Been spending your cash too much and worried about having to drag your penniless feet back home? Australia is bursting with employment opportunities – all you have to do is find the right one.
The glory of having a Working Holiday Visa is the fact that you have the freedom to gain employment in any industry in the Australian work place, whilst earning some seriously good cash and enjoying the temperate climate! What more could you ask for? Read on to discover how to fund your travels in Australia.
Employment opportunities are endless so you’re spoilt for choice: Whether you want to get physical with some construction labouring; get mentally challenged in metropolitan office life; or have fun and frolic behind a bar serving cocktails! Everyone is different, with different interests and goals that they wish to pursue whilst in Australia, so you’ll be glad to know there are a variety of job types to suit your individual personality and work ethic.
It’s always best to get stuck into work as soon as you get to Australia. Boy, is it an expensive place to travel in! Alcohol, accommodation, food, the inevitable shopping trips… it adds up and unless you’re earning that better Aussie wage, you will find your funds dribbling away faster than a leaky goon bag. Once you’re in a job and you start filling that desolate bank account, you’ll definitely be in a better financial position to really have some fun.
But of course it would suck if you grabbed any old job in a bout of sheer “I-need-a-job-or-my-travels are-over” panic. You don’t want to spend valuable Working Holiday time in a job that you despise! Figure out what you’d like to try, ask around to friends, family, and other travellers and see what you think would suit you best. Not sure what the options are? Well, here are a few jobs that will suit most people with a Working Holiday Visa…
The obvious first choice would have to be hospitality. Cafes, bars, clubs, pubs, restaurants – you get the picture! They offer great wages, flexible hours, an awesome social life and a laidback lifestyle which is more than attractive to those traveling around the country. If you have any bar experience, a cocktail-creating past or coffee-making skills then you’ll be an attractive candidate. For many, this is the perfect job type, allowing workers to experience Oz in the day while still earning a healthy salary at night.
Like with every job, there are the pros and cons. Pro: It is a great way to really get immersed in a community and meet the locals in the area. It’s a completely different social experience to what you’d have being holed up in an office Monday to Friday! On the other hand, the Con: You need to be wary of people ripping you off and using you as slave labour. Some employers are known to see backpackers as easy prey to be worked to the bone for next to nothing. Know that (despite not being a citizen) you have working rights and should have the appropriate breaks, so be on the lookout for anyone trying to take the piss in your employment.
While on this visa you can’t work for more than 6 months with one employer, which sometimes works against you as most employers want long-standing members on their team. But this is the great thing about office temping work. You get to experience a wide variety of working environments in places that need your assistance, without having to commit to a sole role for an extended period of time. These jobs will usually offer higher pay than in hospitality, less physical stress – as you’re not running to every customer’s beck and call – and you’ll encounter less drunks (hopefully), also there’s the added perks of more routine and stability in working hours.
If you like to be able to have a good time in your evenings and weekends, perhaps consider office/admin work as you’ll be able to have those times off to experience the night life. Just be sure to pack some smart clothes for when you get an interview. The usual pencil skirt, smart black trousers, clean and ironed shirts usually go down well. And remember don’t wear thongs (flip flops to us Brits) as you’ll probably not even get that shamefully-dressed foot in the door.
Blue Collar Work
So you’re in Oz and you’re keen to stay. Like, real keen? Then you’re one of the hordes of travellers who arrive in Australia with their sights fixed on finding a skilled job vacancy that will sponsor them. This could be your golden ticket to staying, living and working in the land of sun, sea and kangaroos! These jobs are highly sought after but only those ‘skilled’ individuals will make the cut and qualify for sponsorship. These skills could include labour positions such as plumbers, engineers, electricians and carpenters, and they’ll make you highly attractive to employers. The hours will be long but the wage you get will make it worthwhile. With a job like this, you can rake in the dollars and go off adventuring with not a financial worry in the world; or settle down with a permanent visa and take your time exploring your new homeland.
With office work (temping or skilled) it is really recommended to take some time out of your excited countdown to your Australia trip and fine tune your C.V. before you leave your home country. Make sure it’s well-prepared and tailored to whichever industry you want to pursue so you can seize any opportunity you find. Who wants to be squatting at their hostel’s computer phaffing around with a C.V. when you could already be handing it to your prospective boss?
For those who are fun loving, adventurous and infatuated with the travelling lifestyle, the tourism industry could be your ideal job! Who wouldn’t want to help book people’s adventures? Or maybe lead camel tours on the beaches of Broome? Fun is guaranteed, you’ll be boosting other’s traveling experiences (and definitely your own!), plus it could mean you’re on a beach location all day, every day! Living the dream. And what makes it even better is that it’s an actual job and you’ll get paid to do it.
A bit of advice to take though, is to keep in mind that even though hostels are easy, they are an expensive way to live when staying in one spot for long periods of time. They will have discounted weekly or monthly rates, but it usually works out cheaper to rent a room in a shared house. There are plenty of house sharing websites, e.g. Gumtree, with plenty of rooms going, and even though you might need to sift through the freaks as usual, you’re bound to find something good. Yeah, you might need to pay a pesky bond (deposit) when you move in, but think of it as ‘secret savings’ as you’ll get it back when you move out!
So, fellow travellers, be bold and proactive in your job hunt! Pound the streets with your C.V and sign up to a temp agency (or three) to really go for the employment that will massively boost your travel fund. Grab any interview or trial shift that gets passed your way and get those sweet Aussie dollars trickling in. Good luck!
Image 1 by Sophie Saint, image 2 via via Mugley, image 2 credit Liam Constantine ‘The Canteen’ (Sydney), image 3 credit ‘Hoo Ha Bar’ (Brisbane), image 4 & 5 Mr Wow’s Emporium (Melbourne), image 6 via theopeninghours.com.au, image 7 via theopeninghours.com.au & image 8 via Andrew Michael Roberts
Taken from my BBMLive article