Experience for Work leads to work

Posted: 28th Sep



     When you are on the road to a new career sometimes you just need a start. That’s what experience for work is all about. We understand that employers want to see experience on your resume, but you can’t get experience if you are unemployed. It’s a constant dilemma.

   Experience for work allows career seekers to enjoy a short term immersion experience in an industry in which they are interested.

     At 35 Brendan Sobczynski took a package from Fords in Broadmeadows and considered his options. He wanted a change but wasn’t sure which was to go. An Experience for Work from the new Geelong Careers’ website, was just the ticket.

“Having worked for one company for a long time in Melbourne, I needed a network in Geelong.” Brendan explains. “I also needed exposure to the more technical side of ICT in a smaller setting.”

On the opposite side of the coin, employer Toby Durdan from Deakin University, wasn’t necessarily in a position to offer someone a job, but he wanted to do what he could to help a career seeker get a start.

Toby registered a short term voluntary immersion experience on Geelong Careers’ Experience for Work website. The GRLLEN (Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network) mediated the process and matched Brendan matched him up with Toby for a short term one off experience of Toby’s design, offering a window into Toby’s ICT work in an education setting,   at Deakin University. One morning, Brendan tagged Toby wherever he went, learning the scope and demands of his role. Brendan took the opportunity to find out what training and experience had led to Toby’s positions and what were the highlights and challenges of the work.

Toby enjoyed sharing his expertise with such a receptive and enthusiastic career seeker.  “We spent several hours talking through a whole range of subject-specific content at Deakin. I also drove him out to our Waurn Ponds campus for a quick orientation and tour of one of our technology-rich buildings.”


Experience for work employers are often surprised how much they enjoy sharing their passion and industry knowledge with someone trying to get a start. Especially when the expectations are realistic. Toby couldn’t offer Brendan a job but he gave him some inside information that proved invaluable.


“I advised him that next week some roles would be advertised in our area which may be relevant for him and offered to proof-read his application if he decided to apply – he indicated that responding to selection criteria was not a particularly strong point and we spoke about how this is actually critical.”

 Brendan says his time with Toby was just the boost his career search needed. “I got an understanding of how an organisation operates that I couldn’t find out any other way. He gave me contacts where people shared their ideas with me.”

Best of all Brendan gained a confidence spending time with Toby that gave him the impetus to successfully apply for casual employment through a contact he made on the day.


Brendan also managed to impress Toby.

“All in all a productive half-day, he was very appreciative at the end and had a much better understanding of our workings and culture towards the end – I was impressed with the research and groundwork he had done and considered questions that he presented.”


 Without Experience for Work these two might probably never have met, and Brendan would have missed out on the contacts and confidence that helped him overcome the final hurdle to local employment in a new branch of a trending industry.

Brendan has the last word about his Experience for Work: “If you are waiting for employment … it’s good to have a chance to do something meaningful.”


If you are looking for experience that will help you find a new career, check out the 30 experiences on offer at experience for work.  Follow the links on the Geelong Career home page


 click here to see a picture of Toby at work