Employment

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A few simple tips on finding jobs anywhere:

  • Don’t apply for just one-ever.
  • Apply for 2-300 if you live in the city
  • Apply for ones that are above your skill level
  • Search in fields outside the normal. Yes, you’ve done retail most of your life but are you sure you couldn’t get into corporate world via reception?
  • If you’ve been working for a while, try your hand at management.
  • Remember that they’ll only ever call you back if they’re interested. So once they have called you back, remember that. Don’t doubt your skills or what’s on your resume.
  • Make an awesome resume. I can’t emphasize this enough. Your resume sums up your life and you in 3 pages. Make it glow.
  • Don’t lie, but don’t feel bad about extending what you can actually do.
  • Always, always thank jobs that reply with “Thankyou for the opportunity”.
  • Where possible, make phone contact, not email, let your personality shine through.
  • Nail the first interview. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Learn about the company, the job, the responsibilities.  Have an answer ready for everything. I personally wing it, but I’m good at on the spot questions. You can never be too prepared for an interview.
  • Shine in the first 3 months. This is your probationary period. Rock their socks off.
  • If a friend has referred you, do NOT let them down. You look like an asshole and they look like an idiot for referring you.
  • Be polite, don’t swear and don’t use slang in any conversations or interviews unless they do too,  even then. Be wary, it could be a tester to see how readily you drop the F bomb.
  • Enjoy yourself. If you don’t get it, there’s plenty more out there.
  • Look everywhere. Don’t limit yourself to one computer site, one paper etc. Look everywhere.
  • Be you. That’s important. Don’t fake a personality. When you get to the actual job and start being yourself, they’ll wonder what the hell changed.
  • I’ll say it again. Enjoy yourself, have fun. Consider any jobs you don’t get practice for ones you really, really want.

Making the Right Decisions

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Making the right decisions is intrinsic in your ability to enjoy the life style you’re trying to set up for yourself. One wrong choice can leave you in a lot of pain for days, weeks or even years in a worst case scenario.

Think about every decision you make that can have short and long-term consequences. Think that for every action you take, there’s a reaction, be it positive or negative.

Take for example the decision not to pay a bill. Whether you’re on your high horse and have determined you shouldn’t have to pay or you are struggling with keeping afloat. The decision not to pay a bill can have repercussions that spans years. The cost of a default is 5 years of bad credit history- That hurts. I know, I’ve done it. For the past 4 something years I’ve not been able to set up a phone account that requires a credit check, have not been able to apply for a loan- House or personal, can’t get a credit card to be utilised to improve my credit rating (Yes this can be done) and I can’t do anything -anything- at all that requires a credit check or credit history check.

Quite literally, if you have a bad credit rating- You’re buggered in terms of setting yourself up. A personal loan would of solved the majority of my current dilemmas, as well as compile all my financial issues into one manageable sum.

The choice not to pay a bill has had some massive repercussions.

This extends to area (choosing where to live), employment (choosing what job and how much salary to expect and accept), friends (drama and unneccessary stress versus level of support) and social decisions (choosing when to go out and spend, versus when to stay in and harbor the funds).

Making the right choices is everything when you don’t have a viable support network there ready to catch you when you fall.

Be careful, plan your decisions on paper, and make sure you keep all your debtors in the loop on what you intend to do.

Also, sorry on the brief hiatus. Life get’s a little hectic in the rental setting yourself up world!

Friends-Etiquette

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If you’re in share accommodation then it’s most likely that you won’t know the network of the individual/s you’re sharing with and they won’t know yours.

It’s best if you plan ahead and give your house mate/s plenty of notice that someone will be coming over. If you’re going to have a big weekend and you might end up back at yours, let them know so they can either get out of the house for a little, or be prepared for some drunk stumbling and loud voices that night.

You wouldn’t appreciate coming home to ten people inside your living room that you don’t know and aren’t friends with, so try not to put your house mates through the same thing.

Give them at least two days notice of a big night/sleep over/girlfriend visit/friends gathering and see if there’s anything you can do to make it more bearable. You’ll appreciate it a whole heck of a lot more when they do the same thing to you!

Don’t let your friends leave without giving you a hand to tidy up a little either, especially if you’ve trashed the place. There’s nothing worse than waking up to the equivalent of a bomb shelter and no one in sight that even resembles like they might be doing something to remedy the mess.

When someone goes

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It’ll either be incredibly saddening or a massive celebration, depending on your relationship. There are, unfortunately, a multitude of things you need to do before they go (aside from have a going away party).

  • Make sure no rent is outstanding with your real estate
  • Make sure no damage has occurred in their living space
  • If there is damage caused by the individual make sure to have a discussion with them about taking some of the bond to cover the damages
  • Make sure you have a replacement tenant (if you need/want one)
  • Make sure you’ve separated their stuff and your stuff and are agreed that is exactly what it is
  • Make sure to give the real estate agent two weeks notice
  • Make sure to get into the real estate and sign all appropriate paper work
  • Make sure to party hard prior to them leaving
  • Make sure to get their contact details in case anything should crop up in regards to before they vacated
  • Have any bills in their name signed over to yourself
  • Get prepped for the new house mate
  • Write out an advert to place online/in the paper for the vacancy
  • Make sure you time the new tenant/your increase in rent payments with the departure of the previous one
  • Make sure the previous tenant returns all their keys and any copies
  • If required, do another condition report
  • Get a forwarding number for any callers or visitors to the house
  • Clean!

