Australasia

10 top tips for securing a job on your working holiday in Australia

So you’re doing a working holiday in Australia? It’s not all white sand beaches and cute quokkas sadly, you’ve still got to get one of those things called a job… 

To help you out, we dumped all our job-hunting top tips so you can breathe, relax and get onto counting down the days till your Aussie adventure! 

Get a working holiday package

Our working packages are designed to help make the start of your working holiday as easy as possible – leaving you to carry on enjoying all the fun stuff that comes with being in Australia!

The packs contain all the boring, but very necessary, things like airport transfers, 7 nights accommodation, bank account, tax file number, Medicare set up and AU SIM card, 12 months’ access to the Job Search Australia online jobs board and Job Search Australia offices nationwide as well as a ton of stuff to help you make mates and start your new life in Australia. So leave all that jazz to us and get yourself focused to land that perfect job!

Plan ahead!

Say it with us now, fail to plan, plan to fail. Sorry to go all parental on you… But, if you prep your CV at home, you can turn up at Australia with a folder full of copies ready to hand out. You’ll thank us later, a nice bottle of rosé will do… With the job site membership you get as part of our working holiday packages you’ll also be able to start looking for jobs before you leave the UK, so you could even land some interviews before you’ve even arrived; talk about organised!

Location, location, location

What work do you want to do when you’re out in Oz? If you fancy life as a dive instructor, Queensland is a great option. If you want to work behind a bar, chances are Melbourne or Sydney are going to have more opportunities.

Keep an open mind when you’re scrolling the likes of Seek.com.au, Job Search Australia or even good old Gumtree and don’t forget to research the culture of each place you’re considering moving to – if you’re happiest by the sea, heading to the outback for farm work probably isn’t for you!

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Speaking of Gumtree…

Yes, it needs it’s own section it’s that important! Gumtree is a great place to start a job search. Careful though, for every genuine role there are usually 10 or more ads promising the world’s easiest job in the perfect place. Always check where the company who posted the ad is based, some organisations outside the city change their location to get into the popular search results. If you’ve got spare dollar for commuting, then great, but if you’d like to save that hard-earned cash on something more useful (can we say wine again?) then beware…

Work on the move: seasonal work & hostels

If you’re planning on very short-term work as you travel around the country, this is trickier BUT still possible… Seasonal work is your friend! Christmas periods tend to see a boom in places looking for temp staff. You might end up working as a Christmas elf but hey, you can live out your Will Ferrell elf fantasy! While on the move, speak to your hostel and make the most out of them. Not only are they a goldmine of local information and opportunities, some will even have staff to help you find work. Some can often be the source of employment too! Sure you’ll work on the front desk or even as a cleaner, but you can often get free accommodation as well as some money to spend! Sounds ideal to us…

Get local

Working holidays are great for getting immersed into local life so don’t spend all your time with backpackers! Make an effort to make Aussie friends, not only can they show you all the cool bars and cafés but they could also be your ticket into a new role. Like they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!

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Know your rights 

Beware of scammy sites where they try and get backpackers to PAY to find a job… There are plenty of employers who will try and take advantage of those on a working holiday visa or just expect you to work for food and accommodation or worse, nothing at all. Don’t cancel your plane ticket just yet! Remember, the standard minimum wage is AUD$16.87, so don’t settle for less.

Work the system: get your licenses! 

Give yourself the edge by brushing up on rules for landing a job in Aus and even better, apply for the necessary licenses before you arrive. If you’re opting for mixing cocktails, then you’ll need to have an RSA certificate. These usually cost about $70 but beware: each state has a different one, so make sure you get the right one. If you’d rather get your hands dirty as a labourer, you’ll need a ‘white card’. These cost about $100 and require a day of safety training BUT means you’ve edged all those other backpackers.

Lose your pride…

General rule of thumb is the less fun/easy a job is, the better paid it is too. Think cleaning, night shifts, labouring, warehouse work etc. It might be hard to let go, especially if you’ve just spent three years and a LOT of money for a degree or left your dream job, but remember, this role is just to get you by. It’s going to pay for experiences, and that’s worth so much more… Plus, spending your day dressed as an owl (yep) sounds kinda fun to us!

Second year visas

You’re best deciding quickly if you want to spend a second year in Australia. A year sounds like a long time, but trust us, it’ll fly by! If you want to extend your stay, well the Aussie Government are more than happy for you to as long as you…

  • Are aged 18 to 30 and your passport is valid with at least 6 month until renewal
  • Have sufficient funds to support yourself
  • Spend a total of 88 days working in designated regional parts of Australia. These are basically excluding the big cities so you could go to all of Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania. However Queensland excludes Brisbane and the Gold Coast, while Victoria excludes Melbourne – so be sure to keep this in mind!
  • Do required work: this includes plant and animal cultivation, tree farming and felling and even mining!

Keep your eye on the Australian Immigration website for all the most up to date information.

Finally, remember: you’re working to live, not the other way around! 

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Told you they were cute (we’re obsessed)! Back to business… a working holiday in Australia is a great way to travel AND save money for future adventures. But, if you work too hard, you run the risk of missing all the amazing experiences on your doorstep!

If you are interested in a working holiday in Australia, we’ve help make it happen. Check out the Australia working holiday section of our website for more info.