Am I ready to work?

You have work rights, you want to work and you need to earn money. Sometimes, this is different from being
ready and able to work. There are a few things you need to ask yourself before you start
applying for jobs in Australia.

Have a look at the information below, and check our Ready to Work checklist to make
sure you have prepared well.

In Australia, if you are working, it is expected that work will be your priority.

This means that you cannot miss work because of a doctor’s appointment, sports, religious commitments or meetings with friends. The only reason you may miss work is for your migration hearings, but even then, you need to let your employer know in advance. You can also miss work if you are too sick to work, but you need to let your employer know if you won’t be able to come in.

When you work as a ‘casual’, there is an expectation from the employer that you will be available most of the time when they call you. If you say ‘No’ a few times, they may stop calling you and find someone else who is available.

So before you start applying for work, you need to make sure you organise your life so that your appointments take place at times when you are not working.

Looking for work is very demanding. You may receive a lot of rejections, you need to go to job interviews and be at your best… And then when you find work, you may need to go every day and work long days in difficult conditions. So it is important that you feel well enough physically and mentally.

For instance, ask yourself if you:

  • Have trouble sleeping, go to sleep really late and cannot wake up in the morning? Then look for afternoon or night shifts that would best suit you.
  • Have a bad back, or some other injury? Then look for work that does not involve heavy lifting, twisting or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Are on medications that make you feel sleepy or confused? Then look for part-time work, or you may need to wait until you finish these medications before you can look for work.

One of the main reasons why asylum seekers struggle to find work is because most of them do not have a car.

There is no point applying for a job that you know is too far for you to get to. Public transport does not go everywhere and may not start early enough to allow you to get to the job on time.

So before you apply or accept a job, make sure you can get there. In Victoria, you can check how to get to the workplace on the Public Transport Victoria website:

On the first day, give yourself plenty of time to get to your workplace to make sure you won’t be late.  You may even try to go there the day before you start to see how long it takes you and to make sure you know how to get there on time.

Check that you have done all your preparation with this Ready to work Checklist - pdf.