I’m sure many are wondering how on earth Christie and I are managing to afford this year away… Well, having previously worked in England before embarking on this adventure we were able to save enough money to be able to (just about) last until we arrived in Melbourne. Although it got rather tricky towards the end as New Zealand was more expensive than we had budgeted for, we almost exactly stuck to our original target: to make it to Australia with what we had.
We both always wanted to visit Australia, and the minimum wage was definitely a large part of the reason we chose to spend a longer amount of time here. For most standard jobs, you will be paid 24 AUD per hour (around £13), and in hospitality they even increase the pay on the weekends! At first, we were torn between whether to settle and live in Melbourne or in Sydney. Having met many Australian’s through our travels in South America, we got the impression that living wise the two cities are totally different, in fact Melbourne has been voted “The World’s most liveable city” for seven years running, and after a couple of months here we can totally see why.
On arrival in Melbourne the dreaded job search began and having heard very mixed reviews on how easy the search would be we were a little confused. Christie had worked in a bar throughout her time at university and so was very set on this idea. For anyone looking to get into hospitality, you must book an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) course, which can be done online for most Australian states apart from Victoria. It costs £40 and only takes you a morning to complete. Christie was told the best thing to do was to walk down Chapel Street handing in CV’s, so that managers were able to put a face to a name and meet you in person. Luckily one of the first bars she stumbled across (Café Brass) were desperate for a bartender and she practically waltz straight in. I, on the other hand, who had no previous experience behind a bar found the search slightly more challenging.
When arriving in Melbourne I was more set on the 9-5pm day jobs, and so having had previous experience in receptionist/admin work I thought this would be the best route to follow. The first thing I was recommended to do was to contact as many recruitment agencies as possible and get the interviews booked in (view agencies at the end of the post). Once I had attended the interviews and I was signed up to the agencies it was really just a waiting game.
The problem with temporary work is that it is really dependent on the companies contacting the agencies – if they don’t need workers, you don’t hear anything. One minute you could have loads of work and the next minute it goes quiet. At first I didn’t hear much back and so was slightly worried, however after about a week I started receiving a number of different day jobs which then turned into week jobs and so on. I realised that as long as you are signed up to enough agencies, you should be able to get work. Be warned that you may have to sleep with your phone on loud during the morning as you tend to get a few calls about jobs happening that day!
During the job search I was also made aware of the apps Weployee and Sidekicker - if you manage to get yourself on these platforms you can pick and choose jobs using an app. It’s a great concept, essentially for on demand, short term staffing. These apps also mean that the job you’re doing can vary from day to day, which I have enjoyed as it keeps the work interesting doing different things each day. We also both joined a few promotional agencies, from which you are added to an online database and can apply for jobs through that.