Jennifer Tice's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Surfers Paradise

So it’s now week three of living in Surfer’s Paradise and still no job prospects.  I am considering selling my soul at this point to work for a telemarketing company, more to come on that development.  Today I think I have found the source of my lack of job prospects  – outright age discrimination.

25 is the new 65

25 is the new 65

I rang up to answer an ad in the Gold Coast Bulletin for a retail stores associate and after a few general questions she asked me, “How old are you?”  I answered truthfully, 25 years of age, and with that I got a stuttered reply of, “well we are really looking for someone more junior.”  This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I have been directly asked my age from various managers.  Just asking this question to a potential applicant is grounds for an unethical hiring lawsuit, never mind actually admitting to me that I am too old for the job.

And since when is 25 too old to work in a retail store? Am I no longer in touch with the teen segment of society? Am I aging before my time? I find this shocking since most people I know think I look much younger than my age.  Yes I have an education and real life work experience, but I would honestly be truly happy folding t-shirts part-time while I am travelling. I guess it won’t be long now till my seniors discount kicks in.

It’s been two weeks since we arrived back in Surfers Paradise.  Our top priority in week one was landing an apartment – while sleeping on couches is economical, it doesn’t provide for a great night’s sleep! We started handing out resumes from day one though, knowing it might take a few weeks to land a job.  Luckily with internet at our new place it also made applying for jobs a lot easier. Today we are officially at week 2 plus a day and we are both still unemployed.  Andrew did get a brief stint as a waiter at a restaurant in Broadbeach, I won’t mention the name to spare them embarrassment, but they seem to be the worst run restaurant ever with a husband and wife on the edge of divorce running the show.

As for me, I have applied to every retail store and restaurant in the area with no luck, as well as numerous temp agencies and other online job postings.  I have even gone as far to start applying to commission only sales jobs – selling tickets/promotions on the street.  For me this sounds about as much fun as gouging my eyes out.  After a while you start to question your worth – how I am not qualified to sell t-shirts? Am I too old, too young, am I over-qualified, under-qualified? Or is it that they just don’t want to hire anyone who is not Australian born?  Whatever the case, being out of work this long is starting to take its toll. It’s quite the contrast from Sydney, where being there for the holiday season meant you could have your pick of jobs at any restaurant or store in the city.

It definitely has been a wakeup call – both in terms of perseverance and budgeting.  I would recommend to other travelers, that when looking of work outside of peak holiday times, it may take several weeks to land something.  Make sure you have enough cash to get you through that time, and you can never start too early.  For now, I am trying to keep my head up, and trying to think of this free time as a gift rather than a burden.  It’s funny, for most of us when we’re working, we always wish we had more free time to work on our hobbies or just relax, but not working for this long, can turn out to be too much of a good thing.  It looks like at that glitters is not gold here on the gold coast of Australia.

So you’re travelling around Australia and decide you want to spend a few months on the Gold Coast.  You have two options: 1. Spend two months showering with flip-flops and sharing a dorm room with 7 other flatmates, or 2. Look for an apartment to share.  Getting an apartment is generally cheaper than a hostel, more secure and means you can stock up on groceries and shower without those flip-flops (hopefully!).  Start early and be aggressive, getting an apartment can take several weeks depending on when the previous roommates are moving out so don’t wait until the last minute.  Here are a few tips on landing a great place on the Gold Coast:

  1. Gumtree.com.au – this is by far the best online resource for getting a place.  Call whenever you can for a faster response and always send an email to follow up. You can also find roommates and jobs here, but I found the job section to be quite limited for the Gold Coast.
  2. Hit up the universities – both Bond and Griffith University have accommodation posting boards on their campus and online at http://www.bond.edu.au/accom/offcampus.htm and  http://www.gugcstudentguild.com.au/
  3. Hostels – you are likely already staying at one, there are dozens in Surfers Paradise most of which of posting boards and other people looking for roommates
  4. Gold Coast Accommodation Service – Located on Beach road right across from the main strip, they have postings of people looking to let a room in their apartment and they can help you find an apartment for longer stays of 3-6 months for those looking for their own place all free of charge
  5. Gold Coast Bulletin – Wednesday and Saturday edition of the paper has a classified section for housing and jobs, if you miss it the news agency on Surfers Parade usually keeps copies around for a few days
  6. Other websites for rental accommodations that were helpful include www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au click the “Share” tab to find people looking for roommates

Good luck hunting! Don’t get discouraged as you will likely end up seeing a dozen places before you find one you like.  Keep your head up and don’t settle and before you know it you will be saying good-bye to dorm rooms and hello to peace and quiet!

After exactly 5 weeks of travelling D day is here – it’s time to settle down again, look for an apartment and get a job so we can keep funding the next 6 months of our Australia travels.  I can’t believe how fast the 5 weeks from Sydney to Fraser Island have flown by. Now it’s back to the grind, no more lying at the beach all day, for now at least.

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise

We are back to living at Andrew’s mate, Ash’s house, until we can find a place to rent.  This helps to reduce our living costs significantly and my stress levels as the days pass with no luck of finding an apartment.  Searching for a place in the Gold Coast is certainly not as easy as finding a place in Sydney.  For tips and resources on finding an apartment in Surfers and the surrounding area, check out my article here.

It always amazes me at how some people live.  Price is no indicator of what your get. We saw some quite pricey places that were completely trashed, while other less expensive places were better kept but didn’t end up fitting our criteria.  Our daily routine consists of spending our mornings at McDonald’s for the free wi-fi until our computers run out of battery power, go to the viewings and/or apply for jobs in the afternoon while the laptops re-charge, then back to McDonald’s in the evening to look for more places online.  After 5 days of this, we take Friday night off to go out for some drinks, hoping for better luck next week!

Surfer's Paradise

Surfer's Paradise

Driving up the Gold Coast highway, you can see Surfer’s Paradise for miles before you arrive.  With its hundreds of looming skyscrapers, Surfers Paradise provides a stark contrast to the surrounding small beach towns.  It is called the “Las Vegas” of Australia with grand hotels, numerous nightclubs and casino’s and a crazy nightlife every day of the week.

One of Andrew’s friends from University, Ashley, has invited us to crash with him while we are in town.  After spending the last 3 weeks in various hostels it is a great feeling to have a place to call home for a few days. We head down to the beach straight away to check out our new surroundings.  Surfers is located in the middle of a large strip of beach that goes for miles in either direction. And while the beach is beautiful, there are no point breaks to calm the waves crashing onto shore, making it almost impossible to do any actual surfing. Not really a surfer’s paradise after all!


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