Australia Working Holiday: Jobs
Okay so you've got your visa and have found a place to stay, now it's time to find a job in Australia! Which is of course the least glamorous, but most necessary part of the process. I think the one reason I dislike trying to find a job so much (okay so there are many reasons), is that you are doing so much work without getting paid yet! You have to edit your resume (sometimes make more than one version), figure out where to print them, pay $5 to print out 20 copies, go in and out of places all day asking if they're hiring, fill out applications, go on trials, etc. etc. - it's all just exhausting. And again, you're not getting paid!!
But do not despair! We all have to do it and we all get through it. Before you know it, you'll be at a [insert place of employment here] making money, making friends, and enjoying your time in a new country. Here are some things I wish somebody had told me about finding a new job:
Visit places in person
After you print out your CVs, choose a neighborhood that you would enjoy working in, and just go into every. single. place. Looking for a restaurant job? Seriously go into every restaurant in that neighborhood. It doesn't matter if they have a sign that says they're hiring because most places will never put one up. I'm a really awkward person and I've done it countless times, so I know you'll be able to do it. Just walk in, smile, and say "Hey! I was just wondering if you guys happen to be hiring right now?" Easy as that. If not, then that interaction is over in under 15 seconds. If they are, then great! Give them a CV and ask to speak to a manager about the positions they have.
Look on Gumtree!
But only AFTER you've already visited places in person. For those unfamiliar, Gumtree is the less sketchy, Australian equivalent of Craigslist. A lot of restaurants/retail shops post their positions on here so take 15 minutes to browse and forward your CV to a few places. You don't get the benefit of getting to talk to somebody in person so I definitely recommend using this strategy only as a supplement to actually going into places.
Restaurants WILL ask you to come in for a "trial"
If a restaurant is hiring, they will most likely ask you to come in for a trial shift. It's exactly what it sounds like - they'll have you come in and work for a couple of hours just to make sure you're a human being with a functioning brain who can carry plates, talk to customers, clear off tables, etc. One piece of advice: even if you get a trial at one place, keep applying at other places. A trial is a great first step! But does not guarantee you a job there. This is kind of an annoying step that nobody does back home in the States, but you just have to get used to it and go with the flow here.
A lot of backpackers work in call centers
This is something I had no idea about before I moved here but am very happy I found out. "But I've never worked in a call center before! Also I absolutely HATE talking on the phone." Same and same! It doesn't matter! Call centers can be a fun working environment (they're usually filled with other backpackers), they pay REALLY well (I worked in one and made $26/hr - not to mention even higher on weekends and holidays), and your hours are generally much more reliable than working in a restaurant. Look on Gumtree or Indeed to find these jobs - or use a recruiter! (which is what both Kenyon and I did! Email us for specific recommendations if you want to go down this path)
Retail jobs are hard(er) to get
Kenyon and I both really wanted to work retail when we first got here - great pay, good hours (most shops generally close before 8pm), and a much less dirty job than working in a restaurant. I'm not saying that they're impossible! Or that you shouldn't try to get one, I'm just warning you that they are much harder to get than a restaurant or even call center job. Apply at a few retail shops - but maybe don't make it your entire focus.
It might take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to actually find the job, go on an interview, and get started. You might have to go on a few trials and a few interviews without getting the job but don't get discouraged! I promise promise promise that if you just keep going, you WILL find a job - they are out there. Even if you have to take a job that you don't necessarily love at first, just take it while you keep looking for one that suits you more! When I first got here, I worked in a warehouse for a month. I'm not saying that's a bad job! I'm just saying I'm not really a heavy-lifting, rugged, warehouse kinda guy. But I did it until I found a more permanent call center job that I ended up loving!
So get out there! Go find a job and email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or run into trouble. Good luck :)