There's a lot of misunderstanding around how hard it is to get a job in Mandurah. Sure, certain types of companies don't set up shop here, you'll have to commute to Perth.
But I hear from business owners a fair bit about how hard it is to find suitable people willing to work hard.
I know these may seem obvious to some, but here's a few pointers for finding work that I wish every young person knew.
1. Fix your Facebook profile.
It's really cute that you think getting drunk each weekend with your mates is totes amazeballs, but if that's the aspect of your life you present online, there's a slim chance your resume will make it to the top of any pile. Be assured that EVERYONE looks up potential staff on Facebook now.
Before you apply for that job tomorrow, go to your Facebook account and head to settings, then select privacy, then select the "limit past posts" options, then press the "Limit Past Posts" button. This will make anything you've posted on Facebook only visible to your friends.
You still may want to spend some time cleaning up your profile pic (that picture of you with a bong probs isn't the best choice), and also hide or delete past profile and cover photos. They're public unless you choose otherwise in settings.
2. Know in your heart you're going to be rejected 99% of the time.
Don't apply for a job with high expectations in your head. The disappointment and rejection will make you depressed and you'll give up after a week. Make peace in your heart with the fact that 99% of the businesses you apply at will not want to hire you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't put your best foot forward. It just means you have stared the cold, hard reality of life in the face, grabbed it by the throat, and wrestled it to the ground.
No-one in the private sector gives a damn about your feelings. They don't care that you NEED a job. Customers don't come to their stores because the stores NEED customers. That's not how the world works and anyone who told you otherwise lied to you.
You will only be hired if it's clear you will make more money for the company that what you will cost them. End of story.
So apply for everything. And be at peace with all the rejections before they happen. And when they happen, accept them, know you're one step closer to a great job, and keep going.
3. At least do some volunteer work.
Do you know who businesses like hiring the most? People who already have jobs. They have demonstrated they're hard workers, they have commitment, and they know what to do. Training someone who has no experience is the most painful thing in the world for a small or medium business owner.
And if your resume points out that you either don't have a job, or haven't worked for the last 6 months, an employer is simply going to wonder, rightly or wrongly, what's wrong with you?
Many times they'll guess you either lack a good work ethic, or maybe other employers know something about you that makes you unsuitable.
But there is a way around this conundrum.
Go and work at a charity, a soup kitchen, a not for profit, a local business... anything. If you're not applying for jobs, volunteering beats sitting on the playstation. First, you'll feel good about yourself and develop your self worth. You'll be contributing to the community and it will mean a lot to someone who you help. Second, it will look great on your resume. The fact that despite not having someone to tell you what to do you went and took some initiative and found a way to gain experience, speaks volumes to an employer.
4. Be aware of basic body language and learn some manners.
I get it. You think you're an introvert and you were raised on Instagram and talking to people in the real world is icky. Well, that may be true but you'll need to learn a few skills, become a professional gamer, or stay on the dole.
You need to learn how to do a firm handshake. A proper handshake tells people you know what you're doing and are competent.
You need to look people in the eye and speak clearly. If you can't look an employer in the eye and hold a coherent conversation, how can they expect you to function around your colleagues or clients?
5. Apply for jobs that aren't advertised.
Is there a business you think you could or would like to work at? Go and see them. Take a resume. Often times business owners are too swamped to even get the job vacancy they need filled posted online, and they'll grab whoever is around at the time.
Keep applying for the advertised positions too of course.
I get that it's hard looking for a job. Each rejection feels like a thousand blows to your gut and the risk of rejection is enough for the mind to create a lot of excuses as to why you have better things to do than look for work.
But it's up to you. It's not the tax payer's job to hold your hand and pay for your Xbox Live subscription while you should be out looking for work. Plenty of local business owners have amazing stories of starting with nothing, working hard, and ending up owning and running their own, profitable companies.
You can join their ranks if you want. It's hard work. But it can be done.