A Travellerspoint blog

Getting set up in Australia

On the job hunt...

So we ve been in Australia for 2 months and realised that we never did a blog on getting set up in Melbourne, probably because we have been so busy getting set up!

So here's what you need to know about coming to Australia on a working holiday visa.

Firstly you don't need to go through the travel companies to get set up for work. We had heard this from several people we had met along the way and also from friends at home who had worked down under in the past. These companies will charge hundreds of pounds for services that essentially you can do yourself. Apparently they guarantee work but we ve met people who found work quicker and that paid better on their own.

Don't know about you but would rather have that money for something more fun!

(Although just a note we re talking about getting work in the city not as a ranch worker on a farm so that might be different if you need to be taught how to ride a horse and brand a cow etc...)

Things you need to do:

Get your visa - Applying for your working holiday visa is quick and easy to do online and we got that all sorted before we left the UK.

You can check out the latest here... www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday

Address in Australia - we were lucky here as we were able to stay with our mate Broomy and use his address for all correspondence as we got set up. I believe most hostels will allow you have mail delivered to them so using an expensive travel service just to have an address is not necessary.

Bank Account - we ended up choosing NAB as they didn't have a minimum fee you need to deposit each month, and given that we didn't know how regularly we would get work it seemed the best choice for us. Don't need extra charges! Just walk in the bank give them your details, address etc and away you go. Simples!

Australian mobile number - I managed to borrow an old mobile and Dan got a cheap handset in china town and its easy to get a pay as you go sim from Telstra or Optus.

Tax File Number - again another quick and easy online application form. You need to get a tax file number in order to get paid so an important one to get sorted ASAP. I think you can only apply for this once you are in the country


We hit the ground running when we got to Melbourne shocking our housemate by getting the above sorted or applied for on the first day we arrived!

Oh and another thing to apply for is a Medicare card, incase you need to see doc etc... I think this needs to be done within a month of getting into Australia to be eligible for one.


After sprucing up our CVs the next thing to do was to start searching for work. We spent hours and hours trawling the job websites and applying to jobs.

We learnt that you need to be realistic about the type of work you will get on a working holiday visa particularly if you are not interested in sponsorship like us. We wasted a bit of time trying to get work in the same industries we had worked in back home, just on the off chance that our experience and enthusiasm would get us a position. The problem we had was that these companies would only take on working holiday visa applicants if they were being considered for sponsorship, they don't want to train you up only for you to leave in 6 months to go travelling around.

Another thing we did was sign up to several agencies. I would recommend signing up to at least 4. All our work we have had to date has been found through agencies. Be prepared though that work from this route could take 3-4 weeks to start coming in as some agencies have a policy that people should be placed within this timeframe so you'll automatically be at the back of that list with other applicants ahead of you.

Some Recruitment agencies:

Robert Half/Office Team
Robert Walters
Michael Page
Chandler Macleod

A top tip from us would be to join the same agencies as a friend. That way if you get offered work and can't make it you can straight away suggest your mate so their name is front of mind when the recruiter looks for the next candidate. We've managed to tag team a couple of jobs this way :)

One of the problems I had when signing up with recruitment agencies for temp office positions was being overlooked for not having relevant 'admin experience' despite being an account manager for 5 years. The way to handle this is to GET ON THE PHONE! After being rejected from another online application for general admin positions I'd had enough called the guy and explained that I did realise I was applying for temp jobs and not to be put off because I had been an account manager, explained my experience etc... and within 5 mins I was being asked to come in for an interview and sign up on their books... I should have got on the phone to people sooner!

After a few weeks of job hunting and interviews with recruiters I started getting a few reception roles, nothing big a few days here and there but once you can start saying to your agencies you ve had work in Australia and shown you can do a good job the interest picks up. Not gonna lie don't think I want to be a receptionist when I grow up but to get some money as a temp its not bad.

We re both sorted for work at the moment which is great and should keep us going for the next month or so. Dans is an administrative assitant at a large health insurance company and I'm an office co ordinator for a children's non for profit. Hopefully we'll keep getting positions till the end of the year.

Also we re picking up the odd job on the weekend to earn some extra money too, turns out Dan and I are very efficient paper folders!


Now we re earning we can start planning the travelling we can do in Jan/Feb with the money we ll save. Woohoo!!


Posted by doyledan 15:02 Archived in Australia

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very nice thanks be there soon

by daniele1272

hey there! i stumbled across your blog entry and even though i realized its quite a few months old i'd figured there was no harm in asking you about it. how easy was it for you to find a job? how long did it take once you settled down in AUS? thanks!

by kristashley7

Hi! We managed to get work within 3 weeks by hitting the ground running signing up to temping agencies. We wanted to do office work rather than work in hospitality so you may find work through bars or hostels quicker I'm not sure. Hope this helps and you have a great time!

by doyledan

Really useful thanks! Roxy :)

by Roxyp

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