Plan your Job Search

Keeping Motivated!

Looking for a job or creating your own job can be very stressful. Motivate yourself by increasing your energy “deliberately” and placing yourself in positive situations. Don’t keep repeating negative thoughts in your head such as: “This is so boring, I feel depressed, I have no energy” and so on. Your thoughts affect your mood, and therefore your actions. Be responsible for your feelings. Replace negative thoughts with positive, such as: “This is good! Let’s get going! Good job!”

(Re)discover your interests: Find out what you love doing. What leaves you with more energy at the end of the activity than when you started? Find a role that lets you do these tasks the most.

Work on yourself: Invest at least 30 minutes to an hour on yourself daily. Use that time to take account of what you have achieved and what you can do. Develop a sense of optimism and confidence in your abilities.

Dreams and goals: Spend some time to identify your life’s dreams, for you surely had a few when you were younger. Having goals gives you direction in thought and effort, and having a clearer vision can motivate you.

Be accountable: Involve a family member or a friend as a goal partner- this is a person who is aware of your goal and with whom you can share the progress made. Hold yourself accountable to him or her.

Talk to someone who motivates you, is honest with you, makes you laugh or lifts your spirits up. Avoid unhealthy distractions to get away from your problems, such as drinking, lazing around, and so on. Bad habits are not going to help you feel motivated, but may make you depressed and more confused, and avoiding responsibilities will not empower you.

Job Search

Finding a job involves making contact with other people who may help you. Job-hunting is competitive, so you will need to make the best possible use of all available sources if you are going to find a job!

Looking for a job is not the same as looking for just any job. That’s why it is important to find out all you can about the company and the job it is trying to fill. You need to know whether the company will match what you’re looking for and that you will fit the role. You also need to research because it lets the company know that you are interested enough to understand who they are, what they do, and what they require.

What to research?    

  • The job market: What does the employment picture look like? How much in demand are your skills and experience?
  • Your field and industry: What are the current employment trends in your field? What kinds of skills are companies looking for?
  • The company: Does it meet what YOU are looking for? What is its corporate identity? Its values?
  • The job: What is the position? What does it require? Will you fit? Will it fit you?
  • YOU: Given what you have researched, what other competencies and skills do you have, or have to acquire to be competitive?

Where and how to search for a job?

  • Government entities, NGOs, youth services.
    • The Employment Services Unit at the Department of Labour provides orientation in your job search. Also they manage the website Employment Vanuatu! If you are here, it means that you are in the right place to find a job.
    • The Ministry of Youth and Sports, NGOs as Youth Challenge Vanuatu and associations as the Vanuatu National Youth Council offer a different set of services, resources and skills training programs that can help you find a job or provide volunteer or internship opportunities.
  • Classified ads (Vanuatu Daily Post)
  • Search firms, recruitment agencies
  • Internet (job search websites, company websites, Facebook, etc.).

Keep your eyes and ears open for anything around you that is somehow related to your job search. Be alert and observant of any and all happenings and changes in your surroundings. Is there a new business being established in the street corner? Is there a job fair in the mall? Is there a “wanted” sign in the place where you are having lunch? Look up the latest news about jobs in general and your industry in particular.

Networking and the hidden Job Market

Most jobs aren’t even advertised. So, it’s important to know about networking and how it can help you find a job in the “hidden” job market. This is all about networking.

It’s often easier for an employer to hire a person connected to someone in his or her network. If you are referred to an employer by someone they know and trust, hiring you instead of a complete stranger is a lot less risky. They also don’t have to go through the hassle of advertising the job, sifting through résumés, interviewing people, and then hiring a complete stranger. That is why it is so important to use your connections to find out if someone in your network knows about any potential employment opportunities.

        What is networking?

A network is simply a group of people you’re connected to through family, friends, work, education, and community. This group of people is a valuable resource that can help you find a job. Really good networkers are comfortable having conversations with people, and they don’t come across as trying too hard to promote themselves.

The advantage of networking is that the people in your network also have networks of their own. When you talk to the people in your network, it’s always a good idea to ask if they know of anyone else you could talk to about job opportunities.

Volunteering and joining associations is a great way to learn new skills, gain work experience, and meet new people. Many groups and associations can help you meet people in a particular industry or area of interest.

Remember to be polite and professional. Good networkers share in the lives of others by giving and receiving information, advice, support, and commitment. It’s important to find a healthy balance between natural conversation and being clear and direct about what you’re looking for, without coming across as too pushy.

Your performance will affect the reputation of your network. In case of finding a job through your network, keep in mind that your actions affect not only your reputation but also the reputation of people that recommended you.

Worksheet: Who’s in your network?
  1. Make a list of people you know and trust who might have connections to places you’d like to work. To get you started, here’s a list of people you could consider as part of your network:
  • family members and close friends
  • neighbors and family friends
  • community and church leaders
  • club members
  • teammates and classmates
  • teachers and coaches
  • employers and co-workers
  • librarians
  • family doctor/dentist
  • Who else?
  1. Once you’ve identified people in your network, contact each one of them individually to let them know you are looking for work and to ask if they know of any available jobs. They might not know of any opportunities right away, but it’s always helpful to put the fact that you’re looking for a job on their radar. Identify a person in your network and write down what you will say when you contact him or her.

For example, “Good morning. My name is Marie Shing. I noticed on Facebook recently that you have established a new cake shop in Port Vila. I can bake pies, cookies, slices and cupcakes and am also very good in Math. I have just completed Year 10. I was wondering if you have any job openings. I would be happy to come for an interview.”


Top-tips for Networking
  1. Know what you have to offer. Look at your skills inventory and accomplishments!
  2. Make connections. Think about what kind of job you want, and identify people in your network that can help get you closer to your goal.
  3. Think about what you want to say. Before calling an employer, prepare what you will say. For example: “Hello, my name is (add your name here). I understand that your company does (add the field of activity of your business here), and that’s my area of interest. I was wondering if you had any current job openings.”
  4. Refresh their memory. When contacting acquaintances you haven’t been in contact with for a while, help jog their memory by letting them know who you are and how they know you.
  5. Be yourself. Networking is all about building relationships. Don’t pretend to be someone else; your healthiest and strongest relationships are often the ones where you are completely yourself.
  6. Be humble. Focus on sharing what you have to offer, not bragging.
  7. Manners count. Be polite. People are more likely to do a favor for someone nice and tactful than someone who comes across as pushy.
  8. Follow up, but don’t be annoying. Following up on conversations or opportunities is a good idea.

Keeping a job search file

A job search file or career portfolio is a place to store and organize your information. You should regularly update this! It should have:

  • Your curriculum vitae (CV)/ résumé
  • Copies and original certificates (education, academic qualifications, work etc.), accomplishments
  • and awards
    • Copies and original letters of references from school, college, universities, work
    • Copies and original letters from people of importance such as teachers, ministers of religion,
  • community leaders
    • Summary notes and research on occupations or areas of interest
    • Details about schools, universities, training institutions and programs of interest, including
  • brochures or application forms
    • Lists of employers you have collected and any letters sent (or printed emails sent).
    • Lists of useful websites and other information sources