"Don't listen to the people who put you down"

Kitchen Designer

We spoke to Astrid, a skilled Migrant working as a Kitchen Designer for a Hardware Manufacturing Company.  

What MRC programs did you attended?  

I participated in some online workshops about getting a job in different industries in Australia. The workshops spoke about, construction, accounting etc. I participated in 4 or 5 workshops. In these workshops they invite people from that industry to explain how they got their first job. Someone who was in recruitment also spoke and they explained what to put in your resume and cover letter and what to avoid. They also mentioned the importance of updating your LinkedIn profile. 

What did you find most useful from attending the MRC sessions? 

There were two important things for me.  

First was how to get into the industry, by creating and updating your LinkedIn profile and checking for possible jobs and people in the industry.  

The second was update your knowledge. This was by finding out what software was used by companies in Australia. I then checked what the Tafe offered as an option, then enrolled myself in night classes to update my knowledge with that software. 

Previous work experiences in Australia? 

I did everything including Waitressing, Bar work, Barista, Supermarket worker and a Showroom Consultant in a Furniture store and Kitchen company. 

How did you apply? 

I already knew the company. I previously applied two years ago for a role but they could not hire me due to my visa. 

I began to build my resume and cover letter, then gave it to a friend to have a look, fix any mistakes and make it more Australian and presentable. I then started applying for jobs in April. I passed my letters around to every job that I found that was related to my area of experience and  that will further my career.  

I found 5 options that were for a showroom consultant, one included the job I have now.  I had 5 interviews, and I was successful in 3 and offered a job. I had someone check my LinkedIn profile from the company I am at now. I knew I wanted to work with this company because they are an international company and I was researching the products, so I had knowledge that could help me through the process. They also offered me a full time job as a Kitchen designer, so the job position changed. I then started working for them in mid-June. 

Did you need any previous experience? 

For the role advertised they asked for someone who was passionate for design, but did not require practical experience. In the second interview they preferred someone who had previous experience. 

How did you prepare for your Job interviews? 

I checked the company online, made 2 pages of notes about their products and what is important to the company then adapted my CV to that. I then researched points to talk about. 

What was the interview like? 

The role I applied for was for a showroom consultant, which is more customer service and showing products. 

When I began to tell them about my background and previous experience as a kitchen designer in my home country. They started asking what I knew about kitchens and started to think about implementing that into the service they offer for clients. I told them how my experience is relevant and how I would love to be a part of their business, and that I had previously applied for a position at the company. 

In my second interview they had a plan on implementing kitchen designs into their range they offered for clients.  

What were the biggest challenges when applying for jobs? 

For me it was the type of visa I had because I couldn’t work full time. For many others it could be having lower expectations of the job you want for yourself due to your circumstances whether that be the type of Visa you have, your level of experience or level of English. Explaining visa requirements can also be a challenge because lots of businesses want someone who is easier or less work to employ. 

In my interviews I just explained my situation from the beginning and explained my visa conditions were about to change, which would allow me to work full time soon. 

On a scale 1 to 5 (1 being very unhappy and 5 being very happy) how do you feel about your job? 

6, Super happy 

What is the best thing about your work now? 

I get to do what I really love to do. My passion is to design kitchen and make solutions for people.  

What are the job trends in your industry? 

Interior design or Product design. 

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone looking for a job? 

Don’t listen to the people who put you down. Just because some people don’t get a the job because of their visa requirements doesn’t mean that will happen to you.  

Keep following your dreams, keeping trying to get into the company where you want to work and show them why you’re good for the position. 

Put all your experience and assets in your CV, you could be overqualified, but at some point that will help you. 

Photo by R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash

About MRC Tas

Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been supporting people from migrant and humanitarian backgrounds to settle successfully in Tasmania since 1979.

About Migrant network tasmania

Migrant Network Tasmania draws on the goodwill, stories and tips of migrants and the wider community to help fellow migrants to establish lives and careers in Tasmania.