Brief guide to finding work Down Under

Work is normally the last thing on your mind when you travel, but when you’re away for extended periods, it’s something that will eventually need to consider to carry on the adventure. Before I arrived in Australia I had barely any money left, I had to find a job pretty much as soon as I landed, fearful of running out of cash before I had even started, I took to the job hunt with urgency upon arrival in Melbourne, with full determination to find work as quickly as possible, luckily I discovered that finding work in Australia for a traveller is surprisingly easy. Sure, some jobs might be less than ideal, some ended up with me returning back to my bed sad and defeated, but they all paid, however little and let me have the best time so far over here. So, to help you out, here are a list of options for you to use when you get over here to look for a job, remember you’ll be fine, get your CV up to date and you’ll be rolling the dollars in before you know it.

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Gumtree:

Australia’s biggest site for everything from finding a place to live, finding work and everything inbetween. When I moved over to Australia I logged onto Gumtree, placed an Ad and also responded to ads that employers placed on the site, in doing so I managed to find work within a few days. There’s mostly sales jobs for backpackers on there, which to be honest are shit, I’ve worked in Door to Door charity sales, Charity Telesales, Door to Door surveys, all found through the site and word of mouth. Just a word of warning though, gumtree is also used by less than savoury people, you will get texts and emails from people wanting to offer “escorting” jobs or other jobs along those lines, there are serious paid positions on there you just have to wade through the rubbish.

Walk about:

Good old fashioned, print off your CV and go for a walk around where you live dropping them into establishments where you’d like to work, this is especially good for bar work and cafe/restaurant jobs. It looks good that you’re up and about actively looking for work, I know a whole bunch of people who have found work this way, you’ll nip in for a trial and if you’ve got the skills you get the job. You might not get paid for the trial, but a free burger or pizza (etc) might be on the cards.

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Job Agencies:

If you’re living in a city or a large town chances are there will be plenty of job agencies looking for people to fill jobs for them; the only problem is that there a lot of people looking for limited jobs, so when you want to be registered on the books I’d ring up the agency directly and talk to someone on the phone. Once you’ve done that you should keep on pestering them to keep you fresh in their minds, drops emails, weekly calls, create a relationship with your job advisor and the chances are you’ll be one of the first they go to to fill a position. I got a job within a few days of signing up to Hays in Melbourne, they were amazing and definitely the job agency I’ll be using once I get back there.

Travel Shops:

This one was a new one for me, I didn’t know that many travel shops in Australia have job boards for travellers until I got to Cairns and got bombarded with places to look for work. Nip into the agencies and ask about jobs, either to work for the agency in sales or for jobs advertised through them. Just a word of warning though: They might make a job sound more appealing to you by saying that it’s paid hourly or offers flexible hours etc when it doesn’t offer anything along those lines, many of the agencies will happily tell you anything you want to hear so you pay them for their service, which is shameful but that’s the way some places work. I fell for Happy Travels Farm fables when I got to Cairns, I was offered a job where I would be paid $21.09 an hour on a farm and pay $170 a week in rent, turns out it was neither of those things but I didn’t find out until I was on the farm. I’ve stayed, and actually really like it here, the work isn’t bad and the people I live with have become my little farm family, I’m lucky in that respect but just be wary.

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Other:

Just your noodle, look on your hostel job boards, talk to your friends and fellow travellers. It’s so easy to find work in Australia, if you don’t mind what you do you can be working within a week, I’ve not been without work for longer than a few days (other than when I was travelling), I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about when you’ll get work because it will happen if you go out there and make it happen for yourself.

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