It was my third follow up.
My palms were a bit sweaty and I hoped this was THE call that would help me get the job. I really needed and wanted this job, they paid damn well, and it was a pretty chill spot.
And then it happened. EXACTLY what I wanted.
The answered the phone. Next thing you knew, I was interviewed and hired within in 48 hours. F*ck yas!
Getting a job in Australia isn’t actually all that hard! if you’re not lazy about it and super proactive. And better yet, saving money in Australia is actually totally possible, despite its super scary price tags. Again, motivation and not being lazy being important factors.
So are you wondering how to get a job in Australia and actually save too? Worry no more. I know exactly what it’s like.
How To Get a Job In Australia
Don’t sweat it! It’s actually a lot easier than you think. I promise I’m nobody special and I did it without a hitch! Also, you have me and my tips handy now which should make you feel better.
Oh, and since we’ve already gone over the working holiday visa for Australia, let’s just move on with the rest, shall we?
First thing’s first. Spruce up the old CV. And make sure you have a saved CV on your laptop that you can adjust and save in different versions. You want to bring relevant CVs to each job. The restaurant manager doesn’t care that you’ve been a dog walker. Your education is always nice, but keep the job history to only what is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Unless you have a place to stay when you land, like a nice Aussie friend, your best bet is to plan on a hostel at first. The upside to this is instant friends. People in hostels are naturally open, and they may be able to help you get a job. The place is communal, which means you’ll also likely find job boards and info on local positions open.
You may even get a job right there at your hostel, running the desk or doing cleaning work. You never know.
The bad news? They are overpriced most of the time and you DON’T want to live in one. Imagine coming home from a long ass shift ready to pass out only to have a bunch of lushes walk through the door to literally ruin all of your hopes and dreams for the night?
Find a legit place to lay your head down at night ASAP.
Know Before You Go
It’s always a good idea to be aware of how the employment system works in a new country, and then work it to your advantage to maximize on your opportunities for both work and profit. For example, you’ll want to get an RSA card if you plan on slinging drinks and a white card if you plan on hammering nails. Do your (travel) homework before class begins!
Tis the Season
Job opportunities for foreigners are never better than during the holiday season. Show up a bit before Christmas with a smile and your CV, and you’re almost guaranteed to land a cool gig for the season at the least, and maybe even long term. The Santa hat is optional.
Get Off Your Ass
Was that too blunt? Sorry. Ahem. Let me try that again. Get off your ass! Ha. Really though. You cannot expect to get a job sitting on the couch at your hostel and applying online. That is not how immigrant work in a foreign country works most of the time.
Job opportunities for foreigners in Australia require face time. And I’m not talking about your iPhone. I mean get up, get dressed decently, brush your teeth and hair, and go smile at people, make them laugh, shake hands. Show them how much they would love to have you behind their counter.
Okay, so you’ve polished up your CV, you’ve hit the pavement and chatted up the local shop owners. Now what? How to get a job in Australia, once you’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do? Follow up. Get back out there and do it again. You want to be the guy or girl everyone wants to be friends with—and ultimately hire.
Keep yourself on everyone’s mind, and you’ll end up at the top of someone’s list.
Just one crucial piece of advice: don’t show up at rush hour or happy hour.
Job Opportunities in Australia for Foreigners:
Oh, there are so many! Just think of all the unskilled immigrant labor in your own country. The US is filled to the brim with immigrant labor. Likewise with Australia.
Here are just a few of the popular job opportunities in Australia for foreigners:
- food service
- house or office cleaning
- day laborer (construction for example)
- farm work (the pay here often isn’t great and the work is HARD!)
- nanny or au pair
and many, many, more. You could even do freelance work in your field. If you just graduated college and have a degree, you could work that to your benefit by doing paid internships or freelance work for locals. Be open and be flexible, and you’ll find work. Oh, and no, you DON’T need experience to work in Australia.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Australia
Alright, now you know how to get a job in Australia and what kinds of job opportunities in Australia for foreigners there are, you want to be ready to get hired as soon as you get the call. Here’s what you’ll need:
Have an Australian Phone Number
It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have a local number to give employers. It’s easy to get set up. Make sure your cell phone is unlocked before you leave the US (check with your provider), then when you land in Australia, head to the phone shop in the airport and grab a SIM or memory card.
Optus is what I used and it was cheap and good for the city but barely worked when I left the city. Telstra is better for those going to work out on the farms etc. So choose carefully not just cheaply! (and just a fair warning, pretty much all the providers suck either way!)
Open up an account in your city, I went with ANZ, which is a pretty big Australian bank, so I had access to ATMs, a debit card, etc. You’ll just need your ID and your tax number and you’re good to go. You want to be able to deposit your paychecks, make withdrawals, and operate in Australian dollars.
You’ll need a tax number, also called a TFN. It is a simple set up. Just fill out the form, and wait.
Smile, smile, smile!
I can’t say enough about this one. Flattery will get you everywhere. If you are a hermit, an introvert, still coming out of your EMO phase from high school, beware. It is not going to be easy to get a job in Australia as an immigrant if you are not ready to be besties with each manager or owner you meet. You are selling your skills and yes, your smile!
Last but not least, make sure you know where you are applying. Be able to talk about the product, the food, the industry, whatever you are dealing with. If you know nothing about surfing, brush up a bit before you hit the surf shop asking for a cashier job. It will go a long way towards beating out the competition.
