FREE TIME: Sam Grace has volunteered for most of the past four years while looking for a job and has hopes to one day be a published author.
FREE TIME: Sam Grace has volunteered for most of the past four years while looking for a job and has hopes to one day be a published author. Contributed

Humans of the Sunshine Coast: Positivity in job hunt

SAM Grace did not need Work for the Dole to push her into doing volunteer work while unemployed.

In the four or so years that she has been job hunting since she left high school, Sam has done about three years' volunteer work, all off her own bat.

"A, it gives me experience and B, it's giving me something to do during the week other than gaming," she said.

Sam, 21, has been a volunteer at the Sunshine Coast Community Hospice op shop in Nambour for just over a year, making her one of the old hands.

Her first stint as a volunteer was at Australia Zoo for two years.

"You could get sent to help with the tigers and lemurs, but I really loved the petting zoo because you could get in and cuddle things," she said.

"I went there hoping to get into a job as an animal keeper but that didn't eventuate, and it was shortly after that that I moved to Brisbane."

Sam's parents made a tree-change move from Sydney before she was born and she has spent all of her life prior to that on the Sunshine Coast.

Born in Nambour General Hospital, she grew up at Yandina, attending Yandina State School and Nambour High.

When she learned her brother had a spare room in Brisbane, she jumped at the opportunity to move and "try living in the city".

She spent eight months volunteering at the State Library in Brisbane before returning to the Sunshine Coast.

Chasing retail experience, she started as a volunteer at the Hospice op shop, putting in two days a week or more.

"If the ladies needed someone else or I was pretty bored, I'd come in and help out," she said.

"It's a very nice shop and the ladies are lovely."

Sam was back at the shop yesterday to say goodbye.

She has moved to Brisbane again, taking up the opportunity to share a place with a friend.

She hopes to volunteer again at the State Library, but is still looking for work.

An interview for an administrative/reception position was a possibly today but she was not pinning her hopes on it.

"I've sent off so many applications and you either get nothing back or occasionally, 'Sorry, you're not qualified,' or the odd, 'Can you come in for an interview?'"

"There's nothing much you can do.

"OK, I didn't get that one, but let's see if I can try for another.

"There's no point getting depressed about it if there's nothing you can do."

In her spare time, Sam writes. She dreams of being a published author.

"I'd love to write something like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter."

And if Sam was writing her own story, a publisher would pick up her book and turn it into an international best-seller.