Let me set the context first…
In late March 2018, I came across a LinkedIn post of an international student who went to one of Australia’s largest careers fair, The Big Meet, held in his respective state.
I believe there were more than 100 employers present representing a wide variety of industries and hunting for talent from different disciplines.
This candidate from the Asian subcontinent made a LinkedIn post stating that the event was a huge disappointment because most employers did not even consider hiring international students.
He mentioned that it’s unjustifiable because international students spend so much money to come to Australia, have to jump through hoops to adjust to Australian culture and then encounter more hurdles in looking for a job.
Here’s my open, honest, heartfelt and uncensored letter to him…
### Not for the faint hearted. ###
I understand where you’re coming from. And I know exactly what you’re going through – I’ve been there myself.
I myself arrived in Australia as an international student in 2011 and have struggled to find a job. Countless employers only hired and considered candidates who have an Australian citizenship or Australian PR (Permanent Residency). There was pretty much little chance of me landing a graduate opportunity on a student’s visa.
Even after getting my PR, I still struggled to find a job. I had to send out 526 resumes over the course of 561 days to land a full-time role as a business and management trainer.
I know several groups (career practitioners, industry bodies, tertiary educators, etc) are doing their part to educate and re-educate employers about the value of international students and to hopefully persuade them to be more flexible in their hiring policies.
Until things change, you have to change first.
Apart from this, stop the whining, whinging and complaining! Your attitude sucks. Call a spade a spade.
If you were my son, I’d spank you and get you to wake up your idea right away.
You can either be a whiner or a winner, but you can’t be both. And right now, you lean more towards one than the other.
I don’t care how skilled or experienced you were in your home country. You might be a manager or executive back there, but so what? If you were a manager in your home country, then you better demonstrate a manager-like attitude when you are in a new country.
Because you chose to come to Australia in search of opportunities and a better life, you’ll need to understand and play by the rules over here. You’ll need to do your part, play your part, hustle and grind, and do what’s needed to get what you want.
You produced an elaborate write-up on your disappointment – 4 to 5 paragraphs of text and a collage of you posing with various employer booths.
Congratulations, you have excelled at describing the problem. But can you do equally well to come up with solutions?
You can blame employers for not taking on international students. But do you have enough balls to be the employer yourself (create a business or company) to hire international students?
Employers don’t pay people to identify or talk about problems – they can leave it to their customers and competitors. Employers pay people to solve problems.
How do you think you sound like when you’re coming up with excuses?
Oh, I’m an international student. Oh, I’m a person of colour. Oh, my name isn’t Anglo-sounding. Oh, I don’t have local work experience.
Hey. Wake up! You can either spend your time, effort and energy on making excuses, or you can spend it on improving your situation and making things better.
Let me ask you a few questions.
How many of those employers in the career fair have you spoken to? How many have you connected with on LinkedIn? How many have you arranged for a follow-up phone call or coffee catch up?
How much time do you spend each week attending events and networking sessions?
How much time do you invest in growing, training and developing yourself (via workshops, conferences, seminars, courses, books, etc)?
How much time do you spend meeting with people who play a bigger game than yourself? Or are you primarily hanging out with friends who are jobless and are just blaming something/someone for their state of unemployment?
Get to work.
Pursue success and greatness so that you will have increased capacity and capability to serve, give and help those around you.
The mediocre complain; the great train. The mediocre criticize; the great actualize. The mediocre stagnate; the great dominate.
Which one do you want to be?
Yes, I know that this might offend you. But this is no-BS advice that offends the mediocre, but inspires the great. If you still can’t take it, here are some cat videos on Youtube.
Download the Career Starter Kit which I’ve put together and take full ownership of your career.
Go for gold!
Send any rebuttals to [email protected]