Preparing for work

Career planning is a crucial part of preparing for work and finding a job.

It is estimated that 80% of jobs are never advertised, so it is essential to explore all options and develop your own strategies.

Read our advice and find further resources on:

  • researching the job market
  • finding jobs that are not advertised
  • professional associations and graduate programs
  • your rights at work.

Job hunting: Do your research!

When researching, these questions can help guide your search:

  • What are the growth industries employing in your field?
  • Which organisations seem to be hiring regularly?
  • What’s the latest news and gossip in your dream career area?
  • Which organisations are the key players?
  • Which companies have a culture or mission that appeals?

You can find answers to these questions and more from:

  • organisation websites
  • annual reports
  • professional associations
  • job search sites, such as
  • our Learning Hub jobs board, where you can find jobs that are advertised particularly for VU students.

Professional associations

Professional associations represent most industries and occupations - sometimes more than one. They perform many functions, including:

  • promoting and providing professional and career development activities
  • providing a forum for networking
  • promoting the profession in the community
  • providing career information to prospective students
  • assisting graduates with career planning and job seeking
  • producing regular newsletters or journals
  • maintaining a professional library for members.

We recommend you join a professional association and get involved. Student membership is usually offered at a reduced rate.

Being a member means you can:

  • develop networks with professionals already working in your chosen field
  • increase your knowledge of the profession and industry you’re interested in, which will help you to decide if it’s really for you
  • develop skills through participation in professional development activities.

Graduate programs

Graduate programs specially designed for graduates, and usually last 1 to 3 years.

They are offered by organisations with an interest in developing and training graduates for management roles.

Successful applicants work in various areas of the business, in blocks of time known as 'rotations', to foster a better understanding of how the whole organisation works.

The application process can be quite competitive, as graduate programs are in high demand. Applications open begin early in the year around February to April for positions starting in the following year.

Specific information about graduate programs can usually be found on employer websites, including application open and closing dates, and eligibility requirements. Positions are generally advertised online.

Know your rights

Workplace rights for employees in Victoria (and Australia) include:

  • basic rates of pay and casual loading
  • hours of work
  • annual leave
  • personal/carer’s and compassionate leave
  • unpaid parental leave.

The websites below have detailed information about your rights and who to contact if you think they are being breached.