Common Employment Challenges: New migrants to Australia can face considerable challenges when looking for work in their field. Difficulties can range from a lack of knowledge about the labour market and recruitment practices, to qualifications not being recognised, un-established professional networks, language barriers, and discrimination from employers. There are, however, solutions to all these challenges. SMP has put together the following tips to assist you in moving quickly into jobs that match your qualifications and skills.
Visit the Australian Government Website: Do your homework before moving to Australia. Go to www.border.gov.au for reliable information on what you need to do prior to, and after you migrate. Take advantage of the information available, such as how to meet Australian requirements to work in your profession, or where to find recruitment agencies that can assist you with settling into your career.
Develop a Comprehensive Settlement Plan: Develop a settlement plan for successful integration into the Australian labour market. Your plan should include a checklist that outlines the steps you need to take before and after arrival. Using a settlement plan will help you to better prepare for your new life in Australia by prioritising tasks and developing a timeline for achieving your goals.
Connect with a Recruitment Agency: Knowing what to prioritise amidst the volume of information available can be overwhelming. This is why connecting with staff at a recruitment agency is one of the most important steps you can take. Research has shown that newcomers who enlist the support of a reliable resource, knowledgeable about the Australian workplace environment, have better outcomes in securing employment commensurate with their skills.
Have Your Credentials Assessed: Do not assume that your credentials and work experience outside of Australia will be sufficient to secure employment. Some professions such as nurses, lawyers and engineers require special licensing to work in Australia. It is not the employer’s responsibility to check foreign credentials, so having yours pre-assessed can improve your opportunities. Credential assessment and licensing processes can be lengthy and you should begin them, if possible, before you arrive in Australia.
Find a Mentor: Mentors can provide advice and guidance specific to your industry or area of expertise. The concept of having a mentor may be unfamiliar to you, however, recent studies have shown that having a mentor is very effective in helping newcomers connect with employers and other professionals.
Improve Your Language and Communication Skills: Lack of communication skills, especially sector-specific language skills, is a risk for job seekers and for employers. Possessing technical skills and qualifications are not substantial enough to get a job. Employers place high importance on employable skills that are generic and transferable to all job roles.
Build a Network Often, it is not what you know but who you know that can help you secure employment commensurate with your experience. Building a network will help to connect you with people in your industry and let them get to know you. Attending industry forums, joining a professional association and having a mentor are great ways to build your network.
Get Involved in Your Community: This can help you to develop your communication skills and increase your network. Take part in activities such as volunteering, attending community events, join clubs and sports teams, visit the library and get involved in your child’s school.
Up-Skill with Bridging Courses: Start researching to find out available courses that are relevant to your profession. Completion of short courses to build on your skills can sometimes help you to get your first job in Australia