On a similar note, does your job require a special certification? Usually, those getting into a construction made need a forklift certificate or if you’re working hospitality, you’ll likely need an RSA. It’s good to be prepared and have those to turn in right away to show them you’re serious.
Alert Alert Alert
Some things to be aware, and cautious, of before you begin your application process into how to get a job in Australia:
- Gumtree gets talked about a lot among those looking for how to get a job in Australia. It is like Craigslist, the good and the bad. Sure, you may find jobs there, but the jobs may end up sketchy, they may be scams, and they may even be dangerous. Just be very skeptical here.
- Know your worth. Just because you are an immigrant and you will do pretty much any odd job does not mean you will work for slave wages, do unpaid internships (what’s the point?), or do a job that you feel is demeaning or will put you in danger. You are not desperate. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!
- Farm work is not for the faint of heart or the naive. Proceed with extreme caution here. You may end up with a bad employer who will take advantage of you, refuse to pay you at the end of the day, or worse. Good, safe job opportunities in Australia for foreigners are readily available. Don’t take the dangerous ones.
- Facebook groups are a good spot to find advice and work too, but like Gumtree, it can be sketchy too. Don’t meet strangers or do anything that sounds too good to be true. Essentially, use your street smarts.
How To Save Money in Australia
Now the really fun stuff! You’ve got your job. You may even have a second job! You found yourself a cheap little flat with a cool roommate you met at work. Now, how can you possibly save money in this expensive ass country? Oh, I got you on this one! I saved a really pretty penny while working in Australia…
You can become an amazing bargain shopper even if you’ve never done it before. We spent a lot of time shopping at Woolworths and markets and we made sure to buy seasonally. Whatever is in season is always going to be cheaper, and, obviously, fresher, so it is really win-win. Watch the sales, you’ll end up saving money in Australia like a champ.
There’s always something on sale, watch for those yellow tags! If it wasn’t on sale or already cheap, we didn’t buy it. When it was on sale and if it was an item that didn’t go bad, we stocked up.
Eat (and Drink!) In
This one is a double whammy really. You’re spending your time hunting for sales around the soup aisle, now you get to actually stay in and eat the food you almost literally hunted and gathered. Trust me, restaurant and bars are way too expensive. Why do you think they pay so well?
That’s why you want to get a job there, but unless your employer is letting you eat for free while you work (and they often do but only in hospitality), do not eat out. The food prices can get outrageous and the drink prices are what nightmares are made of.
No really. If you can get a place close to the action, in the walkable, downtown areas, do. The less you have to pay for transportation and can just hoof it, the better. We opted to pay a bit more for rent so we could be closer to work and fun, and we just walked a bunch/were close enough to the free public transport area.
Unlike the US, Australia’s cities, even Melbourne, is totally walkable or at the least, they have excellent public transport. (seriously the US is TERRIBLE with this)
Later, when we headed to Darwin, we ended up buying scooters because it is not as much of a walkable environment and we needed to get around. Lucky for us though, when we moved and went to sell the scooters, we sold them for almost the same price we bought them for! So, yea, we learned to save money in Australia in a variety of ways!
It seems silly, but we had a white board on our wall with our monthly budget, what we planned to spend, and we stuck to it like glue. Our original plan was to spend the year saving so we could travel the country the following year. This was a huge motivation for us to scrimp and save. Our goal ended up changing by the end of our trip, but the money was still there waiting for us!
It’s totally reasonable to live off of $1000 AUD a month but that’s it. You’ll just be living. Which was fine for us, it was only for a year after all and it meant a full ass bank account at the end of that year!
Think of a Mule
If your goal, like mine was, is to save money—work like a mule. Get a second job, freelance on the side. You only get one year, maybe two, to work in Australia. You can travel anytime. Make that work time worth it. Put your nose to the grindstone and make that money, honey!
Examples of saving money in Australia or it didn’t happen!
Sure, let’s talk about Garrett and I and how hard we worked, especially Garett!
In Melbourne, I had two jobs but the second job was literally two short shifts a week. I averaged 40-50 or so hours per week. In Darwin, I worked a bit a more. I still had two jobs, and probably worked on average around 50-60 hours per week.
Side note: I also work online! As you can see, I have this thing called a blog which requires work and makes me money too.
Garrett? He worked himself to the bone in Melbourne sometimes averaging around 70 hours of work per week! He was almost literally dying and when moving to Darwin came around; he went a bit easier on himself but also found a job that paid 30AUD an hour to pour beers! Lucky, kid.
But yeah, the point is? You’ll need to work really f*cking hard if you want to save money in Australia.
Treat Yo Self…?
Just kidding. Don’t. No, really. Don’t treat yo self. The less splurging you do, the more money you’ll save. Work a bunch, give yourself no time to spend, and save save save! I saved over $17,000 USD, and my boyfriend saved over $34,000 USD. Then, with that kind of savings, you can, in fact, treat yo self.
Now You Know
And knowing is half the battle. Actually, it’s like, ninety percent of the battle. You have everything you need to know how to get a job in Australia, and how to save money in Australia, now you just have to do it.
Of course, I also have sh*t tons of other info regarding working, living, and saving money in Australia, just click the link below!
Have money saving tips that aren’t mentioned here? Already landed your dream job in Australia? Still have questions on how to get a job in Australia? Drop me a note in the comments and let’s talk!
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