When reality steps in
What's the least fun part of the working
holiday in Australia? I would
personally say it is the part where reality steps back in to that holiday and
makes you aware of the fact that finding a job and a more long-term place to
stay is necessary. Sure, your
money might be dwindling after nights out and hostel stays keep adding up, but
making a conscious effort to end some of that “free” fun can be a tough call
Because of this, there are countless
stories of travelers in Australia that simply “can't find jobs” or “don't have
an apartment yet”. You see, if you
are actually serious about finding a job and an apartment, then you can achieve
both at a fairly quick pace.
In fact, I found a job and a flat within 2
weeks of arriving in Sydney. How
did I do it? Have a read:
Before coming to Australia, I had big
expectations. Sydney, for example,
is a huge city, so finding a job was going to be a breeze, right?
A few days passed and I was caught up in
the idea of which to do first – find a place or find a job. Many would argue that getting one first
is vital to figuring out where to look for the other, and in a widespread city
like Sydney, that is very true.
Not only this, but I found that by trying to do both at the same time, I
was skimping where it counted.
After a week of sending out resumes to countless temp agencies to get no
response and contacting numerous potential flatmates to find out the room had
already been rented – all while dealing with expensive Internet access at the
hostel I was staying at – I decided I had to take it to the next level by
giving all focus to one endeavor first.
Finding a Flat
So, I decided that a flat was more
important at the moment, because living in a room with other people was
probably not going to help me when I had an important interview.
I set aside an entire day to looking for
apartments. I took snacks and a
drink and went over to the Internet cafe with a goal in mind of setting up some
places to look at ASAP.
I took to trolling Gumtree in real time; if
something popped up that looked worthwhile, I called them immediately leaving a
message or setting up a time.
Within a day, I was signing a lease to move in to a share house in Surry
Landing the Job
Finally, one monkey off my back, I now had
the time to focus on finding work, and just like a job, I treated it like that,
putting in the hours needed to find something, and something special. The first step was to figure out my
ideal job goals and basic options.
For each option, I put together a targeted resume and cover letter so I
could make myself stand out amongst the thousands of other job-seekers in this
Then, just like I did with finding a flat,
I took to Gumtree. It turns out
that those big job sites, like Seek and CareerOne are filled with job ads from
recruiters with very few options for temporary workers. Gumtree allows anyone to post job ads,
for free, so the smaller companies, cafes and shops that need temporary workers
are more likely to post.
I took to scrolling in real-time. As I polished off my resumes, I would
check on Gumtree about every 15 minutes – multiple searches on multiple browser
tabs – and see if anything new or interesting would pop up. One job in particular stood out as
perfect for me, so I sent away instantaneously – a decision that resulted in an
interview being set up within a half hour (I got that job).
Also during this forced job of job-hunting,
I made another connection that, a few weeks later, resulted in a second part-time
job. My finances for living in the
great city of Sydney were set, my living situation was finalized, and all
within the first two weeks of arriving.
So, if you are one of those working holiday
makers in Australia that is having issues finding a job or a flat, then I
suggest you try to take it one step further by focusing all your efforts on the
task at hand. In other words: get serious about it. You might also want to take into
account my article on what to do
when no one wants to hire working holiday makers.
Australia Working Holiday 101: Turning Inspiration into Employment
Working Holiday Decisions: Travel first, then work?