Job for a girl

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Worries and satisfaction for a job seeking

As we wrote before, Helenka got the work visa and so she started to seek for a job. But how to seek for a good job in Christchurch for a girl? Where to seek? How to prepare for an interview? What to expect? I will tell you my story where you can find out answer for all these questions.

Before we departure to New Zealand, I was working several years for a one very good Czech Bank, so I have a years of experience in administrative position in big corporate company. Plus, I have a great hobby, I am certified massage therapist. Because I love massaging I decided to try my luck and find a massage job. I upgraded my CV, found some massage saloons in Christchurch and started to call them and sent them  my CVs and Cover letters. I´ve called to almost 15 saloons, but nor from one they didn´t bothered themselves even to answer me. So I printed my CV and decided to attract potential employer face to face. When I came to the first saloon, they told me that they really don´t want to hire any new masseur, in the second saloon they took my CV and told me they will call me in case they will need somebody and in the third saloon it was the same story. I refused to be a masseur here. I thought I could be a self-employed masseur, but I realized it is an insanity after a talk with another Christchurch masseur.

Hmmm, I have to search differently and in different places.

I started to search for a job in administrative. I was seeking in job advertising websites several hours a day and was answering to almost every position I found interesting. Without any result. They mostly even didn´t replied. No wonder. Christchurch is a post-earthquake city and is been rebuilding. Men can find here a job in building industry till the second day, but it is harder for women. I told to myself I must be doing something wrong. So I asked for a job in one world-known fast food company (which starts with letter M – you must know it) a started to work there.

I was the only foreigner in there (except of two Philippine girls and two Indians in the kitchen) and the manager left me the first day in front desk, right behind the register. It was really hard, because I didn´t understand what customers want (they didn´t provide me any training), I couldn´t manipulate with the register and my colleagues behaved like they were annoyed with my questions. It was better on the second day and then I became accustomed with how things any going. In the meantime, I wrote to five biggest personal agencies, that I would like to speak with some job specialist and improved my CV with him or her. Of course I chose such some agencies which were specializing to administrative positions.

There was the only one agency they answered my email. It was an Enterprise Agency. The personalist sent me a link to the online testing of MS Office skills and typing skills and I made it. Then, she invited me to a personal interview. The test was very easy. There were tasks like format maintenance, folders pasting, rewriting of invoices. I am sure every teenager would make it. I was successful from 98%.

Leanne´s interview

After I came to the agency, I fulfilled several questionnaires and the contract. Then, Leanne came into the room and we started to chat. It was for sure the best job interview I´ve ever experienced.

You can imagine that stupid and irrelevant questions like: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Tell me your greatest virtue, tell me your greatest weakness. Or Why should I choose you instead of the guy whom I was interviewing before you? And so one…

Every time I hear these bullshits, I make my notion about the person who is asking these question. It shows that personalists choosing new employees to the position have very low sense of creativity and don´t do their job well. It is so easy and comfortable to download several clichés and repeat them during the interview. These people must have some complex of superiority or are completely dumb and need to hide it somehow.

And you know what? Leanne wasn´t asking me these questions. It was very honest and very concreate dialog about my skills and abilities, she was asking me very direct questions concerning of abilities I wrote to my CV. They were questions like: What exactly were you doing when you answered a phone call of angry client? What were you doing when you realized you made a mistake in report? Etc…

We were talking about our reason to go to the New Zealand. She was very interested when I was talking about my voluntary work for Red Cross Shop. Interview lasted maybe one hour and it was a pleasuring meeting. In the end Leanne brought her colleague, who was responsible for jobs for Environment Canterbury. Leanne introduced me to her and asked me if I would like to work in administration for Environment Canterbury.

It is a little difficult to explain what is it. It is a local government for Canterbury district we live in. There are 7 commissioners as a chairmen and chairwomen, who are elected by local people. This local council is responsible for air, water and earth in our district. They provide for example consents for taking a gravel from riverbeds, take care of quality of air in cities or bore drilling. They needed someone with office experience for Records Department (archive responsible for every document concerning of ECan). Every document need to be in digital archive, so it is a lot of work.

Of course I agreed immediately with a pleasure and prepared myself to Friday´s interview at ECan. I didn´t want to go to fast food any more. But… Nobody contacted me and Leanne just wrote me an email next week, that they´ve cancelled my position at ECan, so they don´t look for anyone. My world totally collapsed. Now I know it was silly, but I felt like they betrayed me, total end of my hopes. I continued to work for dirty fast food. I received a call from Leanne from Enterprise next Thursday. She invited me with uncovered joy they want me to see tomorrow at ECan, because they´ve changed their minds. I had an interview there (actually it wasn´t interview, my future manger just explained me work I´m supposed to do and asked me if I am prepared for that), they´ve showed me building and after half an hour I had a call from Enterprise agency confirming my interview was successful and I was chosen as a new staff member.

Now, I have my first week at ECan. I need to precise, because when I made mistake in number, all electronic file of important documents couldn´t be find. So cross finger for me to make it. It is not easy for me. There is a lot of words I don´t understand and without which I am not able to get the point what I must do. For example, I must sort of the documents concerning of some moorings. I have to know the size of moorings, what is need to do to approve someone´s property as a mooring etc. It is not good to don´t know how moorings look like. It is a fight, so I am fighting. Every day I come from my work, I am translating ECan´s webpages and learn term after term to know, what am I dealing with in my work. It is a fun for me.

It is work I love. I must say that Leanne is a real professional because she realized without silly clichés find out what I can do well and what will make me happy.

What is the conclusion and how to find a good job as a girl?
  • Go for volunteering! It is a great occasion how to know people, practice English in everyday life, understand how does the city work. New Zealanders (and Christchurch people especially) value volunteers a lot. Many of great projects are in care of volunteers (Gap Fillers, Red Cross, Habitat,…). You will enjoy time in a volunteering group a lot. Here you can choose:

You can go and chat with elderly people during having a cup of coffee, you can go for a walk in forest and control touristic tracks, you can remove pests or help to people in hospitals. It is only up to you and your interests.

There is another great benefit of volunteering – you will feel better spiritually. You will feel somebody needs you, you will be amongst people, you can have a talk to someone.

  • Write an email to an agency concerning of seeking people to position you are qualified for. It is possible you´ll receive only one answer as I did, but if they invite you to the interview, you may win your job seeking fight.
  • Install the Grammarly to your computer. It is for free and this program will check everything you’ll write in English (in you Cover letters, CVs etc.).
  • Don´t lie it your CV. Don´t write there any experience you don´t have just because the particular job offer sounds good to you. It is not too bad to write time of your experience longer than it was. If you´ve been working as a receptionist in a hotel and have really good notion about this kind of job, I can´t see any problem to extend time of experience.
  • Prepare as best as you can for an interview if they´ll invite you. Prepare couple of concrete examples of your task in previous position (which will be a source of knowledge for the future one). Think about how you´ve been solving tasks there. They can ask you why did you decide to leave to New Zealand (they are curious J) and why are you going to do here. Be honest.
  • Communicate, don´t let the person to perform a monolog. Ask the question you want to know the answer (concerning of the company of course). Notice, that you are not going to be a slave or you are not begging for the work. You must decide if the company is good and you´ll be happy in there.
  • And the most important thing in the end – always have a hope, believe in yourself and fight for it!!!