My wee girl is over 2 now how time flies! Just found out that I am expecting again so hopefully get more reviews on the way for my baby fund. Will re-rate anyone who rates me if I miss you drop me a message. x
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GAP YEAR - Working in Australia
You get to work in and see another country
It can be stressful
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Temping Work - In Australia
Working abroad is definitely a challenge, well to me it has been. I decided to take a gap year and come over here to work for a year. I had just entered a new country, got an apartment so the next obvious step was to look for work. I went to recruitment agencies (see review for more detail) to help me find work in such a big city.
First place I arrived was Sydney the most popular and well known city in Australia. I had already applied for a working holiday visa at home which meant I was entitled to work in the country legally. You need to have a visa which entitles you to work. Next step was to get a tax file number, without this you will not be given a job as you need it for tax purposes. This can be done online.
Now all the paperwork has been done you I needed to open a bank account as most jobs pay you directly into your account. I chose the Commonwealth Bank as I was told in the hostel I was staying at that this was the best one, however I am not sure if this is the case as I never investigated any other banks. We set up the account fairly easily, you needed 2 forms of ID and an Australian address. Sometimes if you are staying at a hostel they will accept this address but you need to make sure the hostel will accept and distribute your mail to one. One thing which at home I have never seen is that we had to pay an upkeeping fee on the account every month which is $2 per person. As I had a joint account it was $4 a month. It's not much but I was annoyed I had to pay anything. Then it is advisable to get an Australian sim card as people will want a contact number. We chose Vodafone again as the hostel advised us. There are other networks maybe that are cheaper, yet again I did not check this out.
Next point of call is getting work. I needed to make sure I could get to work either by walking, public transport or I could have bought a car. Personally I used trains as I lived only 10 minutes away from the city centre by train so it was very handy. The most sensible thing then to do was look for work in the city centre (everyone called it the CBD - Central Business District), I'd never heard this term before it was all new to me.
Right so where to look for a job was my main problem at the start. The city was so big and there was so much information everywhere I was totally lost. I would advise people wanting to get a job in Australia to try the newspaper, sign up to recruitment agencies in person and there is recruitment website (an example is www.seek.com.au) which I found very useful.
The problem with the newspaper is that a lot of advertisements are vague and you are not sure what the employer wants. Quite often you are ringing up about permanent jobs and they don't want travellers starting these jobs as in a few months they will have to recruit again so they want someone long term. My advice is to go to the casual or temporary section in the paper so you are not wasting time and money on phone calls you don't need to.
The recruitment website www.seek.com.au is handy as you can filter what jobs you want to hear about, what area and lots of other useful filters can be applied so you only receive the updated and emails on jobs that are currently available in the area and for your needs. Sometimes the jobs are through recruitment agencies on this website but not always. You can apply for the job online hassle free. Signing up to recruitment agencies in person will take up a considerable amount of your time. Get yourself a clear detailed map so you can find your way about that area. If you are having difficulties in finding recruitment agencies there are two agencies called Freespirit and Geoffrey Nathan they will send your CV out to various different recruitment agencies for you when you sign up with them. You then will get paid directly through them and not the recruitment agencies. They claim you will get more money with them as they will give you what they call a 'living away from home allowance', however in my experience I did not get extra money. I got the same as what I got with the recruitment agencies paying me direct but in the long run I got more without going through Freespirit and Geoffrey Nathan and without them paying me directly. The reason is that Freespirit and Geoffrey Nathan do give you the living away from home allowance and you get taxed less on your earnings but they also take their fee out of that. So you are being charged by them and the recruitment agency. So I have only half the tax to claim back when I get home or at the end of the tax year. When I have been paid directly I get to claim back the full tax that has been deducted. They are good to get you started but it really is better if you can find the agencies yourself, financially you will be better off. Jobs are also posted in hostels and the travellers contact point which is worth checking out.
The types of jobs available to you are generally different to what your usual job hunt gives you. Temping office work, retail work, cleaners, warehouse staff, labouring, farm work, fruit picking and bar or restaurant work are the general areas available to you.
+ Office work + It is best to go through agencies for this type of work as it's on a here and now basis, generally you get a call the day before or that morning letting you know an assignment is available. Your contract time can vary from one day to a year, sometimes extensions can be given and you get to work longer than you expected but you don't be told unto the last minute. From what I can see it is the best paid work. You do need to have substantial work experience in an office, even though a lot of the jobs are simple and menial.
+ Retail Work and Restaurant/Bar work + From my experience going around the shops asking who has work available is the most effective way of finding a job in this area.
+ Farm Work and Fruit Picking + This type of work generally is badly paid and very hard work. Sometimes you will get free lodgings and food. Quite often its share lodgings like dorms you would get in a hostel. If you work a certain time in this type of work it is easier to get your visa extended and it helps a lot when applying for residency. Do bear in mind that you will be working long hours, getting low pay and it is very physical work which will exhaust you. The scorching heat will not help as it is also very humid here too. Anyone who does this type of work I admire as I don't think I would ever have been able to.
OVERALL My personal experiences of doing temping work have been varied. I have worked for reputable companies, however some of the jobs I have done have been very basic and extremely boring. Data entry gave me repetitive strain injury and my muscles ached so much I couldn't sleep at night. I have learnt new skills and have done some projects. Overall I feel the Australian's have been very friendly and work very much as a team in their offices. I have not experienced this at home but then I had only worked in a very small firm with only one other person in the office before coming here. There are lots of jobs here and sometimes they are finding it difficult to fill positions. Un-employment is very low here and people tend to feel more secure in their jobs and therefore seem happier. Maybe this has only been in the firms I have worked in and I have just been lucky. Either way it's a great place to work with lots of opportunities.