If you’re heading to Australia on a working holiday visa, the chances are you’re going to have to wing it when it comes to locking down a job when you land. Although the prospect of arriving in a new country with nothing lined up may be daunting, a bit of know-how and some get up and go should see you right.
The types of job that’ll be happy to accommodate travellers are somewhat restricted compared to a regular job-hunters; while some employers do not entertain the prospect of employing travellers. Concentrating on industries such as hospitality and retail is always a good idea, as they tend to be fairly casual and flexible at the same time.
There’s plenty of ways to go about searching, from the easy online option, to trying hostels and agencies, and of course the good old fashioned door to door method. Dig out your fanciest shoes, hunt down an iron, and arm yourself to the teeth with your CV, while being mindful of calling it your résumé for the duration of your job hunt. Don’t sweat rejection, forget it and concentrate on wearing a smile for that important first impression at your next stop.
When and Where
Naturally the chances of finding work in a major city will be easier than busy seaside towns, as will a lengthier duration that you propose to stay with an employer for. Over the busy Christmas and New Year period retail stores will likely be looking for additional staff, while it is also a booming time of the year in hospitality.
Try the multitude of bars and restaurants down by the King Street Wharf in Sydney, locate the aquarium in Darling Harbour and go from there. Similarly in Melbourne down by the river is an excellent spot for a high volume of hospo joints, the bars along the Southbank are popular and often take on working travellers.
Should you prefer to be away from the city centre, or wish to be beachside as much as possible while in Oz, head for the Bondi area to the north of Sydney’s CBD, or in Melbourne try St Kilda, which is full of backpackers and job opportunities to match. Otherwise busy Chapel Street that dissects the southern suburbs offers many bars and restaurants to have a pop at.
For the Sheila’s out there, finding hospitality work is usually a much easier task than for the blokes, especially when it comes to smaller beach side spots such as Noosa, Byron Bay and Airlie Beach. Even in the cities certain employers will prefer the feminine touch in their establishments, but there will be places that recruit based on ability and experience rather than gender.
Unpaid for a Bed
The hostels in the smaller backpacker spots will be eager to take you on in an unpaid role, where you will receive your accommodation and possibly a meal in return for your graft. This can be a good way to get by if you find yourself a little hard up for cash, but should you have designs on saving some decent dollars for the next stage of your travels, try and negotiate paid work beyond the basic hours that cover your board.
Travel agencies can be an excellent option for work, and if you land the dream gig they will even pay for your travels up or down the east coast, trying out the activities up for sale along the way.
Finally, bear the dreaded farm work in mind if you wish to extend your visa for a second year, although it may end up being a rewarding experience, it will be usually be memorable while allowing you to tick those 88 days off.
Find out more about Australia in the Australia travel guide.