps feeling as though they had limited their options for success. There are liimitless opportunites for us to regret decisions that we did or didn't make in our career, but what are the most common?
The Harvard Business Review interviewed a diverse professional group of 30 and questioned them about their top 5 career regrets. And once again, they are all regrets about what people didn’t act upon rather than what they did. Here are the top 5 career regrets, try to learn from them:
All these five points focus on opportunities we didn’t act upon. We need to recognize that there is no perfect time, there is only now to make positive changes.
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Job interviews often get the best of us. Our nerves kick in, hands are sweating, your mind races through those answers that you’ve been practicing over and over. What we often forget is that the interview is just as important for the job seeker as it is for the potential employer. The interview isn’t just for the company to determine if you’re right for the position, it’s also for you to decide whether the position is right for you.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a full time or part time job, if it’s in hospitality or a corporate office environment, it’s about if the values of the company are in line with yours. It’s about if your future colleagues and managers are going to stimulate your growth. It's about what this position is providing for you.
Here are a few Friday tips for both parties on how to treat the interview:
Remember, your first impressions are just as important as those of the candidate, it could determine whether they want to work for you or not.
The right candidate is not necessarily the one with the glowing experience. It could be the person with limited experience, but is much more enthusiastic and passionate about the role. It’s not always about the skills, but rather about finding someone to fit in with the team.
Before you enter into an interview, you should have an idea of what you’re looking for in a new manager, company and role. What values do you look for in company culture? Are you looking for salary or flexibility?
Ask questions. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. There’s nothing worse than accepting a job offer only to realise it was the wrong decision.
There you have it, the two way street. Stop treating interviews as if one person is holding all the power, otherwise that's exactly what you're giving them.
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Unpaid internships: great experience or blatant exploitation? This debate is nothing new to the Australian media. However, with last week’s record high youth unemployment figures, the debate is heating up.
Youth unemployment figures have risen to a huge 20 percent last week, the highest figure in two decades reports the SMH. With this in mind, students are frantic to gain work experience and internships to try and secure themselves a job for completion of their degrees. The article also recorded that the Fair Work Ombudsman had received almost double the amount of complaints and inquiries regarding unpaid work experience over the last year.
Internships have become more than a resume builder, they are becoming a necessity. You don’t offer your free services to a potential employer, you compete. Many unpaid internships are even difficult and competitive to enter into, with numerous students aware of the rough workforce climate that awaits them.
The ABC has labeled internships a legal “grey area”. While some interns are ecstatic over their placements despite not being offered a job in return, others feel that they have been taken advantage of.
I spoke to a few OneShift users who have undertaken a variety of internships to see what they had to say. One student was undertaking a marketing internship that was organised through her college and stated,
“I felt that I was conducting an admin role within the company. Rather than teaching and mentoring me within the marketing field,I was performing duties which were beneficial to the business but not to my studies or professional development”.
This is where the issue lies, when the intern is performing duties that would usually be a paid position.
Another user undertook four separate internships, with only one being useful to her in finding work. The one useful placement did not offer her a job, but rather improved her skills and was guided through a role which she hoped to pursue (she now works in a similar role elsewhere). Furthermore, it is interesting to note that this was undertaken after the completion of her degree, illustrating the tough job market and the importance that is placed upon having this experience. She advises that,
“For an internship to be beneficiary, you need to be learning a specific role you wish to pursue rather than simply getting coffees for the boss”.
Not everyone takes internships as part of finishing a degree or qualification. However, some are completed out of self-interest. One such OneShifter spent five months in total across India and Cambodia, unpaid, out of self-interest. Although she did not get a job out of it, she said it gave her insight into the type of work she may want to pursue in the future. She also adds,
“I think internships are very helpful in personal growth, not just professional”.
Although internships are generally unpaid, I would argue that those in the role are actually paying to give up their free time. We don’t take into account how much it costs to travel to these places, to eat, to give up potential paid work to gain this supposedly valued experience. Therefore, the competitive nature of gaining an internship becomes even more so, with only those able to afford it going in the draw.
With the workforce becoming increasingly competitive to break into, internships and work experience are becoming more valued. This allows companies to take advantage of budding professionals while they try to crack the industry. While some internships may eventually lead to a job, there are countless unpaid internships that go by the wayside.