You should find that this list (while extensive) will not leave you unprepared for a new housemate or life without your old housemate. Also be prepared for a house balance shift and personality adjustment. Different housemates have different tendencies and you might move in with one of the house mate types as discussed in previous posts.

Lead Tenancy

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Lead Tenancy is a program operated by CHL and some government youth housing organisations. If you do a google search on Lead Tenancy+”state”, you should bring back 2-3 top results on the program.

Lead Tenancy is designed for people with excellent morales, organisational skills, cleaning, ethics and responsibility. You need to be prepared to deal with issues that young people face every day, be highly aware of developing problems, and be of an encouraging and respectful nature.

Lead Tenancy runs in a variety of established accommodation (be it units, apartments or houses), who you are allocated to is not your choice, however you can state a preference for male or female co-habitants and you can state a preferred area.

You will be required to look after the individual/s and make sure that they are leading a responsible, good choice life. You will be responsible for their in-house welfare, but are not their parent. This should be remembered when dealing with the youth. You cannot tell them what to do, or how to do it, you can only offer advice.

You will be required to advise on shopping, social choices, cleaning, hygiene, youth issues and troubles. You need to be available to those in your household at all hours, and be able to get back in case something is wrong. You will need to help them in developing meaningful relationships and also in gaining employment.

You have constant contact with the Case Worker who situated the youths. There is a communication book used to log any and all issues and meetings, it is imperative you keep a log. Regular meetings will be arranged to discuss issues within the house.

Lead tenants are not paid. Instead they are offered subsidised or non-existant rent. Do not go into this for the money. Sometimes issues will push you to the edge, the stress of living with a misplaced or irresponsible youth can push you to the edge. However, if you are dedicated to assisting in youth welfare, the money will be of little to no importance and you will be pleased just making sure another youth isn’t left homeless on the streets.

Do it if you feel you are dedicated enough to youth issues. If I didn’t have a partner and wasn’t beginning a family, I’d jump at the opportunity. Anglicare aided me in my youth and I’d do anything I could to repay them for not leaving me homeless.

The experience will leave you with a profound sense of well-being. You are assisting in removing the homeless from our streets and helping and encouraging young people to grow and spread their wings.

I have previously done Lead Tenancy in a small country town. I feel the experience not only helped my co-tenant grow, but also aided me in my responsibility and outlook on life. Be responsible, be encouraging and you will reap the rewards.

Relationships

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Inevitably, unless you intend on being single or becoming a crazy cat lady, you’re going to move in with your partner, you might even develop a relationship with your current house mate.

Relationships should be encouraged in a living environment. There’s no need to be afraid of moving in with a partner (Well…unless you feel your partner may have psychotic tendencies and the next morning you’ll wake up with no skin!). A boyfriend/girfriend/fiancee can provide an extremely supportive and encouraging environment to live in, they provide a sounding board for ideas, gentle pushes when we don’t want to do things that we know we should.

However, certain cautions must be taken around particular issues.

  • Finances
  • Rent
  • Shopping
  • Gender differences
  • Household duties
  • Miscommunication
  • Social Differences

Keep your head. These are things that are always going to come up in a relationship, but due to different genders, different upbringings, different viewpoints, different opinions, conflict is bound to arise. Discuss them calmly and rationally. If things get out of hand, don’t be stupid and think you can keep a calm rational head while you’re seething. Take a minute or two out and have a breather.

I personally am against the leaving the house option. I’m also against going to bed on the tail of an unresolved argument. I prefer to resolve the problem then and there. If we can’t find a resolution for the issue, then we will agree to disagree. I think a lot of people forget this fact, or ignore the ideal altogether. You don’t have to agree on everything. Every conversation does not have to lead to both parties agreeing, arguments are exactly the same. If after three to four minutes of revisiting the topic in the same conversation the other party still doesn’t see your point of view, try agreeing to disagree. Then cuddle.

It is important that a cuddle comes at the end of every argument. It’s closure, it’s comfort, it’s showing that “Yes, we fought- but I still love you.” If you’re too mad for a cuddle, walk away for a minute, breathe deep, remind yourself why you love that person- then head back.

I’ve found money to be the largest cause for concern, unless you’re pulling over 70k a year, and leading an average non-high spending life. Money is a stickler. If you don’t need to buy shopping, you need petrol, if you don’t need petrol, you need to get your car fixed, while your car is broken you’ll need to take public transport. There is so much potential here for arguments it’s not funny.

Discuss. Just try talking about it all as it comes. Explain how you want to deal with it, ask how your partner wants to deal with it. Realise that you’re each there for a support network. Don’t bottle it up until it becomes too much to handle. Get it out, regularly.

Talk. Always always talk. Communication is key.