So you’ve got that Working Holiday Visa, planned a trip of a lifetime to Australia, but then reality kicks in and you realise if you want the travelling to continue, you’re going to have to work for it. A lot of travellers that go to Australia forget that it is a “working” holiday visa, and not just a holiday visa. So what can you do for work?
Everyone told me it would be so easy to get a job in Australia. It’s a backpackers dream to get a job. I then got to Australia and realised it was quite the opposite. The first few people I met in Sydney were complaining they had been looking for work for months, with no luck. I then moved up the coast towards Brisbane, to find people complaining about the same thing. And I met people along the way on my East Coast trip, telling me that there was no work in Cairns either. Myself on the other hand, had 3 interviews lined up before I even made it to Brisbane. I then got offered a job within a week of being in Brisbane. It turned out to be crap, but more about that later. Within a month, I was working somewhere else. So yes it is possible, but you have to put the work in and be open minded. Here’s a few tips that I played by, and it’s never failed me so far (and also worked for travellers I’ve met along the way!):
Tips for getting work in Australia:
- Don’t be picky
You meet people that say they’ve been searching for jobs for months, to no luck. You then start to quiz them and realise they’re being really picky about what they want to do. If you don’t want to do sales, bar work, table service or retail work, then you’ve just taken out the four jobs that have the biggest amount of work going in Australia for backpackers. I didn’t particularly want to do bar work, as I had been there for many years in England, and knew I would have to lose my weekends and evenings. Reality is, at the time I was looking, there wasn’t much other work, being as it was out of season (winter). So I had to do a bar job. It was either that, or go back to England due to the lack of money, which in reality was no option 2 months into my Australian adventure.
- Look at the positives
So yes, I had to take that bar job, which means I’ve never got a Saturday night off, I rarely get Friday nights off, and my weekend is usually Monday-Wednesday, when everyone else is back at work. But on the positive side, I’m not going out blowing my wages every weekend on pointless things like alcohol. My liver is thanking me a little bit, as well as my bank balance. Therefore I have got more money to go off and do things I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to do, had I been going out every weekend. Or I’d of been too hungover to do…
- Be available
If you want to do bar work, reality is, you’re going to lose your evenings and weekends. I’ve met people that wonder why they can’t get a bar job when they have so much experience in the field. They’re then telling potential employers that they don’t want to work weekends or evenings. Funnily enough, they ain’t going to hire you!
- Change your CV
Many people make the mistake of handing in their CV from back home. Now in the UK, your CV is quite wordy compared to the CV they like to see in Australia. Literally bullet point the jobs you’ve done and the skills you have and make it as simple as possible. The less writing, the better. I was surprised when I was told this, but it does actually work. If they Aussies want to know more about a particular job you had, they’ll ring/email and ask you about it.
- Get an Aussie phone number
Get an Aussie sim card when you get to Australia. It makes you look more professional, plus the employer isn’t going to ring you on an international number that’s going to end up costing them a fortune. It makes you look like you’re more serious about staying and living in Australia. They ain’t going to risk hiring someone, that’s potentially going to be gone within a month.
Even if you only plan on working for a month to top up your funds, lie. Say you’re going to be there for a few months. Otherwise you’ll never get hired. You’ll spend that full month looking for work. If you don’t have experience in a field, lie and say you have on your CV. Put a friends number/email down from back home, and get them to play along with it and pretend to be an old employer. I know so many people that have done this, and it’s worked every time. Chances are, they aren’t going to ring back home, due to the time difference, and the international charges. So 90% of the time, your friend won’t even be contacted.
- Don’t expect everything to be handed to you on a plate
If you want a job, you’ve got to go out there and look for it. Bar jobs etc, they prefer to see you in person. So go in, hand in your CV in person, make sure you’re bubbly and smiley and basically tell them to give you a trial so you can show them what you’ve got, rather than tell them. Even if they give you an email on the job advert, go in, in person. Everyone I know that works in a bar, got the job through going in and seeing them. None of them got the job by applying online. Don’t sit at a laptop and apply for around 5 jobs a day, then wonder why you aren’t getting anywhere. Treat the job application process as a working day. Wake up at 9am, and apply to jobs right through to 5pm.
So you’ve got the tips for getting work, now what kind of jobs can you apply to?
Check out my blog coming soon, regarding the kinds of work you can do on a working holiday visa!