Finding a job is essential to sustaining your new life in Australia. It’s one of the first things to consider when starting the immigration process. In this ‘Finding Work In Australia’ series, we look at ways to help you navigate the job market down under so you can stay in Australia for the long term.

In this article, we’ve interviewed expats and locals to get some insider knowledge on how to find a job in Australia and gain valuable insights from visa experiences.

Any work is better than no work

“Australia is very expensive if you’re bringing foreign currency to sustain yourself. Trust me, a few bags of shopping will give you an unpleasant shock the first time you visit Woolworths or Coles! Aussies have great wages relative to their cost of living, so even if you’re working part-time on minimum wage it can make a real difference. Many of my friends who work in offices actually relished their short stint in more manual or low stress jobs when they first moved to Australia. In the early days, you need to survive before you thrive!”

Sarah from West Virginia, lived in Australia for 8 years.

Don’t let admin let you down

“You will need a lot of paperwork when you first get to Australia. A friend suggested I make copies of all my essential documents and put them in a secure password protected Google Drive. Now I’ve got access to medical records, identification, travel documents, insurance documents, visa documents and my birth certificate anywhere. Trying to rummage through moving boxes can be a nightmare. Keep all the physical essentials in an organised file. It’s a small thing but it stops you from stalling any new roles you’re applying for.”

Lizzy from Manchester, lived in Australia for 5 months.

Consider your profession and employment

“Certain industries and trades get paid a lot more in Australia. Consider retraining whilst in Australia on a student visa or an apprenticeship. I came here as a qualified butcher but quickly retrained in construction and landscaping due to the attractive hours, wages and greater number of roles available.

“Friends of mine saw an opportunity and started their own company using a special Business Innovation visa. This helped them start a new company in Australia and stay for over four years whilst they built it up.”

Kevin from Hong Kong, lived in Australia for thirteen years.

Skills-shortage list announced by the Australian Government is not a guarantee

“Obviously the Department of Home Affairs’ list is essential for those who want to use employment as leverage in their visa applications. But, what you realise when you get here, is a lot of jobs are actually featured on the list. Even with them reducing the total number, there’s still more than you’d think. If you want to be sponsored by an employer to stay in Australia, be proactive. There may be a shortage according to territory governments but it’s up to you to hunt down those positions. Put your energy into the search; find work you love and an employer you trust. I had a great relationship with my manager and the company I worked for. It made my permanent residency application so much easier, compared to other people I knew who felt like they had to fight through it.

“Also, even with the employer on your side, applying for a PR is so much more complicated than a working holiday visa. I’d really recommend using a migration agent, they’re worth every penny.”

Luke from Newcastle, living in Australia for seven years.

Research support services for skilled workers

“Even skilled migrants can have difficulty finding full time work, but there are a number of government subsidised support services you can use. Check out ‘Skilled Professional Migrants Programs’ to help you find work. The program offers employment support for skilled workers from any background. They also offer language help services specifically related to the jobs in Australia, which was really handy for my wife who wanted to improve her professional English when we first moved.”

Jesh from Delhi, living in Australia for a year.

If you want to stay, start making your plans early

“If you’re in Australia on a temporary visa and you decide to stay, start the process as early as possible. Research visas and migration agents. Start gathering what you’ll need to submit your expression of interest. Get superannuation set up and start paying into it. Small incremental changes over time can really show you’re committed to a new life in Australia and can count in visa applications.”

Anna from Dublin, lived in Australia for 4 years.

Need Help Finding Work In Australia?

If you want to find out what kind of work is demand, take a look at Finding Work In Australia: Top Industries With Skills Shortages.

If you’re curious about the cost of living in Australia and how much you’ll need to earn, we’ve compiled a guide to answer your questions..

And if you need help with your visa applications, speak to the Yonder team today.

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Yonder Australia is a “real time” interactive news and learning platform for people for moving country.


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